Little Known Tricks to Lower Missoula Montana Car Insurance

Sick and tired of paying out the nose each month for car insurance? Your situation is no different than many other Montana consumers. There are many insurers to purchase coverage from, and although it’s a good thing to have a selection, too many choices makes it more difficult to find the lowest cost provider.

Choosing the best insurance company for you in Missoula is not that difficult. If you currently have a car insurance policy, you stand a good chance to be able to reduce your rates substantially using these methods. Montana drivers just need to learn the most effective way to compare company rates on the web.

Decisions you make can impact your rates

Smart consumers have a good feel for the factors that go into determining the price you pay for car insurance. Understanding what controls the rates you pay helps enable you to make changes that will entitle you to much lower annual insurance costs.

Listed below are some of the factors that factor into prices.

  • Policy add-ons can waste money – There are many add-on coverages that you can get tricked into buying on your policy. Coverages like vanishing deductibles, accidental death and term life insurance are examples of these. These coverages may sound good initially, but if they’re wasting money get rid of them and save.
  • Rural vs Urban Areas – Living in small towns and rural areas has it’s advantages when insuring your vehicles. City drivers have congested traffic and longer commutes to work. Lower population translates into fewer accidents as well as less vandalism and auto theft.
  • Cautious drivers pay less – Whether or not you get tickets has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurance. Only having one moving violation can increase rates forty percent or more. Good drivers tend to pay less for car insurance than their less careful counterparts. Drivers with dangerous tickets like DWI, reckless driving or hit and run convictions are required to file a SR-22 with their state DMV in order to prevent a license revocation.
  • Safe vehicles cost less to insure – Cars with high safety ratings can get you lower premiums. The safest vehicles result in less severe injuries and lower injury rates means lower claim amounts and thus lower rates.
  • Credit scores impact car insurance rates – Credit score is a huge factor in determining what you pay for car insurance. People with high credit scores tend to be more responsible as compared to drivers with lower ratings. Therefore, if your credit history is low, you could save money insuring your by repairing your credit.
  • You might want pay the small claims yourself – If you tend to file frequent claims, you can look forward to either higher rates or even cancellation. Companies in Montana award cheaper rates to drivers who are claim-free. Car insurance is meant to be used in the event of larger claims.
  • Save money with special equipment – Driving a car with a theft deterrent system can help lower your rates. Theft prevention devices such as tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all hinder your car from being stolen.

Car Insurance Comparison Rates in Missoula, MT

Cutting your car insurance rates doesn’t have to be difficult. Just take the time to compare rate quotes online from several insurance companies. It is quite easy and can be accomplished in just a few minutes using one of these methods.

  • The best way to find the lowest comparison rates is an all-inclusive rate comparison like this one (opens in new window). This easy form eliminates the need for separate forms to each individual car insurance company. A single, simple form gets you coverage quotes from all major companies.
  • A harder way to get comparison quotes consists of going to the website for each individual company to request a price quote. For sake of this example, let’s say you want to compare rates from USAA, Liberty Mutual and Allstate. You would have to take the time to go to each site and enter your information, and that’s why the first method is more popular.

    For a handy list of car insurance company links in Missoula, click here.

  • The least efficient way of getting rate comparisons to and from local insurance agencies. The internet can eliminate the need for a local agent unless you have a need for the professional guidance that only a license agent can provide. Drivers can comparison shop your insurance online but buy from a local insurance agent.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you use apples-to-apples deductibles and coverage limits for every quote you compare. If you use different deductibles you can’t possibly make an equal comparison in Missoula.

Is there truth in advertising?

Montana consumers can’t get away from ads for the lowest price auto insurance from companies such as 21st Century, Allstate and State Farm. They all make an identical promise that you can save if you switch your policy.

How do they all make almost identical claims?

Different companies have a certain “appetite” for the right customer that earns them a profit. For example, a profitable customer could be over the age of 40, has no tickets, and has excellent credit. A customer getting a price quote who matches those parameters receives the best rates and as a result will probably cut their rates substantially.

Consumers who are not a match for the “perfect” profile will be quoted higher rates and this can result in the driver buying from a lower-cost company. The ads say “drivers who switch” not “people who quote” save that kind of money. That is how companies can make those claims. This emphasizes why you need to quote coverage with many companies. It is impossible to predict the company that will provide you with the cheapest rates.

Policy discounts you shouldn’t miss

Companies offering auto insurance don’t necessarily list all available discounts very well, so we researched both the well known as well as the least known car insurance savings. If you don’t get every credit available, you are throwing money away.

  • Seat Belts Save more than Lives – Requiring all passengers to use a seat belt could cut 10% or more on the medical payments or PIP coverage costs.
  • Auto/Life Discount – Some companies give lower rates if you buy life insurance.
  • 55 and Retired – Older drivers may receive better car insurance rates.
  • Anti-theft System – Anti-theft and alarm systems are stolen less frequently and therefore earn up to a 10% discount.
  • Good Students Pay Less – Performing well in school can be rewarded with saving of up to 25%. The good student discount can last up until you turn 25.
  • Save with a New Car – Putting insurance coverage on a new car can cost up to 25% less due to better safety requirements for new cars.
  • Federal Employees – Being employed by or retired from a federal job can save as much as 8% with certain companies.
  • Defensive Driver – Successfully completing a driver safety course could save 5% or more if your company offers it.

Keep in mind that most discount credits are not given to the entire policy premium. Most cut individual premiums such as liability, collision or medical payments. Just because it seems like adding up those discounts means a free policy, it doesn’t quite work that way.

Your local neighborhood insurance agent

Some people just want to visit with an insurance agent and that is just fine! Agents can point out coverage gaps and give you peace of mind. The biggest benefit of getting online price quotes is that you can obtain lower rates and still choose a local agent.

To make it easy to find an agent, after completing this quick form, your coverage information is instantly submitted to companies in Missoula who will give you bids for your coverage. You don’t have to even leave your home due to the fact that quote results will go to the email address you provide. It doesn’t get any easier!

Selecting a company needs to be determined by more than just a cheap price. Any agent should be forthright in answering these questions:

  • Are claim adjusters local or do you have to take your car somewhere else?
  • Do you have coverage for a rental car if your vehicle is in the repair shop?
  • Do they assist clients in filing claims?
  • Does the agency provide any after hours assistance?
  • Does the company allow you to choose your own collision repair facility?
  • Does the agency have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Did they already check your driving record and credit reports?
  • What insurance companies do they work with?

Insurance agents in Missoula come in two varieties

If you’re trying to find local Missoula agents, you must know there are a couple types of agencies from which to choose. Agencies in Missoula can either be independent (non-captive) or captive. Both types can insure your vehicles, but it’s worth learning how they differ since it may influence buying decisions.

Agency Captives

Captive agents write business for a single company like Farmers Insurance, American Family, State Farm and Allstate. Captives cannot shop your coverage around so they have to upsell other benefits. Captive agents are well schooled on the products they sell which can be an advantage.

Independent Agents

Independent agencies are not required to write business for one company so they have the ability to put coverage with any number of different companies depending on which coverage is best. If you are not satisfied with one company, the business is moved internally and you won’t have to switch agencies.

When shopping rates, you should always get quotes from at a minimum one independent agency for maximum quote selection.

Shown below is a short list of independent agencies in Missoula who can help you get price quotes.

Missoula Montana car insurance

Jim Powell Insurance – 1510 Ernest Ave – Missoula, MT 59801 – (406) 721-2224
Kim Stewart Insurance – 1610 South Ave W # A – Missoula, MT 59801 – (406) 721-1610

For a complete listing of insurance agents in Missoula, please go to this site.

After getting answers to your satisfaction to these questions and a low price estimate, it’s possible that you found an auto insurance agent that is a good match to provide car insurance coverage.

Even more information is located at the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance website. Visitors are able to view agent and company licensing information, learn about insurance regulations, find disaster information, and file complaints about a company.

The best insurance company isn’t always the cheapest

As you restructure your insurance plan, it’s a bad idea to reduce coverage to reduce premium. There have been many situations where an insured cut uninsured motorist or liability limits only to regret at claim time they didn’t have enough coverage. Your aim should be to purchase a proper amount of coverage at a price you can afford.

Cheaper car insurance can be found both online and with local Missoula insurance agents, and you need to price shop both to have the best rate selection. There are still a few companies who do not offer the ability to get a quote online and many times these small, regional companies only sell through independent insurance agents.