Sick and tired of paying out the nose to insure your vehicles every month? Your situation is no different than many other Virginia drivers.
Many car insurance companies vie to insure your vehicles, so it’s not easy to compare every insurance company to find the lowest rate possible.
If you have car insurance now, you will most likely be able to reduce your rates substantially using these methods. Buying the cheapest car insurance in Richmond is not rocket science. But Virginia consumers need to have an understanding of how insurance companies sell online and use this information to your advantage.
Lower your Richmond Car Insurance Rates
An important part of buying insurance is that you know some of the elements that go into determining your car insurance rates. Knowing what determines base rates empowers consumers to make smart changes that will entitle you to better car insurance rates.
- Increase deductibles and save – Physical damage insurance, commonly called comprehensive (or other-than-collision) and collision coverage, protects your car from damage. A few examples of covered claims could be colliding with a building, damage from fire, and rolling your vehicle. Your deductibles are the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket before a claim is paid by your company. The more you have to pay, the bigger discount you will receive.
- Optional equipment can affect rates – Choosing a vehicle with anti-theft technology or alarm system can get you a discount on your car insurance. Theft prevention features like LoJack tracking devices, vehicle tamper alarm systems or GM’s OnStar system can thwart auto theft.
- Where you live is a factor – Living in small towns and rural areas has it’s advantages when buying car insurance. Drivers in populated areas have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Fewer people means a lower chance of having an accident.
- Younger drivers pay higher rates – Young drivers in Virginia are statistically proven to be less responsible behind the wheel so they pay higher car insurance rates. Parents adding a young driver onto your car insurance can break the bank. Older drivers tend to be more responsible, tend to file fewer claims and receive fewer citations.
- Protect yourself with liability coverage – Your policy’s liability coverage is the protection in the event that you are found to be at fault for damages caused by your negligence. It will provide legal defense coverage starting from day one. Liability is cheap as compared to coverage for physical damage, so drivers should carry high limits.
- Extra coverages can waste money – There are many extra bells and whistles that you can buy on your car insurance policy. Coverages for rental car reimbursement, towing coverage and additional equipment coverage may be costing you every month. These coverages may sound good when you first buy your policy, but now you might not need them so eliminate them to save money.
- Traffic violations increase rates – A bad driving record has a big impact on rates. Even one citation can increase rates forty percent or more. Good drivers tend to pay less for car insurance compared to drivers with tickets. If you have flagrant violations like DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions may find they need to submit a SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with their state DMV in order to keep their license.
- You might want pay the small claims yourself – If you file claims often, you can pretty much guarantee either policy cancellation or increased premiums. Insurance companies in Virginia provide cheaper rates to people who do not file claims often. Your insurance policy is intended for the large, substantial claims.
Cut your car insurance rates with discounts
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but companies offer discounts to help bring down the price. Some trigger automatically at the time of quoting, but a few must be inquired about before they will apply.
- Sign Early and Save – Some insurance companies reward drivers for switching to them before your current policy expires. It can save you around 10%.
- Theft Prevention Discount – Vehicles equipped with anti-theft or alarm systems help deter theft and qualify for as much as a 10% discount.
- Service Members Pay Less – Having a family member in the military may qualify for rate reductions.
- Paperwork-free – Certain companies give back up to $50 for buying a policy and signing up online.
- Good Student Discount – Getting good grades can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. This discount can apply until age 25.
- Multi-policy Discount – When you have multiple policies with one insurance company you may save up to 20% off your total premium.
- Drivers Education – Require your teen driver to enroll in driver’s education in school.
It’s important to understand that many deductions do not apply to the entire policy premium. Some only apply to specific coverage prices like liability, collision or medical payments. Just because you may think it’s possible to get free car insurance, you’re out of luck. But any discount will bring down the amount you have to pay.
To see a list of providers with the best car insurance discounts in Virginia, click this link.
Are you falling for claims of savings?
Companies like Progressive, Allstate and GEICO regularly use television and radio advertisements. All the ads say the same thing of big savings if you move to their company. But how can every company make almost identical claims?
Insurance companies have a preferred profile for the driver they prefer to insure. An example of a profitable customer could be a mature driver, has no driving citations, and has a short commute. A propective insured who meets those qualifications gets the lowest rates and is almost guaranteed to save quite a bit of money when switching.
Potential insureds who fall outside these standards will be quoted a more expensive rate which usually ends up with business going elsewhere. The ads say “drivers who switch” not “everybody who quotes” save that much money. That’s why insurance companies can confidently make the claims of big savings.
This emphasizes why you absolutely need to get quotes from several different companies. You cannot predict which car insurance company will provide you with the cheapest rates.
You are unique and your car insurance should be too
When buying proper insurance coverage, there isn’t really a one size fits all plan. Everyone’s situation is unique so this has to be addressed. For instance, these questions might point out if your situation might need professional guidance.
- Does having multiple vehicles earn me a discount?
- Will I be non-renewed for getting a DUI or other conviction?
- Am I getting all the discounts available?
- Am I covered by my employer’s commercial auto policy when driving my personal car for business?
- Are all vehicle passengers covered by medical payments coverage?
- When does my teenage driver need to be added to my policy?
- Is there coverage for injuries to my pets?
- Can I afford to buy a different vehicle if my vehicle is totaled?
- Can my teen driver be rated on a liability-only vehicle?
- When would I need rental car insurance?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may need to chat with an agent. If you don’t have a local agent, fill out this quick form or click here for a list of car insurance companies in your area.
For more information
Additional information is located on the website for the Virginia Bureau of Insurance found here. Consumers can read enforcement actions against agents and companies, get help finding coverage, read industry bulletins, and read consumer alerts.
Cheaper insurance is a realistic goal
When you buy insurance online, it’s very important that you do not reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many cases where an insured dropped liability limits or collision coverage only to find out that a couple dollars of savings turned into a financial nightmare. The aim is to purchase plenty of coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.
Budget-conscious car insurance can be purchased on the web and also from your neighborhood Richmond agents, and you need to comparison shop both so you have a total pricing picture. Some insurance providers may not provide the ability to get a quote online and most of the time these small, regional companies sell through independent agents.