Top 5 Tricks to Save on Car Insurance in Westfield, MA

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of car insurance choices in Westfield? Lot’s of other consumers are too. Drivers have so many companies to choose from that it can turn into a big hassle to find the best price.

Pricing the best car insurance coverage in Westfield can be fairly easy. Essentially everyone who shops for car insurance will most likely be able to lower their premiums. But Massachusetts drivers benefit from understanding how the larger insurance companies market insurance on the web.

Comprehensive Westfield Car Insurance Comparison

When shopping for car insurance there are multiple ways of comparing rates from different in Westfield, Massachusettsinsurance companies. The best way to compare insurance prices consists of obtaining rate quotes online. This is very easy and can be done in a couple of different ways.

  1. The most efficient way to get quotes for comparison is an all-inclusive rate comparison click here to open form in new window. This easy form saves time by eliminating repetitive form submissions for each company. In just a few minutes this one form compares rates from several companies. Just one form and you’re done.
  2. A harder way to analyze rates is to take the time to go to each company’s website to complete a price quote. For instance, we’ll assume you want comparison quotes from USAA, 21st Century and Progressive. To find out each rate you need to take the time to go to each site to input your insurance information, which is why the first method is more popular. For a list of links to companies insuring cars in Westfield, click here.
  3. The most time-consuming way of comparing rate quotes is driving around to and from local insurance agencies. The internet makes this process obsolete unless you require the professional advice only provided by licensed agents. It is possible to obtain prices from the web and still use a local agent and you’ll learn how to do that later.

It’s up to you how you get prices quotes, just make absolute certain that you use identical coverage limits and deductibles for each price quote. If you use differing limits you can’t possibly find the best deal in Westfield. Slightly different coverage limits may cause a big price difference. Keep in mind that quoting more helps locate a better price.

Can switching companies really save?

Car insurance providers like Progressive, Allstate and GEICO continually stream ads in print and on television. They all say the same thing that you can save after switching your policy. How does each company claim to save you money?

All companies can use profiling for the driver that is profitable for them. For instance, a desirable insured could possibly be between 30 and 50, is a homeowner, and has excellent credit. A customer who fits that profile will qualify for the lowest rates and therefore will save when they switch companies.

Potential insureds who are not a match for this ideal profile must pay higher rates which usually ends up with the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ad wording is “people who switch” not “everyone that quotes” save money. That’s why insurance companies can claim big savings.

This illustrates why you need to compare as many rates as you can. It’s not possible to predict which company will fit your personal profile best.

Discounts are available to cut your rates

Car insurance is not cheap, buy you may qualify for discounts to reduce the price significantly. Some trigger automatically when you get a quote, but lesser-known reductions have to be specially asked for before they will apply.

  • Passive Restraint Discount – Vehicles with factory air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may earn rate discounts of 20% or more.
  • Drive Less and Save – Low mileage vehicles could qualify for discounted rates on garaged vehicles.
  • Auto/Home Discount – When you have multiple policies with one company you could get a discount of up to 20% off your total premium.
  • Seat Belt Usage – Buckling up and requiring all passengers to use their safety belts could cut 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Student in College – Youth drivers who live away from home and don’t have a car can be insured at a reduced rate.

A little note about advertised discounts, most of the big mark downs will not be given to your bottom line cost. The majority will only reduce specific coverage prices like comprehensive or collision. So when the math indicates you could get a free car insurance policy, you’re out of luck. Any qualifying discounts will help reduce the amount you have to pay.

To choose providers offering car insurance discounts in Massachusetts, click here to view.

Car Insurance through a local agent

A small number of people would rather sit down with an agent and there is nothing wrong with that. The best thing about price shopping on the web is you may find the best rates and still choose a local agent. Buying from local agencies is especially important in Westfield.

To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this simple form, your information is sent to companies in Westfield who will return price quotes for your coverage. There is no reason to leave your house since price quotes are sent to your email. You can find better rates AND an agent nearby.

Not all auto insurance agents are the same

When finding an insurance agent, there are two different agency structures from which to choose. Westfield agents are either independent or captive.Westfield car insurance

Independent Agents

Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company but rather can write business with any number of different companies depending on which coverage is best. If you are not satisfied with one company, the agent simply finds a different carrier without you having to go to a different agency. When comparing rates, it’s a good idea to include price quotes from at a minimum one independent agency to have the most options to choose from. They also have the ability to place coverage with smaller companies which can be an advantage.

Listed below is a list of independent insurance agents in Westfield that are able to give price quote information.

  • Roger Butler Agency – 5 Court St – Westfield, MA 01085 – (413) 562-2304
  • Keyes Mattson and Agan Insurance – 136 Elm St – Westfield, MA 01085 – (413) 562-3659
  • Colton Agency Inc – 136 Elm St – Westfield, MA 01085 – (413) 562-3618
  • Beattie Insurance – 14 Elm St – Westfield, MA 01085 – (413) 562-2700
Agency Captives

Captive agents write business for a single company such as Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. Captives cannot place coverage with different providers so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agencies receive extensive training on their products and sales techniques which helps them compete with independent agents. Some people will only choose to use a captive agent mostly because of high brand loyalty and solid financial strength.

Picking an insurance agent shouldn’t rely on just the price. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
  • Does the agency support the community they serve?
  • How often do they review policy coverages?
  • If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • Do the coverages you’re quoting properly cover your vehicle?
  • How long have they worked with personal auto insurance coverage?
  • Does the agent have professional designations like CIC, CPCU or AIC?

After receiving positive feedback for all questions you ask as well as a affordable price, chances are good that you have found an auto insurance agent that can service your policy. But keep in mind consumers can cancel your coverage any time you want so never assume you’re contractually obligated to any specific agency for any length of time.

When should I use an insurance agent?

When it comes to choosing coverage, there isn’t really a one size fits all plan. Every insured’s situation is different.

Here are some questions about coverages that may help highlight if your situation will benefit from professional help.

  • Do I qualify for additional discounts?
  • Is my vehicle covered for flood damage?
  • Are my friends covered when driving my vehicle?
  • Is my babysitter covered when using my vehicle?
  • Does my insurance cover my expensive audio equipment?
  • What if I don’t agree with a claim settlement offer?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you may want to think about talking to a licensed agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form.

Much more information about car insurance in Massachusetts is available on the Massachusetts Division of Insurance website located here. Massachusetts drivers can find out which companies have the most complaints, get help finding coverage, and find a variety of consumer forms.

Auto insurance 101

Learning about specific coverages of car insurance aids in choosing the right coverages for your vehicles. Car insurance terms can be confusing and coverage can change by endorsement.

Auto liability insurance – This can cover injuries or damage you cause to a person or their property that is your fault. Coverage consists of three different limits, bodily injury for each person injured, bodily injury for the entire accident and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have liability limits of 25/50/25 which stand for $25,000 bodily injury coverage, a per accident bodily injury limit of $50,000, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property. Occasionally you may see a combined limit which combines the three limits into one amount rather than limiting it on a per person basis.

Liability coverage protects against claims such as funeral expenses, medical services, repair costs for stationary objects and emergency aid. How much liability should you purchase? That is a personal decision, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase as much as you can afford. Massachusetts state law requires minimum liability limits of 20,000/40,000/5,000 but it’s recommended drivers buy more liability than the minimum.

Collision coverages – This coverage covers damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an object or car. A deductible applies and then insurance will cover the remainder.

Collision can pay for claims like colliding with another moving vehicle, rolling your car, hitting a mailbox, crashing into a ditch and sideswiping another vehicle. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so analyze the benefit of dropping coverage from vehicles that are older. It’s also possible to increase the deductible in order to get cheaper collision rates.

Comprehensive coverages – Comprehensive insurance covers damage that is not covered by collision coverage. You first must pay your deductible and then insurance will cover the rest of the damage.

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Comprehensive coverage protects against things like hail damage, falling objects and a tree branch falling on your vehicle. The maximum amount you can receive from a comprehensive claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if it’s not worth much more than your deductible consider dropping full coverage.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists do not carry enough liability coverage. It can pay for injuries to you and your family as well as damage to your vehicle.

Due to the fact that many Massachusetts drivers only carry the minimum required liability limits (which is 20/40/5), it only takes a small accident to exceed their coverage. That’s why carrying high Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is a good idea. Usually the UM/UIM limits are set the same as your liablity limits.

Coverage for medical payments – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage reimburse you for short-term medical expenses like doctor visits, rehabilitation expenses, surgery and ambulance fees. They can be used to fill the gap from your health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. They cover both the driver and occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. Personal injury protection coverage is not available in all states and may carry a deductible

In Summary

As you shop your coverage around, never buy poor coverage just to save money. There are many occasions where someone sacrificed full coverage to discover at claim time that it was a big mistake. Your aim should be to buy a smart amount of coverage at the best price while not skimping on critical coverages.

People who switch companies do it for a variety of reasons including not issuing a premium refund, delays in paying claims, unfair underwriting practices and policy cancellation. No matter why you want to switch, finding a great new company is not as difficult as it may seem.

Cheaper car insurance is definitely available online and with local Westfield insurance agents, so you should compare both in order to have the best price selection to choose from. There are still a few companies who do not offer online price quotes and usually these small insurance companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.