Sturgis, SD Auto Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

Price shopping your Sturgis auto insurance can seem to be difficult for consumers not familiar with comparison shopping online. People have so many options available that it can turn into a ton of work to locate the lowest price in Sturgis.

It’s smart to compare rates every six months because insurance rates change quite often. Just because you had the best rates a year ago there may be better deals available now. Don’t believe everything you read about auto insurance online but I’m going to show you a bunch of ideas how to find affordable auto insurance.

What determines how much you pay?

An important part of buying insurance is that you know the factors that come into play when calculating auto insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what controls the rates you pay empowers consumers to make smart changes that can help you get much lower annual insurance costs.

The list below includes some of the factors used by your company to calculate your rates.

  • Bump up deductibles to save – Physical damage deductibles define the amount you are required to spend out-of-pocket if you file a covered claim. Physical damage coverage, also known as collision and other-than-collision, protects your car from damage. Some examples of claims that would be covered are running into the backend of another car, vandalism, and windstorm damage. The more money the insured has to pay upfront, the lower your rates will be.
  • Don’t get talked into coverage you don’t need – There are many add-on coverages you can purchase on your policy. Things like vanishing deductibles, better glass coverage and additional equipment coverage are some examples. These coverages may sound good when talking to your agent, but now you might not need them so remove them from your policy.
  • Occupation reflects on rates – Did you know that where you work can have an impact on rates? Occupations such as judges, social workers and dentists tend to pay the highest average rates due to high stress and lengthy work days. Other jobs such as actors, historians and homemakers have the lowest average rates.
  • Bad driving skills means higher rates – Drivers with clean records get better rates than people who have multiple driving citations. Only having one speeding ticket may increase your cost twenty percent or more. Drivers who get severe violations like hit and run, DWI or reckless driving convictions may be required to submit a SR-22 form with their state motor vehicle department in order to drive a vehicle legally.
  • Older drivers save more – Older drivers are more responsible, file fewer claims and receive fewer citations. Youthful drivers tend to get distracted easily behind the wheel and because of this, their auto insurance rates are much higher.

Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts

Car insurance is not cheap, but discounts can save money and there are some available to cut the cost considerably. Certain discounts will be applied when you get a quote, but a few need to be manually applied before they will apply.

  • Theft Prevention System – Vehicles with anti-theft systems are stolen less frequently and earn discounts up to 10%.
  • Memberships – Belonging to certain professional organizations could qualify you for a break when buying auto insurance.
  • Sign Early and Save – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching to them before your current expiration date. It can save you around 10%.
  • Bundle and Save – When you combine your home and auto insurance with the same insurance company you may earn approximately 10% to 15%.
  • Employee of Federal Government – Simply working for the federal government may qualify you for a discount with a few auto insurance companies.
  • Drivers Ed for Students – Have your child successfully complete driver’s ed class in school.

As a disclaimer on discounts, most discounts do not apply to the overall cost of the policy. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as collision or personal injury protection. So even though it sounds like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it doesn’t quite work that way. Any qualifying discounts will cut the cost of coverage.

To choose insurance companies who offer auto insurance discounts in Sturgis, follow this link.

Neighborhood agents for auto insurance

Some consumers would rather talk to a local agent and that is a personal choice. One of the best bonuses of getting online price quotes is you can get the lowest rates but still work with a licensed agent. Supporting small agencies is especially important in Sturgis.

Once you complete this form (opens in new window), your coverage information is sent to local insurance agents in Sturgis who will compete for your business. You never need to drive around as quotes are delivered immediately to your email address. How’s that for easy! You can find better rates and work with a local agent.

Different types of car insurance agents in Sturgis

When searching for a reliable agent, you must know there are a couple types of agencies to choose from. Sturgis agents are classified as either captive or independent.

Independent Agencies or Brokers

Independent insurance agents do not work for one specific company but instead can place your coverage amongst many companies and possibly get better coverage at lower prices. If your agent finds better pricing, they simply move the coverage in-house and that require little work on your part. When shopping rates, we recommend you contact at least one independent agent to have the most options to choose from. Many write coverage with smaller regional carriers which can save you money.Sturgis car insurance

Listed below are Sturgis independent insurance agents who may be able to give you rate quotes.

  • First Western Agency Inc – 1238 Main St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-4644
  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 928 Lazelle St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-4407
  • Vandenbos Insurance Svc – 1931 Lazelle St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-9100
  • First Western Agency – 1238 Main St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-4644
  • Dan Heisinger Agency Inc – 1612 Junction Ave – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-5050
Captive Insurance Agents

This type of agents work for only one company and some examples include Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. They usually cannot provide prices from multiple companies so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agents are very knowledgeable in insurance sales which can be an advantage. Some people will only choose to use a captive agent partially due to high brand loyalty and strong financial ratings.

Below is a list of captive insurance agents in Sturgis that can give you rate quotes.

  • Farm Bureau Insurance – 928 Lazelle St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-4407
  • Farmers Insurance Group – 1241 Sherman St – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-4562
  • American Family Insurance – 1612 Junction Ave – Sturgis, SD 57785 – (605) 347-5050

For a complete listing of captive agencies in Sturgis, please view this page.

Picking an insurance agency needs to be determined by more than just the bottom line cost. Ask your prospective agent these questions:

  • Do clients work directly with the agent or are most inquiries handled by a CSR?
  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • Are there any hidden costs in their price quote and does it include driving and credit history?
  • Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?

Upon getting acceptable answers to any questions you have in addition to an acceptable price estimate, you may have just found an insurance agent that will adequately provide auto insurance.

Do drivers who switch really save $396 a year?

State Farm, GEICO and Progressive constantly bombard you with television and radio advertisements. All the companies have a common claim that you can save if you switch to them. How does each company make the same claim? This is how they do it.

All the different companies are able to cherry pick for the right customer that is profitable for them. A good example of a preferred risk might be profiled as over the age of 50, has no driving citations, and has excellent credit. A propective insured who meets those qualifications is entitled to the best price and therefore will pay quite a bit less when switching companies.

Drivers who fall outside the requirements will be charged higher rates and this can result in business not being written. The ad wording is “customers who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much money. That’s the way companies can state the savings.

That is why it’s extremely important to get as many comparisons as possible. It’s impossible to know which auto insurance company will have the lowest rates.

Do I need special coverages?

When it comes to choosing coverage for your vehicles, there really is no “perfect” insurance plan. Everyone’s situation is unique.

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These are some specific questions may help you determine if you would benefit from an agent’s advice.

  • Do I need PIP coverage since I have good health insurance?
  • Do I need rental car coverage?
  • What can I do if my company won’t pay a claim?
  • When would I need additional glass coverage?
  • Should I buy only the required South Dakota minimum liability coverage?
  • Does my car insurance cover rental cars?
  • Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions but you know they apply to you, you may need to chat with an insurance agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, fill out this quick form.

Additional information is available on the South Dakota Division of Insurance website through this link. Consumers can read industry bulletins, download brochures, read consumer alerts, and find out which companies have the most complaints.

Keep this in mind

Lower-priced auto insurance is possible both online and with local Sturgis insurance agents, so compare prices from both to get a complete price analysis. Some insurance companies do not offer online price quotes and many times these smaller companies only sell through independent insurance agents.

Consumers who switch companies do it for many reasons like an unsatisfactory settlement offer, unfair underwriting practices, questionable increases in premium or even high prices. No matter why you want to switch, finding a new auto insurance company is less work than it seems.

As you prepare to switch companies, you should never skimp on coverage in order to save money. In many cases, drivers have reduced uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that their decision to reduce coverage ended up costing them more. The aim is to buy a smart amount of coverage at an affordable rate.