Top 6 Ways to Save on Car Insurance in Iowa City

Consumers who are new to buying insurance online will discover finding low-cost Iowa City car insurance is harder than they anticipated.

Pay less by taking advantage of these six discounts

Companies offering auto insurance don’t always list all available discounts very clearly, so we break down some of the more common and also the lesser-known discounts you could be receiving.

  • Safety Course Discount – Taking a course teaching defensive driving skills could cut 5% off your bill if you qualify.
  • Anti-theft Discount – Anti-theft and alarm systems help deter theft and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
  • College Student – Children who live away from home without a vehicle on campus may qualify for this discount.
  • Paperless Signup – Certain companies may give you up to $50 for buying your policy digitally online.
  • Passive Restraint Discount – Factory air bags may earn rate discounts of up to 25% or more.
  • Anti-lock Brake Discount – Vehicles equipped with ABS or steering control can avoid accidents and earn discounts up to 10%.

Consumers should know that most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. Most only reduce specific coverage prices like liability, collision or medical payments. Just because you may think adding up those discounts means a free policy, you won’t be that lucky.

To see a list of insurers with discount car insurance rates in Iowa, click here.

Car insurance ads bend the truth

Companies like Allstate, GEICO and Progressive consistently run ads on TV and radio. All the ads have a common claim that you can save if you change your policy. But how can every company make the same claim?

All the different companies have a preferred profile for the type of driver that is profitable for them. A good example of a preferred risk could be over the age of 50, owns a home, and has great credit. A customer who matches those parameters will qualify for the lowest rates and most likely will save quite a bit of money when switching.

Potential insureds who don’t meet this ideal profile will be charged a higher premium which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. Company advertisements say “customers who switch” but not “drivers who get quotes” save that much. That’s why companies can advertise the way they do. That is why you need to get as many comparisons as possible. It’s not possible to predict which insurance companies will have the lowest rates.

Car insurance coverages and their meanings

Knowing the specifics of car insurance aids in choosing the right coverages and proper limits and deductibles. Policy terminology can be impossible to understand and coverage can change by money image

Coverage for collisions

Collision coverage will pay to fix damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or an object, but not an animal. You first must pay a deductible and the rest of the damage will be paid by collision coverage.

Collision coverage protects against things such as scraping a guard rail, rolling your car, colliding with a tree and hitting a mailbox. This coverage can be expensive, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to choose a higher deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.

Comprehensive protection

This coverage pays to fix your vehicle from damage OTHER than collision with another vehicle or object. You first must pay your deductible then the remaining damage will be covered by your comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers claims like hitting a deer, damage from getting keyed, rock chips in glass, hitting a bird and a broken windshield. The most your car insurance company will pay is the ACV or actual cash value, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s probably time to drop comprehensive insurance.

Medical expense coverage

Medical payments and Personal Injury Protection insurance pay for immediate expenses for things like dental work, X-ray expenses, nursing services and prosthetic devices. They are often used in conjunction with a health insurance policy or if you do not have health coverage. Medical payments and PIP cover not only the driver but also the vehicle occupants as well as any family member struck as a pedestrian. Personal Injury Protection is not universally available and gives slightly broader coverage than med pay

Uninsured or underinsured coverage

This coverage gives you protection when the “other guys” either are underinsured or have no liability coverage at all. Covered losses include injuries sustained by your vehicle’s occupants as well as your vehicle’s damage.

Since a lot of drivers only purchase the least amount of liability that is required (Iowa limits are 20/40/15), their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea.

Auto liability insurance

This will 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, bodily injury for the entire accident, and a limit for property damage. You commonly see liability limits of 25/50/25 which means a $25,000 limit per person for injuries, a total of $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and a total limit of $25,000 for damage to vehicles and property.

Liability coverage protects against claims such as emergency aid, bail bonds, medical expenses, legal defense fees and funeral expenses. The amount of liability coverage you purchase is your choice, but consider buying higher limits if possible. Iowa requires drivers to carry at least 20,000/40,000/15,000 but you should think about purchasing more liability than the minimum.

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More Iowa car insurance resources

Additional detailed information can be read at the Iowa Insurance Division website. Iowa drivers can find out which companies have the most complaints, find out industry alerts, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, and file complaints about a company.

Better coverage you can count on

As you go through the steps to switch your coverage, do not sacrifice coverage to reduce premiums. There are many occasions where drivers have reduced liability coverage limits and found out when filing a claim that they should have had better coverage. Your aim should be to buy the best coverage you can find at a price you can afford, not the least amount of coverage.

You just learned some good ideas how to save on car insurance. The key concept to understand is the more rate comparisons you have, the higher your chance of finding lower rates. You may even find the best prices are with a small mutual company.

Insureds who switch companies do it for a variety of reasons including delays in paying claims, unfair underwriting practices, high rates after DUI convictions or an unsatisfactory settlement offer. No matter why you want to switch, finding a new company is pretty easy and you might even save some money in the process.