Shopping around for car insurance may not be fun, but it can save you a lot of money. Rates tend to go up year after year. But when you shop around, you may be able to find a better deal on coverage.
It seems silly to pay full price for auto insurance and hardly ever driving. In response to Coronavirus shutdowns, insurance companies are offering a variety of breaks for their customers. See details below.
Avoid overpaying by comparing quotes. Auto insurance companies look at similar factors, but each equation is a little different. Get your own unique quotes and compare rates based on you and your family’s needs. Like so many things in life, what’s best for another family isn’t necessarily the best deal for yours.
You could be getting a refund on your car insurance this month. Several car insurance companies have decided to pass savings of fewer car crashes on to their customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
As many are staying home to reduce the spread of the outbreak, there are fewer people on the roads, there have also been fewer crashes. Preliminary data in Austin says that crashes are down 20% since mandatory-stay-at-home orders were put in place. With fewer crashes, there are fewer expenses for the insurance companies.
Allstate CEO Tom Wilson told NPR News “It’s all about fairness.” Driving mileage is down overall by about 35 – 50% in all areas, not just those that have shelter-in-place orders.
If you are set to get a refund, there is likely no need to take any action at this time. The refund will come as a reduction in upcoming premium payments. As of April 9, 2020, these insurance companies are refunding a portion of premiums to their customers:
- Allstate: customers will see a 15% rebate on premiums for April and May.
- American Family Insurance: is going to provide a onetime, $50 payment for each vehicle insured under a personal auto insurance policy.
- Farmers: April premiums will be reduced by 25% for April premiums.
- Liberty Mutual: provides a 15 percent refund for two months of policyholders’ personal auto premiums.
- USAA: policyholders will receive a 20% credit on two months of insurance premiums.
Don’t see your insurer on the list? Give your insurance company a call. If you are having trouble paying the premium, the agent may be able to negotiate a deal on your behalf. Policyholders facing hardship may be eligible for assistance even if their insurer hasn’t adopted an across-the-board policy.
Insurance companies want to reduce the number of customers who cancel policies because of financial hardship. Policyholder retention is a priority, making insurers more flexible on rates and when they get paid than under normal circumstances.
Don’t let your insurance lapse. There’s a penalty for getting caught driving a vehicle without insurance. The offense could result in a fine, and additional offenses could result in a revoked license.
Those without insurance can be held liable financially for any auto crash in which they are at-fault. Normally where an insurance company would appoint an adjuster, the uninsured individual is all on their own to answer to the claims filed after a vehicular accident. Read more about what to do in a crash with an uninsured driver.
Find more information about car insurance
Getting Car Insurance Quotes
Factors such as:
- driving record,
- zip code,
- Marital status,
- and credit score
can all play a role in determining car insurance rates for you and your family. Each auto insurance company has their own “secret sauce” they use to land at a rate.
How to Open:
- Click on the link to open the document in Google Drive
- Go to File > Make a Copy to use in Google Drive OR if you aren’t logged in or don’t have an account you can
- Create a free Google Drive account, OR Download the document to use in software on your computer.
How to Use:
- Remove example values from the chart.
- Determine your coverage needs and add them to the chart.
- Get insurance quotes on vehicles in your household. Insert into the chart.
- Compare results.
How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes
It’s free to get quotes. Don’t ever expect to pay a fee just to get an estimate on car insurance. However, you will need to enter information about yourself, your preferred level of protection, and your vehicle to get an accurate estimate.
Gather Personal Information
Essential personal info to have ready includes your current address, date of birth, marital status, and driver’s license. You’ll also need all this information about everyone you wish to include on the policy. Nondriving factors, such as sex, occupation or credit score are banned in other states.
Have Vehicle information handy
Make and model are just the beginning when it comes to car insurance quotes. A few vehicle details that are important to know include mileage, date of purchase, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Perhaps one of the most common reasons to shop around for new car insurance is the passing of five years since an accident or ticket. All crashes stay on a driver’s record for five years following the crash. But once that time has elapsed, they can shop around for better rates on their coverage.
Driving history can play a big role in setting insurance rates. That’s why you’ll need to include any violations, claims, tickets, and defensive driving courses completed in the recent past.
Car Insurance Requirements in Texas
Texas requires drivers to carry Liability Insurance of at least $30,000 coverage for injuries per person, up to a total of at least $60,000 per crash, as well as at least $25,000 in property damage.
Insurance policies are sometimes communicated in a shorthand – this coverage can sometimes be called 30/60/25 coverage.
Keep in mind that if you cause a multi-vehicle crash, an injured person could sue and force you to pay out of pocket for their injuries. The minimum coverage may not be enough, but you can purchase more in your insurance plan.
Unlike many other states, Texas does not require drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage. Note that if you still owe money on your car, the lender will require collision and comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In Texas, it’s estimated that at least 1 in 5 vehicles doesn’t have car insurance. And then some insured vehicles could be driven by excluded drivers. If you or a loved one borrowing your vehicle gets hit by a negligent driver, carrying this coverage is an important step in protecting you and your loved ones. It’s so important, auto insurance companies are required to offer it.
Uninsured/Underinsured coverage pays if you’re in a hit-and-run accident, as well as if the at-fault driver doesn’t carry any insurance, or enough insurance to cover the cost of the damages. Crashes with uninsured/underinsured motorists can be devastating without protection. Consider adding this valuable resource when shopping for the best insurance rates.
Which Factors Play a Role in Determining Car Insurance Premiums?
Driving History and Auto Insurance Rates
A bad driving record can play a big role in determining your car insurance rates. A report by The Zebra analyzed over 61 million car insurance rates to analyze factors that affect pricing. They found that a single speeding ticket has been found to add an average of $341 to annual premiums. Because speeding tickets stay on a driver’s record for three years, that can mean and additional $1,023 for the driver pulled over for speeding.
More serious infractions incur more serious fines. The same research found that a DWI citation can add $1,086 to insurance premiums over time.
Different insurance companies will rate these infractions differently – if you have any marks on your driving history it’s even more important to shop around for the best auto insurance coverage for the money.
Think some of this information shouldn’t be considered in an auto insurance quote? You aren’t alone. “Nondriving” factors are taking heat in legislatures across the U.S. State lawmakers in Michigan passed an insurance law that prohibits the use of credit scores in determining car insurance premiums. New York barred the use of occupation and education level in setting premiums. And several states including California banned the driver’s sex in setting auto insurance rates. No major movements in the Texas Insurance committee, however change could come from Congress. Efforts have been made to ban the use of nondriving factors in setting auto insurance rates.
How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums
A few straightforward methods could save you money on car and truck insurance over the years.
- Purchase a policy in advance; saves an average of eleven percent
- Raise your deductible from $500 to $1000; saves an average of eleven percent
- Increase your credit score by one tier; can save as much as seventeen percent
This selection highlights just some of the ways consumers shopping for the best rates can reduce the amount paid into auto insurance every month.