Consumers who are new to comparing insurance rates online might discover finding cut-rate car insurance is more work than they anticipated.
The method we recommend to compare car insurance company rates is to realize most of the bigger providers participate in a system to give you rate quotes. The one thing you need to do is provide the companies a bit of rating information such as whether or not you need a SR-22, whether the vehicles are used for commuting, the ages of drivers, and your credit rating estimate. The rating information is then submitted to many highly-rated insurers and you receive quotes immediately.
It’s important that you understand some of the elements that come into play when calculating your insurance rates. Understanding what controls the rates you pay allows you to make educated decisions that could result in lower insurance prices.
The list below includes some of the factors companies use to determine premiums.
Car insurance can cost a lot, but discounts can save money and there are some available to reduce the price significantly. Most are applied when you quote, but lesser-known reductions have to be asked for before being credited.
Drivers should understand that many deductions do not apply to the entire cost. Some only apply to the price of certain insurance coverages like liability, collision or medical payments. So even though it sounds like having all the discounts means you get insurance for free, car insurance companies aren’t that generous. Any amount of discount will reduce your premiums.
For a list of insurance companies who offer car insurance discounts, click here.
When it comes to buying the best insurance coverage coverage for your vehicles, there really is not a one size fits all plan. Everyone’s situation is unique.
These are some specific questions might help in determining if your situation might need an agent’s assistance.
If you’re not sure about those questions but you think they might apply to your situation, you might consider talking to an agent. If you don’t have a local agent, fill out this quick form.
Understanding the coverages of a car insurance policy can help you determine the right coverages and proper limits and deductibles. The coverage terms in a policy can be ambiguous and coverage can change by endorsement.
Collision coverage protection
This pays for damage to your Stratus resulting from colliding with another car or object. You will need to pay your deductible then your collision coverage will kick in.
Collision coverage protects against claims like colliding with a tree, sideswiping another vehicle, hitting a parking meter, scraping a guard rail and driving through your garage door. Paying for collision coverage can be pricey, so you might think about dropping it from vehicles that are 8 years or older. Drivers also have the option to bump up the deductible to get cheaper collision coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage
This protects you and your vehicle’s occupants when other motorists 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.
Because many people only carry the minimum required liability limits, their limits can quickly be used up. For this reason, having high UM/UIM coverages is a good idea. Frequently the UM/UIM limits are identical to your policy’s liability coverage.
Liability coverage protects you from damages or injuries you inflict on a person or their property that is your fault. It protects YOU against claims from other people, and does not provide coverage for damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident.
Coverage consists of three different limits, per person bodily injury, per accident bodily injury, and a property damage limit. As an example, you may have policy limits of 25/50/25 which means a $25,000 limit per person for injuries, $50,000 for the entire accident, and a limit of $25,000 paid for damaged property. Some companies may use one limit called combined single limit (CSL) which limits claims to one amount with no separate limits for injury or property damage.
Liability coverage pays for things such as emergency aid, attorney fees, loss of income, structural damage and repair costs for stationary objects. How much liability coverage do you need? That is up to you, but it’s cheap coverage so purchase higher limits if possible.
Medical payments coverage and PIP
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage provide coverage for immediate expenses for X-ray expenses, ambulance fees, surgery and pain medications. They are used to fill the gap from your health insurance program or if you do not have health coverage. Coverage applies to both the driver and occupants in addition to being hit by a car walking across the street. PIP is not universally available but it provides additional coverages not offered by medical payments coverage
This pays to fix your vehicle from damage caused by mother nature, theft, vandalism and other events. You need to pay your deductible first and the remainder of the damage will be paid by comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive can pay for claims like damage from a tornado or hurricane, a broken windshield, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, hail damage and hitting a deer. The maximum payout you’ll receive from a claim is the market value of your vehicle, so if the vehicle’s value is low it’s not worth carrying full coverage.
The cheapest 2001 Dodge Stratus insurance is attainable on the web and with local insurance agents, and you should be comparing both to have the best chance of lowering rates. Some insurance companies do not offer the ability to get a quote online and many times these regional insurance providers only sell through independent insurance agents.
When buying insurance coverage, you should never skimp on coverage in order to save money. Too many times, drivers have reduced uninsured motorist or liability limits to discover at claim time that it was a big mistake. The proper strategy is to purchase a proper amount of coverage at an affordable rate, not the least amount of coverage.
You just learned a lot of tips how to shop for insurance online. The key concept to understand is the more rate quotes you have, the better likelihood of reducing your rate. Consumers could even find that the best price on auto insurance is with a small local company.