What qualifies as the best car insurance is going to change, depending on your life circumstances. The coverage you needed as a young driver will be different from what you might need as an older adult driver. Thinking about what you want will help you determine your insurance needs.
Considering what you need can result in lower premiums, better coverage, and other discounts. With that in mind, we have compiled some tips to assist you when you decide to switch your car insurance to better fit your needs.
Knowing When to Switch
Life milestones should prompt you to think about switching car insurance to find the best coverage. Some milestone examples include moving, adding a new driver, adding a teen driver, purchasing a home, and having children.
Geographical areas impact insurance rates based on the risk associated with those areas. As a result, specific locations may prompt changes in premiums, but you will not know unless you shop around. Local companies may also provide better rates, so they are worth checking out.
New drivers can significantly increase your premiums, too, especially if they have claims against previous insurance policies. According to the CDC, teen drivers tend to have a higher rate of accident claims, resulting in higher premiums.
Other significant milestones like having children or purchasing a home should also make you reconsider your existing policy. Many companies, like Progressive, offer bundles to lower policy premiums when you include life, home, and car insurance policies in a single package.
Company Discount Programs
Insurance companies have various discounts, depending on a variety of components. For example, State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Nationwide, Travelers, and Progressive offer discounts. Taking a defensive driving course, being free of accidents within their prescribed time frame, being safe drivers, and having low mileage vehicles can impact discounts.
Additional discounts exist for young drivers, including being good students and qualifying as away-from-home students. Seniors can also receive discounts if they are over the age of 55 with a clear driving history. Many insurance companies, like Geico and USAA, also offer military or federal employee discounts. Usage-based discounts are also available at companies like Progressive, Allstate, and Travelers when you allow them to monitor your driving habits.
Bundling insurance coverage can also make a difference in discounts. Most major companies like State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide, Allstate, Progressive, Geico, and Liberty Mutual offer discounts when you insure your home and multiple vehicles. Additionally, you can also enjoy discounts if you sign early for renewals, paying in full, and enrolling in autopay. Many of the best car insurance companies also offer a loyalty reward because they want to keep you as a client if they can.
Comparing Companies, Rates, and Penalties
It’s important to compare car insurance quotes but it can take some effort. However the savings are worth it if you get the best deal for your circumstances. When speaking with your insurance representative, ask questions about available discounts and rates. You may find that while one has a higher young driver discount, it may have a better multiple-policy discount, making it a better option overall.
Penalties also should not be ignored. Ask questions about what happens if you make an update in the middle of a coverage period or what you might have to deal with if you cancel before your coverage ends. Do not forget to ask the insurance representative about various levels of coverage to see what is going to be best for your situation.
Lapses in coverage are also worth discussing if you are in between policies or if you want to cover all your bases. Aside from running the risk of losing your license if you don’t have coverage, you may end up with higher premiums after the fact. You can also be denied coverage due to being considered as a higher liability by various insurance companies.
Choosing the Best Car Insurance
As you decide which insurance company is best for you, do not skimp on the research. Read company reviews and talk to others about coverage options. Getting honest feedback is crucial in making your choice, so you do not end up with a policy that does not meet your needs. You also do not want to forget to cancel your existing policy if you switch before the existing policy officially ends.