I can’t think of a single person who cherishes buying car insurance, especially when they are paying too much.
Companies like State Farm and GEICO constantly blast consumers with fancy advertisements and it is difficult to ignore the promise of big savings and effectively compare rates to find the best deal.
It’s important to do rate comparisons before your policy renews because insurance rates are constantly changing. Even if you got the lowest price last year the chances are good that you can find a lower rate today. There is a lot of wrong information about car insurance on the internet, so with this article, you’re going to get a bunch of ideas how to slash your car insurance rates.
Informed Drivers can Cut Their Rates
It’s important that you understand the rating factors that help determine your car insurance rates. Having a good understanding of what determines base rates helps enable you to make changes that will entitle you to better car insurance rates.
The following are a few of the “ingredients” that factor into prices.
- Your job and insurance rates – Occupations like judges, executives and accountants have higher rates than average in part from job stress and long work hours. On the flip side, occupations like actors, athletes and the unemployed get better rates.
- Having a spouse can save you money – Getting married actually saves money when buying car insurance. It usually means you are more mature and responsible it has been statistically shown that married drivers get in fewer accidents.
- Don’t cancel a policy without a new one in place – Driving without insurance is against the law and as a result your rates will increase for letting your coverage have a gap. Not only will you pay more, getting caught without coverage may earn you a steep fine or even jail time.You may need to prove you have insurance by filing a SR-22 with the Montana department of motor vehicles.
- Protect your assets with liability insurance – Liability coverage provides coverage if ever a jury decides you are liable for damages caused by your negligence. Liability provides legal defense coverage starting from day one. This coverage is very inexpensive when compared with rates for comp and collision, so drivers should carry high limits.
- Lower rates with optional equipment – Driving a car that has an advanced theft prevention system can save you a little every year. Anti-theft devices such as tamper alarm systems, vehicle immobilizer technology and General Motors OnStar all hinder auto theft.
- Please use or commuting – The more you drive each year the higher your rates will be. Most insurance companies charge to insure your cars based on how the vehicle is used. Cars left parked in the garage qualify for better rates than those used for commuting. Make sure your car insurance policy shows the correct driver usage.
- Claim-free discounts can add up – If you tend to file frequent claims, you can definitely plan on either a policy non-renewal or much higher rates. Insurance companies in Montana generally give better rates to insureds who file claims infrequently. Auto insurance is meant to be used in the event of major claims that would cause financial hardship.
- Do men or women drive better? – Statistics demonstrate that women are safer drivers than men. That doesn’t necessarily mean that women are better drivers. Women and men are in accidents at about the same rate, but the males cause more damage. They also get cited for more serious violations such as DWI and reckless driving. Youthful male drivers are several times more likely to be in an accident and thus pay the highest rates.
Companies offer discounts so take them!
Insurance can cost an arm and a leg, but you can get discounts that you may not even be aware of. Certain discounts will be applied when you complete an application, but less common discounts must be specifically requested prior to getting the savings.
- Discount for Life Insurance – Companies who offer life insurance give better rates if you take out a life insurance policy as well.
- Pay Now and Pay Less – If paying your policy premium upfront instead of making monthly payments you can actually save on your bill.
- Discount for Swiching Early – Select companies give a discount for signing up prior to your current policy expiring. The savings is around 10%.
- Passive Restraints and Air Bags – Vehicles equipped with air bags and/or automatic seat belt systems may earn rate discounts of up to 25% or more.
- Anti-lock Brake Discount – Vehicles with anti-lock braking systems are safer to drive and will save you 10% or more.
It’s important to understand that most credits do not apply to the entire policy premium. Most cut the price of certain insurance coverages like collision or personal injury protection. Just because it seems like you would end up receiving a 100% discount, it just doesn’t work that way. But all discounts will cut your premiums.
For a list of companies with the best car insurance discounts in Helena, click this link.
Do I just need basic coverages?
When it comes to buying the best car insurance coverage, there really is no cookie cutter policy. Coverage needs to be tailored to your specific needs and your policy should reflect that. Here are some questions about coverages that may help you determine if you might need an agent’s assistance.
- Does my policy pay for OEM or aftermarket parts?
- Is my vehicle covered by my employer’s policy when using it for work?
- Does my personal policy cover me when driving my company car?
- Why is insurance for a teen driver so high in Helena?
- Do I have coverage if my license is suspended?
- Is my teen driver covered when they drive my company car?
- What are the financial responsibility laws in Montana?
- Does my medical payments coverage pay my health insurance deductible?
If you’re not sure about those questions but a few of them apply then you might want to talk to a licensed agent. If you want to speak to an agent in your area, take a second and complete this form or you can also visit this page to select a carrier
To learn more about car insurance in Montana
More information can be read on the website for the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance found here. Consumers can file complaints about an insurance agent or broker, view agent and company licensing information, file complaints about a company, and find out which companies have the most complaints.
Quote often and quote early
When trying to cut insurance costs, you should never reduce coverage to reduce premium. In too many instances, someone dropped physical damage coverage to discover at claim time that it was a big mistake. The proper strategy is to purchase a proper amount of coverage for the lowest price while not skimping on critical coverages.
In this article, we covered many ways to lower your car insurance rates. The key thing to remember is the more rate quotes you have, the more likely it is that you will get a better rate. You may be surprised to find that the best prices are with an unexpected company. Regional companies may often insure only within specific states and give getter rates than the large multi-state companies such as State Farm or Progressive.