Depending on which companies you consider, you will have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or to purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.
Let’s say you live in Florida and cause an accident that injures another person to the tune of $40,000. If you only have the state’s minimum bodily injury protection ($10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident), you’d be responsible for the remaining $30,000. But, if you had purchased more than Florida’s minimum — say $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident — you wouldn’t have to pay a single dime out of pocket.
It’s nearly impossible to predict the cost of insurance for anyone other than yourself. Premiums are based on factors specific to the driver, including age, vehicle, driving history, credit score, and even where you’ll be doing most of your driving. Every insurer weighs these factors differently, which means the only way to find the best price for your policy is to get quotes from multiple auto insurance companies.
Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Virginia drivers without a recent at-fault accident can save 33% on their car insurance premiums, on average — nearly matching the 32% US average. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.
We researched 36 of the best auto insurance providers based on their ability to serve customers and actually pay out claims; not just on premium cost. Of course, premiums matter, but since rates depend on many different factors — like your age, driving history, and even your ZIP code — the best way to find the most affordable price on the policy you want is to compare quotes. Use our quote tool above to get started.
All insurers base their rates on risk. We're talking car insurance, so the company is primarily trying to determine how likely you are to get into an accident. Obviously, if you have a poor driving record or you're on the road all the time, the odds are less in your favor. But statistics show women get into fewer accidents than men as do married individuals versus single ones. Younger drivers, conversely, get into more accidents than older drivers. All that data on your demo can influence what insurers charge.
At Erie Insurance, our classic car insurance takes this into consideration and values your car on a “stated amount” basis. That means we determine the value of your vehicle up front, before a loss happens. For vintage cars valued at $30,000 and up, our professional material damage appraiser will even inspect and value your vehicle. You’ll know ahead of time what your vehicle has been valued at so there are no surprises should a partial or total loss happen.
Another consideration when choosing between a large and small auto insurance company is availability, coverage options and discounts. While you’re likely to have a better experience with a small insurance company, it may not have the availability, benefits and discounts that large insurance companies do. For example, the major insurance companies in the U.S. often have representatives that are available 24/7. Additionally, small insurance companies don’t typically offer the long list of discounts and coverage options that national insurers, like Allstate and State Farm, offer. If around the clock availability or having discounts and coverage options are important to you, consider a large insurance company.
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There are many reasons you may be seeking the cheapest auto insurance option. Your household finances may be tighter than usual. Or maybe you don't drive a lot. Whatever the reason, a low-cost policy doesn't have to mean a no-frills experience with the insurance company. As you compare quotes from cheap car insurance companies, consider more than just price. Policies from leading carriers, such as Nationwide, may be exactly what you need. Here's what to look for:
At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in the Tennessee area, while also getting an insider view of the Volunteer State.
Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state, and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.