Hyattsville, MD Car Insurance Buying Tips You Aren’t Supposed to Know

Are you tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul to buy car insurance? You’re in the same situation as many other Maryland consumers. Drivers have so many insurance companies to pick from, and although it’s nice to have multiple companies, it can be more challenging to compare rates.

Rate influencing factors

Consumers need to have an understanding of the different types of things that come into play when calculating car insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what determines base rates empowers consumers to make smart changes that may reward you with better car insurance rates.

The list below includes a few of the “ingredients” used by your company to calculate rates.

  • Drive a safer car and pay less – Vehicles with good safety scores can get you lower premiums. These vehicles have better occupant injury protection and any reduction in injury severity means lower claim amounts and more competitive rates for policyholders.
  • A lapse in coverage is a bad thing – Not having insurance is a misdemeanor and car insurance companies will penalize you for letting your insurance lapse. Not only will you pay more, failure to provide proof of insurance will get you a revoked license or a big fine.You may then be required to provide proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 filing with the Maryland motor vehicle department to get your license reinstated.
  • Your job and insurance rates – Did you know your car insurance rates can be affected by your occupation? Jobs such as judges, architects and financial analysts tend to have higher average rates because of job stress and lengthy work days. Conversely, occupations like farmers, engineers and performers receive lower rates.
  • Discounts for multiple policies – Most insurers give discounts to customers who consolidate policies with them in the form of a multi-policy discount. If you currently are using one company, you still need to shop around to ensure the best deal. You may still be able to find better rates by buying car insurance from a different company.

Don’t miss out on these money-saving discounts

Companies that sell car insurance don’t always publicize all available discounts very clearly, so the following is a list of both well-publicized as well as the least known ways to save on car insurance. If you’re not getting every credit you qualify for, you are paying more than you should be.

  • Braking Control Discount – Vehicles equipped with ABS or steering control can avoid accidents and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
  • Discount for Good Grades – A discount for being a good student can get you a discount of up to 25%. The discount lasts up to age 25.
  • Payment Method – If you pay your bill all at once instead of paying each month you could save up to 5%.
  • Paperwork-free – A handful of insurance companies will discount your bill up to fifty bucks just for signing your application digitally online.
  • Service Members Pay Less – Having a deployed family member can result in better rates.
  • Fewer Miles Equal More Savings – Driving fewer miles could be rewarded with better rates on cars that stay parked.
  • Defensive Driving Course – Taking part in a course in driver safety can save you 5% or more if your company offers it.
  • Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Cars that have air bags or automatic seat belts can get savings of 20% or more.

It’s important to note that most credits do not apply to the entire cost. The majority will only reduce the price of certain insurance coverages like collision or personal injury protection. So even though they make it sound like adding up those discounts means a free policy, car insurance companies aren’t that generous.

But don’t I need an insurance agent?

Certain consumers would rather sit down with an agent and that is just fine! Educated insurance agents can point out coverage gaps and help submit paperwork. The best thing about price shopping on the web is that you can obtain the lowest rates but also keep your business local.

Upon completion of this form (opens in new window), your coverage information is submitted to local insurance agents who will give you bids for your insurance coverage. You don’t have to leave your computer as quotes are delivered directly to your email. Now that’s easy!

Deciding on an insurance company needs to be determined by more than just a low price. Any agent should have no problem answering these questions:

  • Are claims handled at the agent’s location?
  • How are they compensated?
  • Will their companies depreciate repairs to your car based on the mileage?
  • Do they have any clout with companies to ensure a fair claim settlement?
  • Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Are you getting all the discounts the company offers?
  • Do they have adequate Errors and Ommissions coverage? This protects you if they make a mistake.
  • If your car is totalled, how to they determine the replacement cost?

Hyattsville auto insurance agents are either independent or captive

When finding an insurance agent, there are a couple of types of agencies from which to choose. Insurance agencies in Hyattsville can either be independent (non-captive) or captive. Either one can do a good job, but it’s important to know how they differ because it can impact the selection insurance image

Agency Captives

These agents work for only one company and examples are Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate and AAA. These agents are not able to give you multiple price quotes so keep that in mind. They are trained well on their company’s products which can be an advantage.

Below is a short list of captive insurance agents in Hyattsville that are able to give rate quotes.

State Farm Insurance – 1835 University Blvd E # 324 – Hyattsville, MD 20783 – (301) 439-3400
Allstate Insurance – 7050 Chesapeake Rd # 202 – Hyattsville, MD 20784 – (301) 731-6220

Independent Insurance Agents

These agents do not work for one specific company so they can insure your vehicles with any number of different companies depending on which coverage is best. If your agent finds better pricing, the business is moved internally without you having to go to a different agency. When comparison shopping, it’s recommended you include several independent insurance agents for the best price selection.

Listed below is a short list of independent insurance agents in Hyattsville willing to provide price quotes.

Fomukongs Insurance – 6495 New Hampshire Ave – Hyattsville, MD 20783 – (301) 891-0005
A and E Insurance – 6495 New Hampshire Ave – Hyattsville, MD 20783 – (301) 559-8900

To view a complete directory of Hyattsville insurance agents, please view this page.

After receiving acceptable answers and locked in a price quote, you’ve probably found an insurance agent that can insure your vehicles.

Drivers who switch save $455 a year? Really?

Maryland consumers get pounded daily by advertisements for cheaper car insurance by GEICO, State Farm and Progressive. They all have a common claim about savings if you change to their company.

Maryland car insurance prices

How does each company make almost identical claims?

Insurance companies can use profiling for the right customer that is profitable for them. For example, a preferred risk might be between 30 and 50, a clean driving record, and drives newer vehicles. Any new insured that hits that “sweet spot” will get very good rates and therefore will cut their rates substantially.

Potential insureds who don’t measure up to the requirements will have to pay a higher premium and ends up with business not being written. The ad wording is “customers who switch” not “people who quote” save that much money. That’s why insurance companies can confidently advertise the way they do. Because of the profiling, drivers should compare as many rates as you can. You cannot predict which car insurance company will have the lowest rates.

More tips and info about car insurance is available at the Maryland Insurance Administration website. Maryland drivers can read consumer alerts, file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, and file complaints about a company.

More quotes mean more savings

Cheaper car insurance is possible both online in addition to many Hyattsville insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best rate selection. There are still a few companies who do not provide online price quotes and usually these smaller companies provide coverage only through local independent agents.

We just covered many tips how you can shop for car insurance online. The most important thing to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better your chances of lowering your rates. You may even find the lowest premiums are with a smaller regional carrier. They can often provide lower rates in certain areas compared to the large companies like Allstate or State Farm.