Things You Must Know Before Shopping for Richmond Auto Insurance Online

Finding lower rates for Richmond auto insurance can be difficult for consumers new to comparing rates online. Drivers have so many options that it can turn into a challenge to find the best price in Richmond.

Consumers should take time to take a look at other company’s rates at least once a year since rates change regularly. Even if you think you had the lowest price on your last policy you can probably find a better price now. There is a lot of wrong information about auto insurance on the internet, so I’m going to show you some of the best ways to save money.

The purpose of this article is to let you in on the most effective way to quote insurance and some tricks to saving. If you are paying for car insurance now, you will be able to lower your premiums substantially using these tips. But Virginia car owners can benefit by having an understanding of how companies determine prices and use this information to your advantage.

What determines how much you pay?

Smart consumers have a good feel for the rating factors that go into determining the rates you pay for auto insurance. Having a good understanding of what determines base rates empowers consumers to make smart changes that could result in lower auto insurance prices.

Listed below are a partial list of the pieces used by your company to calculate premiums.

  • What type of vehicle do you drive? – The type of vehicle you are buying insurance for makes a big difference in your rates. Lower performance four cylinder passenger cars receive the most favorable rates, but the cost you end up paying is determined by many additional factors.
  • Lower rates with optional equipment – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can get you a discount on your auto insurance. Theft prevention features like GM’s OnStar, tamper alarm systems and vehicle immobilizers all hinder car theft.
  • An active claims history can cost you – If you are a frequent claim filer, you can definitely plan on either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Insurance companies in Virginia award lower rates to people who are claim-free. Auto insurance is intended for major claims that would cause financial hardship.
  • Cautious drivers pay less – Drivers who don’t get tickets receive lower rates than their less careful counterparts. Even a single moving violation can bump up the cost by as much as thirty percent. Drivers who have dangerous citations such as DUI or reckless driving may need to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with their state motor vehicle department in order to prevent a license revocation.
  • More than one policy can earn a discount – Some auto insurance companies give discounts to policyholders who consolidate policies with them such as combining an auto and homeowners policy. This can amount to ten or even up to twenty percent in some cases. Even if you’re getting this discount you still need to shop around to verify if the discount is saving money. Drivers may still find better rates by insuring with multiple companies.
  • How your age affects price – Mature drivers tend to be more responsible, file fewer claims and receive fewer citations. Young drivers tend to be more careless in a vehicle therefore auto insurance rates are much higher.

Don’t miss these discounts

Car insurance is not cheap, but you may find discounts to cut the cost considerably. Larger premium reductions will be automatically applied at quote time, but lesser-known reductions have to be manually applied before you will receive the discount.

  • Payment Method – If you pay your bill all at once instead of monthly or quarterly installments you could save 5% or more.
  • Save with a New Car – Adding a new car to your policy can be considerably cheaper since new cars are generally safer.
  • 55 and Retired – If you qualify as a senior citizen, you may qualify for reduced rates.
  • Military Discounts – Having a deployed family member may qualify for rate reductions.
  • Homeowners Pay Less – Owning a house in Richmond may earn you a small savings because maintaining a house demonstrates responsibility.
  • Drive Safe and Save – Drivers who avoid accidents may receive a discount up to 45% less than drivers with accident claims.
  • Anti-lock Brakes – Vehicles equipped with ABS or steering control prevent accidents and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
  • No Claims – Drivers with accident-free driving histories pay less as compared to drivers who are more careless.
  • No Charge for an Accident – A few companies permit an accident before raising your premiums if your claims history is clear prior to the accident.

It’s important to understand that many deductions do not apply to your bottom line cost. Most only cut the cost of specific coverages such as liability, collision or medical payments. Even though it may seem like you could get a free auto insurance policy, you won’t be that lucky. But any discount will reduce your premiums.

To see a list of insurers who offer auto insurance discounts in Richmond, click here.Virginia insurance cheap

Don’t be fooled by advertising claims

Auto insurance providers like Progressive, GEICO, Allstate and State Farm consistently run ads on television and other media. They all make the same claim of big savings if you change to them. How does each company make the same claim?

All companies are able to cherry pick for the driver that earns them a profit. For example, a desirable insured might be between the ages of 40 and 55, insures multiple vehicles, and drives less than 10,000 miles a year. A customer getting a price quote that hits that “sweet spot” will qualify for the lowest rates and most likely will save quite a bit of money when switching.

Consumers who fall outside the requirements must pay more money which leads to the customer not buying. The ads say “drivers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much money. That is how insurance companies can confidently make those claims.

This illustrates why drivers must get as many comparisons as possible. It is impossible to predict which auto insurance company will provide you with the cheapest rates.

When might I need help?

When choosing the best auto insurance coverage for your personal vehicles, there is no “best” method to buy coverage. Everyone’s situation is unique.

For example, these questions might point out if you might need an agent’s assistance.

  • Who is covered by my policy?
  • Am I covered when driving in Canada or Mexico?
  • Does coverage extend to a rental car in a foreign country?
  • Do I need PIP (personal injury protection) coverage in Virginia?
  • Can I rate high risk drivers on liability-only vehicles?
  • Do I need higher deductibles?
  • Which companies will insure high-risk drivers?
  • Does my insurance cover damage caused when ticketed for reckless driving?
  • Is business equipment covered while in my vehicle?
  • Are all vehicle passengers covered by medical payments coverage?

If it’s difficult to answer those questions but you know they apply to you, then you may want to think about talking to an insurance agent. To find an agent in your area, complete this form.

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For more Virginia auto insurance information

Additional auto insurance information can be read on the Virginia Bureau of Insurance website found here. Virginia consumers can find out industry alerts, read enforcement actions against agents and companies, and view agent and company licensing information.

The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest

Consumers leave their current company for any number of reasons including unfair underwriting practices, questionable increases in premium, poor customer service and even delays in paying claims. It doesn’t matter what your reason, finding the right auto insurance provider is actually quite simple.

As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, you should never reduce needed coverages to save money. Too many times, drivers have reduced full coverage only to find out that they should have had better coverage. The aim is to purchase plenty of coverage for the lowest price, not the least amount of coverage.

We covered a lot of techniques to save on auto insurance. It’s most important to understand that the more quotes you get, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even discover the best prices are with a small mutual company.