Car Insurance

Best Car Insurance For Young Adults

Finding the best cheap car insurance for young adults under 25 can take time, but it is certainly a useful investment if you want to avoid overpaying for auto coverage each month. Because insurance rates for young drivers under the age of 25 can vary widely between car insurance companies, comparing quotes online can help new drivers get the cheapest policy and save thousands in premiums. Here are some of the best auto insurance companies for young drivers and tips on how to find the cheapest car insurance rates for your needs.

Best Car Insurance For Young Adults

Best Car Insurance Companies For Young Adults

Because young new drivers pay more for car insurance due to limited driving experience, it is important that young adult such as recent graduates, college students and teens look for the lowest rates. And the only way to know which insurance companies offer cheap rate quotes for young drivers is to actually complete a car insurance comparison.

Below, find the top 10 cheapest car insurance companies for young adults and drivers.

  • USAA
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Allstate
  • State Farm
  • Amica Mutual
  • Progressive
  • GEICO
  • American National
  • American Family

Please note that USAA is only open to active and retired members of the military and their families.

How To Get The Cheapest Car Insurance For Young Adults

Whether you’re adding a teenage driver to your family’s car insurance policy or are a young adult in your 20’s looking for affordable coverage, there are a number of steps you can take to get the cheapest car insurance rates for young drivers.

Here are some discounts you can ask for as well as tips to saving money on your premiums.

Combined Policies Save Money

While young adults and teen drivers can buy their own insurance policies, studies show that staying on a parents’ policy can save over $3,000 per year, on average. If you qualify, get covered under a single auto insurance policy and opt to pay your parents back for your portion of the premiums.

Driver’s Education Classes

Receiving a permit from a formal driver’s education course can help you obtain cheaper car insurance for your young driver. Most school districts offer at least a summer education course available to students. This concept is catching on by more schools around the country as a means of providing quality driver’s education and preparing students to become good drivers.

However, if your child’s school doesn’t provide a certified driver’s ed class, you may contact your insurance carrier to get information on credible and approved courses offered by private companies. Insurers may offer discounts of up to 10% for young drivers who complete an approved driver’s course.

The benefits of formal courses are that these programs stress the importance of road safety, awareness, and basic driving skills for young drivers. Students will also complete practice driving courses that will help with real world experience and improve hand-eye coordination. Studies conducted in 2015 show that these training programs decrease the likelihood of traffic tickets, collisions, and accident-related injury or death.

Ultimately, these formal classes are probably the best way for teenagers and new drivers to fully prepare for driving on the open road. In some states, like Texas and California, these classes will also aid young drivers in passing licensing exams.

Car Insurance Discounts

Just like taking a driver’s education course will help you lower your premiums, there are other ways to get cheap rates. Some insurers offer car insurance discounts for young adults who:

Get Good Grades

If you want the best car insurance rates for young drivers, make sure your college student or teen gets good grades in school. Students with a B or better average in school are, statistically, 35% less likely to have an auto accident within their first year of driving. Because of this decreased risk, insurance companies are willing to offer a “Good Student Discount” that ranges from 10% to 25% off regular rates.

Leave Their Car At Home

Many insurers provide young adult drivers a discount when they attend a college or university more than 100 miles away from home and decide to leave their car behind. While students are still fully covered when they drive their vehicles at home during summer and winter breaks, insurers offer discounts of up to 25% off due to decreased driving risk.

Sign A Driving Contract

Parents can find cheap insurance for young adults when they sign a driving contract that:

  • limits the number of passengers in their car.
  • promises to always wear a seat belt.
  • pledges to never text while driving.

The driving contract helps minimize distractions, peer pressure and liability risk.

Types of Insurance Coverage For Young Drivers

Chances are, unfortunately, your young driver is going to end up in at least one minor collision. Though choosing the right insurance policy is important for every driver, it is especially critical for parents wanting to protect their young adult drivers. You will have the option between just liability insurance and full coverage, and parents may really want to evaluate the pros and cons of each.

Liability Car Insurance Coverage

General liability car insurance for young adults will only provide coverage for damage the driver is responsible for causing. Then bodily injury liability pays the medical expenses of the driver and passengers that have been injured in the accident.

Depending on your specific situation, this may or may not be the best car insurance policy for your family. Obtaining cheap car insurance for a young adult driver may be the goal, but what if the coverage is just not enough? Huge out-of-pocket expenses could defeat the purpose of insurance coverage altogether. Therefore, if you are going to choose just liability protection, make sure you have more than your state’s minimum car insurance coverage.

Full Coverage Car Insurance

For young adults who get a new car when they pass their license exam, full coverage auto insurance is required. Most auto lenders will require both comprehensive and collision car insurance. Comprehensive auto insurance handles damage to the vehicle from weather or fire, and collision coverage only handles damages that occur during a wreck or car accident.

Remember, the probability of a car accident is significant with a young driver, so protecting yourself with a good insurance policy could just save you from financial ruin in the future. To make sure your young driver realizes the risks you, as parents, are taking, sit down and discuss the financial, legal, and other consequences of driving.

Get Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes

MyCarInsurance123 helps consumers find cheap car insurance quotes by offering a complete rate comparison tool from the best companies. By comparing quotes and companies online, we hope you find better coverage and lower premiums, resulting in the best car insurance for young drivers under the age of 25.

Find The Best Car Insurance

To get the best car insurance, you have to know your state minimums. Fortunately, when consumers buy protection online, companies automatically offer options that will fulfill your state’s requirements and laws, all the while giving you options for additional coverage in case you need to add comprehensive, full, roadside assistance, or uninsured motorist coverage. After you pick your policy, consumers can then compare prices and adjust coverage levels, remove unnecessary options, choose a payment plan, and apply for discounts, all to help you get the cheapest and best car insurance.

Get The Best Car Insurance – Factors That Affect Premiums

In order for you to find the best car insurance, consumers need to compare quotes and companies online. Below are some of the factors that will affect your auto insurance rates.

Gender

Car insurance companies ask you for your gender because, statistically speaking, gender plays a role in determining your risk. This risk is in reference to the statistical chances you will file a claim for an accident or damage. For example, males typically drive more and more often, are more aggressive or reckless on the road, and more likely to have accidents or get traffic tickets. This holds especially true for young teenage male drivers.

Age

The age of a driver relates to their experience on the road and how responsibly they drive. The younger, inexperienced drivers are deemed more of a risk, which is why young drivers or teenagers have the highest rates, while males and females between the ages of 30 and 50 have the cheapest, assuming they’ve maintained a clean driving history.

Driving History

A good, clean driving record is one of the most important factors companies take into consideration when calculating pricing. Drivers with a driving history where there is no record of accidents, tickets, moving violations, or claims will get the cheapest pricing.

Car Make and Model

The type of car you drive will also determine the premium rates you will pay. Carriers use actuarial tables to calculate car insurance quotes, and research shows that the type of car you drive correlates to the type of driver you are. If you drive a fast, high performance sports car, you are more likely to drive fast and be a risk. Furthermore, the type of car you drive also affects the amount your insurance claim could cost to repair damages. Sports, luxury, or expensive cars cost the most to insure.

Mileage/Commute

Driving more, more often, and putting miles on your vehicle increases the chances of a car accident. For this reason, insurers ask about your daily commute to work and how many miles you put on a car each year. However, companies do offer a “Low Mileage” Discount for drivers who don’t drive as much, helping you get discounts.

Type of Car Insurance

Most people already realize that the more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates, but it is also important to figure out what type of policy you are buying, and if it is the best for your needs.

Liability

Most state minimums require that drivers purchase liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum amounts of coverage are determined by which state you live in, but it is highly recommended that car owners never buy just the minimum. Any damage, expenses, repairs, medical bills, or litigation above and beyond the minimum coverage could result in out-of-pocket expenses, which could end up being financially devastating for families.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage against losses due to fire, theft or natural disasters. Depending on where you live and the likelihood of such damage, you may need to buy comprehensive protection; however, normally, it is not mandatory and not recommended since it is coverage you will likely never use or need.

Collision

Collision insurance pays for damages to your own car after an accident, regardless of fault, in case the other driver does not have a policy or enough coverage to pay for claims, damages, and repairs.

Optional Coverage

Do you need emergency roadside assistance in case you have a flat tire, your car breaks down or you have any problems on the road? Do you also want towing support as well? Unless you have an AAA membership, roadside assistance may be useful.

GAP

GAP car insurance is especially necessary when buying auto insurance for new vehicles. GAP coverage pays the difference between the loan amount on your new car and the car’s current market value. Because financing or lending companies and banks require GAP for a new car, it is important to compare rates on this type of coverage.

How To Compare Coverage

With these factors in mind, drivers can easily compare auto insurance quotes online. Comparison sites simply ask you to enter your zip code and provide you a list of the best car insurance companies in your state. Then it is up to you to pick which carrier you want to get quotes from. The best way to find cheap policies is to compare several different policies, types of protection, rates, coverage options, payment plans, and discounts offered. You can begin doing this by:

  • Choosing primary and secondary drivers for each car you own, selecting a type of car insurance coverage, and then looking at what the cost would be to cover that particular vehicle. For new cars, we recommend full car coverage with a $500 or $1,000 deductible, though the $1,000 deductible will get you the cheapest rates. For older cars with a salvage value under $3,000, experts recommend liability car insurance with a high deductible, possibly $1,000 or $1,500.
  • Choosing a deductible has a huge effect on your auto insurance rates. You will quickly notice that drivers get the lowest premiums when they choose higher deductibles. A deductible is the amount a policyholder will have to pay out of pocket before the car insurance company will pay out on a legitimate filed claim.
  • After getting your quote from one company, we suggest drivers get at least two more from different companies. How else will you know you are getting the best car insurance if you don’t know what other carriers are offering in terms of rates, discounts, and protection?
  • Once you have received multiple free quotes, you can then finally compare apples to apples. The idea is to compare the kinds of coverage you are buying against the prices of each company.
  • Discount car insurance – Do not forget to include the discounts you are getting, especially since providers offer “Multi-Policy” discounts when families buy more than one type of policy from the same carrier. For example, policyholders who purchase auto and home insurance or auto and life from the same company will save 15% on each policy.

Discounts

To help you get cheap car insurance, we have listed a few of the discounts you can apply or ask for when reviewing prices and deals.

New Car Safety Features

If your car has an alarm system, an anti-theft device or safety features such as anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger side air bags, and traction control, insurance companies will offer your cheaper rates.

Safe Neighborhoods and Low Crime

If you live in an environment that is safe and the vehicle is secure, especially at night, because it is parked in a garage, you will get discount car insurance.

Driver’s Education or Defensive Classes

Taking a safety driving course, driver’s education, or defensive driving classes will help you get lower rates.

Low-Mileage Discount

As we mentioned before, drivers who don’t drive far or often lower their risk of getting into a car accident.

“Good Student” Discount

If your teen, young, or student driver has the highest premiums in the family, students with good grades and at least a “B” average in school qualify for a “Good Student” Discount. Finding cheap car insurance for teenagers, young drivers, and students may be the most important way to save money since these drivers are usually the most expensive.

Credit Scores

A good or high credit score can be used to persuade your insurer that you are responsible and low risk.

Multiple Cars

Though one company may offer affordable pricing for one of your vehicles, you will receive a “Multi-Car” Discount when you cover multiple vehicles from one carrier. As we mentioned before, the same goes for buying multiple types of policies.

Compare Quotes

When you request free, instant car insurance quotes online, you are able to get access to the best companies offering the cheapest rates. You can then review comparisons from each carrier to find the best policy for you and your family. Just enter your zip code and see which carriers are looking to get new business in your state.

Because free car insurance quotes instantly provide you rate and coverage comparisons without dealing with agents, brokers, or customer representatives, online deals are easy and convenient. Start shopping around now and see how much you could be saving.

Car Insurance For College Students

Families looking for cheap car insurance for college students may not be shocked to learn that student drivers are considered the costliest and riskiest group to insure. Our study shows that the average cost of student car insurance for an 18 year old male buying the state minimum coverage on an independent plan is about $5,400 per year, or $450 per month.

Although differences in car insurance rates are based on many factors, there are several ways to find affordable car insurance for students. Below, we will discuss the factors and discounts affecting car insurance for college students, teenagers, and parents; after all, understanding how insurance companies calculate premiums is the first step to getting the best car insurance for students.

Car Insurance For College Students

Car Insurance Quotes For Students

The average cost of car insurance for students is extremely high. Fortunately, as students get older and gain more experience, rates get cheaper. This is demonstrated by the fact that car insurance for college students is cheaper than for teenagers. Furthermore, car insurance quotes become even cheaper after the age of 25.

Please keep in mind that your specific car insurance costs may be different depending on your driving history, policy coverage, the car you drive, and the discounts you are eligible for.

State
Average Driver's Premium
Student Driver's Premium
Alabama
$858
$4,692
Alaska
$1,248
$3,144
Arizona
$1,215
$4,468
Arkansas
$1,107
$6,792
California
$1,830
$6,177
Colorado
$1,512
$4,792
Connecticut
$1,842
$7,964
Delaware
$1,863
$8,716
Florida
$1,576
$4,278
Georgia
$1,662
$4,732
Hawaii
$864
$900
Idaho
$852
$3,309
Illinois
$1,320
$6,279
Indiana
$1,068
$3,330
Iowa
$795
$4,248
Kansas
$1,016
$4,680
Kentucky
$1,560
$9,807
Louisiana
$2,104
$11,176
Maine
$584
$3,188
Maryland
$1,440
$9,252
Massachusetts
$1,252
$4,076
Michigan
$2,766
$11,271
Minnesota
$975
$3,366
Mississippi
$1,284
$3,978
Missouri
$1,124
$3,784
Montana
$1,256
$4,656
Nebraska
$1,113
$3,927
Nevada
$1,848
$7,208
New Hampshire
$1,320
$4,335
New Jersey
$2,416
$9,048
New Mexico
$1,508
$5,504
New York
$1,812
$6,216
North Carolina
$822
$1,953
North Dakota
$1,396
$5,244
Ohio
$824
$3,352
Oklahoma
$1,908
$7,464
Oregon
$1,396
$5,024
Pennsylvania
$1,819
$10,208
Rhode Island
$2,051
$8,000
South Carolina
$768
$2,752
South Dakota
$1,002
$4,320
Tennessee
$1,244
$4,092
Texas
$1,230
$4,068
Utah
$1,041
$4,827
Vermont
$993
$3,432
Virginia
$1,074
$3,471
Washington
$1,328
$6,000
West Virginia
$1,420
$6,088
Wisconsin
$1,545
$7,227
Wyoming
$940
$3,738

Factors That Affect The Cost of Auto Insurance

Auto insurance companies invest a great deal of time in perfecting how they calculate risk, using statistics to estimate the probability of a car accident and the potential pay out for repairs, expenses, and medical bills. So what factors affect a college student’s car insurance rates?

When a student is added to a car insurance policy, their rates are based on the latest statistics on teenage car accidents, claims, payouts and costs. The gender of the student is also an important consideration, such that young male drivers tend to be riskier and more prone to speeding and reckless driving than young female drivers. Because of this, in the state of California, rates for 19 year old males average 14% higher than rates for 19 year old females.

Another factor in the risk calculations is the type of car, make and model the student will be driving. For example, insurance prices on a Honda or Toyota are generally lower than policies for high-performance sports cars such as Mustangs and Camaros. Even more, a luxury sports car such as a BMW or Mercedes is going to be doubly more expensive to insure than an older, cheaper car. To keep your premiums low, families should only provide their teenage kids or college students with older used vehicles.

Nevertheless, be sure these used cars have strong safety ratings and the appropriate safety equipment, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, an alarm system, etc.

How To Get The Cheapest Student Car Insurance

Finding cheaper car insurance depends on who and what is being insured. Compare car insurance rates with two college students who are the same sex and age and you will receive very different quotes. Teenagers are scrutinized very closely by insurers.

When a 16 year old obeys the law, has no accidents or claims and maintains a clean driving history, their car insurance rates will become cheaper as they get older. The decrease might not be dramatic, but if the same age teen does have violations, traffic tickets, accidents or claims, their auto insurance quotes will increase.

Typically, car insurance becomes a lot cheaper when a driver turns 25. Until then, here are some tips to get the cheapest car insurance rates for college students.

Should A College Student Buy His Own Policy?

In some states, a teen cannot have a policy in his or her name until they are 18 years old. Even though adding a student driver can increase your premiums, it is still best to keep the student under the parents’ policy.

If another vehicle is being added to the policy at the same time as the student, the multi-car discount should lower your rates. Just remember to always insure your student under the cheapest vehicle. Generally, it is best to insure a teen under a parents’ policy.

Car Insurance Discounts for Students

Each auto insurer offers a different set of car insurance discounts for college students, so it is best that you ask a representative about discounts your teenager may qualify for. However, some of the most basic discounts for college students include:

Good Student Discount

Auto insurance companies will usually offer discounts for full-time students with good grades. Specific requirements and the amount of the discount may differ from company to company, but you should expect at least 15% off at least.

For example, State Farm will lower your premium by 25% off for qualifying students; Allstate provides a 20% discount; and GEICO can reduce your rate by up to 15%. Your insurer may require that you send a copy of your student’s report card for verification.

Young Driver Education Programs

If your insurer also has an education program for young drivers, your college student may be eligible for an additional discount. For instance, Allstate provides a 10% discount when your teen graduates their teenSMART education program.

Don’t Buy Your College Student A New Car

Many parents want to buy their college student a new car as a high school graduation present, but there are reasons to consider the cost of car insurance before doing so. New cars that are leased or financed by a lender or bank will require full coverage – a more expensive type of car insurance coverage compared to liability-only policies. A basic car insurance comparison for college student drivers will show a huge difference in the cost of premiums.

Ultimately, a new car might be better as a college graduation present when he/she needs a reliable vehicle to commute to work. In the meantime, you will have saved thousands on your insurance premiums.

What Types of Vehicles Are Best For College Students?

Even though it is better to have an inexpensive car for insurance purposes, a teen driver also needs a safe vehicle. One of the factors to consider is which vehicles have high safety ratings and do well in crash tests. These ratings usually indicate a strong build as well as a number of safety features that come standard. Crash test results are published on a yearly basis, as are the vehicles that cost the least to insure. Finding one that fits into both categories is ideal.

Are Other Drivers Covered When A Teen Loans A Car To Friends?

Rather than give a comment as to how this varies from state to state, the best way to determine the answer is to ask your auto insurance company. Most insurance companies cover other drivers if the vehicle owner gives permission for that driver to use the car.

If you’re comparing car insurance rates for students, this question should be asked because it could affect your premium. Most young drivers have situations where someone else needs to drive their car on a limited-time basis. It is best to ask the auto insurance company before an auto accident requires you to submit a claim and seek damages and repairs.

Car Insurance After An Accident – How to Lower Your Rates

Getting cheap car insurance after an accident can be a challenge, especially if your insurer doesn’t offer “Accident Forgiveness”. If you’re worried about an insurance increase after a car accident, there are a few ways to lower your rates afterwards. Furthermore, we will discuss what you need to do once you’ve been in a car crash to continue getting the best car insurance rates.

Car Insurance After An Accident

Car Insurance Rates After An Accident

If you’re wondering how much does car insurance go up after an accident and are worried your premiums may double or triple, it’s not as bad as you think. On average, the best insurance companies will raise your rates by 10% to 30% after one accident.

Premiums only start getting really expensive after two accidents such that you can expect a 50% to 150% increase in your rate. Nevertheless, keep in mind that rate increases vary between insurers so you may want to consider a car insurance comparison after an accident just to see what other companies are charging.

Getting The Cheapest Car Insurance After A Car Accident

If your premiums increased more than expected after an accident and you need more affordable coverage, here’s how to get lower car insurance rates immediately.

Increase Your Deductible

By increasing your deductible – the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers damages – you may be able to reduce your car insurance costs by 10% to 50%. For example, an increase in your deductible from $250 to $500 can save you between 15% and 30%, while an increase to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40% or more. Again, the exact deduction is dependent on your insurer, but the concept is universal for all companies.

Ask About Accident Forgiveness

The insurance industry estimates that the average driver will file a car accident claim about once every 18 years. Because some carriers understand that one accident every couple of decades still means you’re a good driver who deserves a low rate, companies are now willing to ignore your first accident and not raise your premiums.

However, the details vary by insurer. For example, some companies may offer immediate accident forgiveness, and others may do so after you’ve been accident-free for three to five years. During this time period, you will likely need to have no moving violations either. Ask your agent or representative to confirm the details for you.

Take Advantage of More Discounts

If you haven’t spent the time to research car insurance discounts, you may need to start. If applicable, make sure you are getting the following rate discounts:

  • Loyalty
  • “Green” Vehicle
  • Good Student
  • Multiple Policies and/or Vehicles
  • Low Mileage
  • Military Service

Discount car insurance is the fastest and easiest way to save on premiums.

Shop Around For A New Insurance Company

While leaving your existing car insurance company may void your loyalty discount, a new insurer may be offering cheaper rates anyway. Due to the competitiveness of the industry and the difference in premiums between companies, you may find another insurer is still willing to give you cheap insurance rates after an accident. Just remember that price shouldn’t be the only factor when choosing a company.

If you’re ready to compare quotes to find the best car insurance rates, just enter your zip code in our comparison tool and choose a company to get pricing.

What To Do After An Accident

Although we’ve discussed what to do after an accident before, the steps you take after a crash are so crucial, they are worth reviewing again. If you want to reduce the chances of an insurance increase after an accident, follow these steps, especially in an at-fault incident.

Step 1: Assess the Physical Damage

The first thing you need to do after a car accident is find out if anyone is hurt. If you are hurt, you need to determine the extent of your own injuries first. If you are badly hurt, stay put and don’t try to move too much. If you are alone, only reach for your cell phone to call 911, if possible. Then, wait for the ambulance to arrive.

If other passengers are in your vehicle at the time of the car accident, ask everyone if they are hurt, and if no one reports injuries, call the police immediately. The police need to get there as soon as they can to make sure that the other motorist involved in the car accident does not leave the scene of the accident. The police also need to determine who was at fault.

So, the first thing on your list of what to do after you’ve been in a car accident is assess the physical damage to yourself and your passengers; and then call the appropriate authorities to get medical help or police protection.

Step 2: Do Not Talk to the Other Motorist About the Accident

The second most important, but often neglected, part is to not talk to the other motorists involved beyond asking if anyone is hurt. If someone in their car is injured, by all means, help them call an ambulance and get emergency medical help. However, after you determine the extent of the other motorist’s physical injuries, walk away from the motorist and wait for the police to get there.

Do not discuss any of the facts relating to the car accident at all. Do not admit fault, liability or any wrongdoing. Don’t say anything to the other motorist except “Let’s wait for the police to get here to talk about this.” Then find a safe place to stand or sit until the police arrive.

Step 3: File An Official Accident Report

Once the police arrive on the scene, answer their questions but do not volunteer more information than you have to. Again, do not admit any wrongdoing or fault. What might seem to be an honest admission at the time could actually be a distorted account brought on by fear and anxiety. Simply tell the police what happened and let them decide who is at fault.

If you disagree, you can speak to the attorney your car insurance company retains; but for now, just focus on giving an honest account of what happened and getting an official copy of the police report before the cops leave the scene.

Step 4: Get the Other Driver’s Personal and Insurance Information

Your car insurance company depends on you to bring the police report and names, addresses, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate and telephone numbers of all other motorists involved in the accident. Providing this information upfront will expedite your claim and payout.

Step 5: Call Your Car Insurance Company or Agent

Call your insurer or agent as soon as you can after the collision. If your company employs on-call representatives, an adjuster may arrive at the scene of the accident. Having a trained professional protect your interests can be a huge advantage. Beyond that, your insurance company can start assessing the damages and processing your claim as soon as possible.

Final Word

If you are involved in a car crash, follow these guidelines to protect yourself and avoid a huge increase in premiums. If your car insurance rates go up too much after an accident, explore the option of switching companies. Life is too short and precious to stay with an insurance company that won’t take care of you after you’ve been involved in an automobile accident.

Car Insurance Discounts

As really cheap car insurance rates become harder to find, consumers must learn to qualify for and get all the auto insurance discounts they are eligible for. If you haven’t reviewed your policy in a while or completed a car insurance comparison with free online quotes, then you may be missing out on some discounts that can lower your premiums.

Fortunately for you, car insurance companies are constantly undercutting each other’s prices with a variety of new discounts. In light of this, MyCarInsurance123.com has compiled a list of car insurance discounts from State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Farmers and Nationwide to help you get a cheap policy.

Car Insurance Discounts

Car Insurance Discounts Comparison

After reviewing this list, you may realize that there are some car insurance discounts you aren’t taking advantage of. If you’re unhappy with your current company or want to lower your rates, maybe it’s time to start shopping around. Just enter your zip code above, choose a company, and start a car insurance quote online. At the very worst, you can use the free quotes from different companies to negotiate with your existing carrier and lower your payments.

 StateFarmGEICOAllstateProgressiveFarmersNationwide
Multiple Policies
For bundling car insurance with other policies, such as life and home insurance.
Multiple Vehicles
For insuring more than one vehicle.
Loyalty
For being a loyal customer with a company for a certain period of time.
Anti-Theft
For anti-theft devices such as alarm systems.
Passive Restraints
For safety features such as air bags and seat belts.
"Green" Vehicle
For hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles.
New Vehicles
For new cars equipped with the latest safety technology.
Safe Driver
For a clean, accident-free driving record.
Defensive Driver
For taking a defensive driving course.
Good Student
For young drivers earning good grades.
Low Mileage
For driving less than the average American.
Military Service
For members of the United States Armed Forces.
Association/Affinity
For belonging to a certain group, occupation, university, company, credit union, etc.
Full Payment
Anti-Lock Brakes
Paperless Billing
Auto-Payments
Daytime Lights

You will quickly notice that the most popular discounts on car insurance are:

  • Multiple policies (bundling)
  • Multi-vehicle
  • Safe driver
  • Defensive driver
  • Good student
  • Anti-theft
  • Automatic payments

How To Get Discount Car Insurance

With the amount of competition and transparency in the insurance industry, it shouldn’t be difficult for consumers to get discount auto insurance. However, qualifying for multiple discounts from your company doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting the cheapest car insurance.

If an insurer starts out with expensive premiums and discounts your rate, you may still be paying more than another company’s starting price. This is why it is always important to compare car insurance quotes once a year and make sure you are consistently getting the lowest rates in the market.

Whatever your situation, the following strategies will provide you ways to lower your car insurance rates and get a discounted policy.

Increase Your Deductible

Increasing the deductible on your car insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year in premiums. In fact, by increasing your car insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000, you can cut annual premiums by as much as 20 percent.

Multi-Policy and Multi-Car Discounts

All car insurance companies offer multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts for individuals who have more than one vehicle or policy insured with the company. This auto insurance discount extends to customers who buy home or life insurance from a single carrier. How much you save depends on your state and insurer, but both types of policies will get discounted.

Safety Device Discount

Every company recognizes and appreciates drivers who are safety conscious. When it comes to getting affordable car insurance, buying a vehicle with safety devices such as anti-lock brakes, anti-theft or alarm systems, electronic stability control, traction control systems, rear parking sensors, GPS, and air bags will get you the cheapest car insurance quotes. With new car purchases, be sure to mention these safety features to your insurer and save up to 33 percent with discount car insurance.

Student Drivers – Good Grades

Most of the best car insurance companies offer what is known as the “Good Student Discount”, which provides lower rates for full-time high school, college, or university students under the age of 25 who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or minimum “B” average. With the good student driver discount, you can save up to 10 percent on liability, collision, and medical payments coverages.

Defensive Driving Classes

Commonly referred to as the “Defensive Driver Discount”, this perk applies to older drivers age 50 and up who complete a defensive driving course approved by their state’s DMV. This discount can save you up to 10 percent on select coverages, which vary by state. Often, the safety class is good for 3 years before you have to retake it.

Payment Methods – Pay Annual Premiums

If you are financially able, then by all means, pay your car insurance premiums upfront and in full. Instead of making monthly car insurance payments, a paid-in-full discount can save you up to 10 percent on your annual premiums.

Car insurance companies also offer a discount for drivers who pay their premiums electronically or have their payment debited from a checking account, so consider that option if you are eligible.

Claim-Free Discount – A Clean Driving Record

Drivers with near perfect or clean driving records often have a better chance of buying the cheapest car insurance. By maintaining a clean record devoid of accidents, speeding tickets, or traffic violations, companies can be confident that insuring you won’t result in a claim. A claim-free discount can save you up to 25 percent.

Maintain A Good Credit Score

Individuals with good credit find cheaper auto insurance quotes. Many of the top companies have found a strong relationship between a good credit history and a general sense of responsibility and discipline. Ultimately, insurers believe a high credit score is an indication of a low-risk policyholder.

Car Storage – Use A Garage

Simply obtaining a lease on a garage (or building one at home) and letting your company know that your car is parked there can result in discount car insurance. A garage reduces the risk of weather damage and theft, especially in urban areas with moderate to high crime rates.

Low Mileage Discounts

If you don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel, then maybe it’s time to consider applying for a “Low-Mileage Discount” for infrequent drivers. If you are retired, a senior citizen, or regularly use public transportation, you may qualify. Low mileage discounts typically apply to drivers who commute less than 6,000 miles a year, saving them up to 15 percent with some car insurance companies.

Get Discounts on Car Insurance

If you think you qualify for a specific discount but your agent or company hasn’t offered it to you, be sure to give them a call and remind them. Following the tips above will ensure drivers get as many discounts on their car insurance as possible.

To test our car insurance tips, we encourage you to get free car insurance quotes from the best companies in the country. By comparing rates, policies, and carriers, we ensure our users find the best, cheap auto insurance available in the market. Enter your zip code to begin a car insurance quote now.

What To Do After A Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and challenging experience. After overcoming the initial emotional and physical damage or trauma, you may still be worried financially. Because of the legal and financial repercussions, some drivers may be confused about what to do after a car accident.

Because of the risks associated with an auto accident, it is extremely important to know what strategic steps to take to ensure that the situation, claim, and finances are handled properly and with the best possible outcome for you. Below, you will learn what to do if you get in a minor or major car accident, how to handle police officers, your auto insurance company and claim’s adjuster, and what to do and when to protect your rights.

What To Do After A Car Accident

Stop and Stay At The Scene

Never drive away or leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one. Doing so can become a case of a hit-and-run and you can face serious criminal charges.

Don’t Take The Blame From The Start

Even if you rear-end a parked car, don’t accept blame and offer to pay for anything. Let the police do their job, investigate the accident, and come to their own conclusion. If you are at fault, they will let you know; otherwise, don’t volunteer yourself and bias their decision.

Be Calm

A car accident is an unnerving experience that can cause a person to act irrationally, and say or do things that might hurt their claim later. Remember that accidents happen. Even if the accident was your fault, breaking down, crying, complaining, and/or yelling will not help the situation.

Unless your car has burst into flames, which almost never happens, take a moment and compose yourself before you approach the other party. Anything you say or do afterwards can have legal consequences when you are filing your claim, dealing with your auto insurance company, or in more extreme cases, litigation.

Aid Injured Individuals and Call For Medical Attention

If the accident is serious enough to cause injuries, help the injured parties get medical attention. If you are the injured party, try to assess the injury before moving, as this may cause further injury. If someone else is hurt, calm them down, call an ambulance (if needed), and make sure to keep them immobile until the paramedics arrive.

This could help minimize medical costs associated with the accident, and prevent someone else from finding you liable for additional injuries sustained after the accident. Remember that doing too much can make you susceptible to litigation in the future as well.

Get Out of The Way of Oncoming Traffic

If there were no serious injuries and the vehicles involved are still operable, move them off the road when reasonable to do so. Getting off the road will allow other drivers to get where they need to be, and provide more space for the police and injured parties to be taken care of.

Call The Police

Even if the accident was minor, or you were the at-fault party, call the police and make sure a police report is filed. This helps create a third-party record of events, which can facilitate your claims process later. In the unfortunate situation that the case must go to court or the other party decides to misrepresent or dispute the facts, a police report of the accident can serve as a credible account.

Before the police leave, get the following information from the police officer on the scene:

  • Name
  • Badge or ID Number
  • Police Report Number
  • Phone Number

If you are at-fault, do not admit guilt or claim that you are responsible. Simply offer the facts and let the officer make a judgement call. Again, this is a situation where the things you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.

Take Information and Photos For Evidence

Get the names, addresses, telephone numbers, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers and basic car insurance information from all drivers and passengers involved. Take notes about the accident, and if you’re not at-fault, try to get witness accounts or testimony of what happened. Again, do not intentionally or unintentionally admit guilt, even if a driver, passenger or witness becomes confrontational.

In addition, take pictures of the damage or lack thereof to the vehicles and any property involved. If you or any of the other drivers and passengers are injured, try to take pictures of their injuries as well. Everyone has a camera on their smartphone these days, so take dozens of pictures from every angle so your claims can not be disputed or denied.

However, do not interfere with the on-going police investigation.

Call Your Insurance Company To Report The Incident

You must notify your insurance company as soon as possible, especially since many car insurance policies require policyholders to immediately report any accidents. Your insurance adjuster may even be able to assess the damage at the scene of the accident to avoid having other parties exaggerate claims later on.

Otherwise, be sure to cooperate with your carrier and be as forthcoming and truthful as possible regarding the facts of the incident and the extent of your injuries. Explain everything clearly to avoid denial of coverage.

Create and Keep A File

When dealing with a car accident and the aftermath of paperwork and documentation, it is critical you stay organized. When creating a file, you should keep track of your claim number, claim’s adjuster, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for expenses, medical bills and doctor’s visits, cost of repairs done at body shops, and important conversations with anyone involved in the process.

Do Not Offer Cash

Do not avoid getting your insurance company or law enforcement involved by offering the other driver and/or passengers cash to settle any damages. Sometimes we get fearful of our car insurance rates increasing, and we try to avoid the insurance company’s involvement.

This is one of the worst mistakes you can make, because there will be no proof of a cash transaction and the other driver may still decide to come after you for damages. If you are a safe, responsible driver with a clean driving history, your car insurance company will not let a small claim affect your premiums.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

A few months after a car accident, one step most drivers forget to take is to re-evaluate their car insurance coverage and company. If your carrier didn’t handle your case to your satisfaction, you should be shopping around to compare policies, companies and online quotes. Find out if you currently have the best and cheapest car insurance available, but focus on the best companies with high customer satisfaction ratings.

High Risk Auto Insurance

If you are a driver with a bad driving record, such as involvement in accidents, speeding violations, DUIs, DWIs, or damage to property, you may need to buy high risk car insurance. If auto insurance companies label you “high risk”, be prepared to lose any safe driver discounts and for your car insurance rates to increase. However, by comparing high risk auto insurance quotes online, you can still find good coverage at affordable rates.

Best High Risk Auto Insurance Companies

Some insurance companies specialize in offering affordable car insurance for high risk drivers. In the chart below, we compare the best high risk auto insurance companies (GEICO, Allstate, Nationwide, and MetLife) to find the cheapest rates by category.

High Risk Auto Insurance Companies

On average, GEICO is the cheapest high risk auto insurance company. Nonetheless, Allstate is a close second, and was even cheaper in the “DUI and Accident” category, averaging $2,300 per year versus GEICO’s $2,500. Otherwise, Nationwide and MetLife were consistently more expensive. If you’re looking for cheap high risk auto insurance, the best company seems to be GEICO or Allstate.

Note: this information was collected using a limited sample size, and the results of this study may not accurately reflect the cost of car insurance for you. Your high risk premiums will depend on your state of residence, age, gender, driving history, make and model vehicle, as well as other factors. As always, it is important that consumers compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies before buying coverage.

Cost of High Risk Auto Insurance

Below, we compared the cost of high risk auto insurance by state. You will find that high risk auto insurance rates are different depending on the state you live in and the type of violation you commit. Moving violations such as speeding tickets will affect your premiums, but not nearly as much as a DUI or accident. However, the highest premiums are reserved for inexperienced, young drivers because this risk category is the costliest for insurance companies to insure.

State
Average
Speeding
DUI & Accident
Young Driver
Alabama
$858
$1,295
$2,565
$4,695
Alaska
$1,248
$1,370
$2,600
$3,145
Arizona
$1,215
$1,610
$3,514
$4,470
Arkansas
$1,107
$1,165
$2,970
$6,800
California
$1,830
$3,060
$7,796
$6,170
Colorado
$1,512
$1,909
$3,0601
$4,800
Connecticut
$1,842
$2,140
$6,710
$7,971
Delaware
$1,863
$3,450
$6,150
$8,721
Florida
$1,576
$2,425
$3,384
$4,278
Georgia
$1,662
$2,136
$3,246
$4,732
Hawaii
$864
$1,092
$3,186
$900
Idaho
$852
$1,038
$1,568
$3,309
Illinois
$1,320
$2,784
$2,004
$6,279
Indiana
$1,068
$1,135
$1,584
$3,330
Iowa
$795
$1,446
$1,608
$4,248
Kansas
$1,016
$1,188
$3,780
$4,680
Kentucky
$1,560
$2,860
$4,084
$9,807
Louisiana
$2,104
$3,588
$5,934
$11,176
Maine
$584
$828
$1,692
$3,188
Maryland
$1,440
$2,193
$3,561
$9,252
Massachusetts
$1,252
$1,736
$3,606
$4,076
Michigan
$2,766
$4,092
$6,032
$11,271
Minnesota
$975
$1,568
$1,851
$3,366
Mississippi
$1,284
$1,326
$2,100
$3,978
Missouri
$1,124
$1,260
$1,708
$3,784
Montana
$1,256
$1,428
$1,952
$4,656
Nebraska
$1,113
$1,020
$2,382
$3,927
Nevada
$1,848
$2,252
$3,380
$7,208
New Hampshire
$1,320
$1,760
$2,020
$4,335
New Jersey
$2,416
$4,452
$6,576
$9,048
New Mexico
$1,508
$1,532
$3,744
$5,504
New York
$1,812
$2,544
$5,532
$6,216
North Carolina
$822
$1,260
$2,703
$1,953
North Dakota
$1,396
$1,856
$3,360
$5,244
Ohio
$824
$856
$1,848
$3,352
Oklahoma
$1,908
$2,120
$3,876
$7,464
Oregon
$1,396
$2,133
$1,380
$5,024
Pennsylvania
$1,819
$2,028
$3,436
$10,208
Rhode Island
$2,051
$2,190
$3,492
$8,000
South Carolina
$768
$816
$1,704
$2,752
South Dakota
$1,002
$1,122
$1,842
$4,320
Tennessee
$1,244
$1,304
$3,988
$4,092
Texas
$1,230
$1,242
$2,298
$4,068
Utah
$1,041
$1,056
$2,607
$4,827
Vermont
$993
$1,060
$1,764
$3,432
Virginia
$1,074
$1,161
$2,460
$3,471
Washington
$1,328
$916
$2,120
$6,000
West Virginia
$1,420
$1,568
$2,952
$6,088
Wisconsin
$1,545
$2,064
$3,600
$7,227
Wyoming
$940
$966
$2,016
$3,738

How To Get Cheap High Risk Auto Insurance

Although car insurance comparisons can help you save money on car insurance, there are proactive steps you can take to cut the cost of car insurance.

Discounts

While car insurance quotes can help drivers compare the rates of different companies, online comparisons may not always take advantage of all the discounts for which a driver is eligible. The best car insurance companies offer discounts for multiple policies, multiple cars, customer loyalty, good drivers, good students, and low mileage.

To save money with cheap high risk auto insurance, drivers should get online quotes and then call the insurance company to ask about additional discounts. Often, a driver is eligible to take advantage of more than one discount which can save hundreds of dollars on rates. Potential policyholders can even use auto insurance quotes from other companies to negotiate with sales representatives.

Defensive Driving

Companies offer up to a 10% discount for 3 years to drivers who successfully complete a defensive driving course. All drivers, regardless of age or driving record, are eligible for this driver’s education discount. Classes are available online or in classrooms, take about 8 hours to complete and cost between $30 and $50. If a driver completes a class every 3 years, the discount will continue to be in effect and likely save them at least $100 per year.

Check Your Driving Record

Being labeled a “high risk driver” isn’t a lifetime problem. Depending on your state’s laws, accidents, traffic citations and DUIs remain on a driver’s record for up to 7 years, and in many cases, speeding tickets and traffic citations are dropped after 3 years.

If you believe a past accident or citation is preventing you from getting cheap car insurance, you may want to request a copy of your driving record. Sometimes the DMV fails to expunge citations or accidents from a driving record and, occasionally, the records may be incorrect, especially if you’ve completed a defensive driving program to avoid a ticket affecting your premiums. Drivers can contact the DMV to remove errors from their driving history.

High Risk Auto Insurance Quotes

Auto insurance for high risk drivers doesn’t have to be expensive or overpriced. If you’re looking to compare high risk auto insurance quotes, just enter your zip code and choose a company to get a free and instant quote. Even if you are happy with your current company or premium, guarantee yourself peace of mind that you are getting the best car insurance rates and compare quotes from a few of the top companies.

State Minimum Car Insurance

Minimum car insurance requirements vary between different states, with each state requiring different levels of mandatory insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage protection. You should keep in mind that these figures are only minimums; you may need to buy more car insurance coverage depending on your specific needs and financial situation. However, the amount of car insurance you buy will affect the premiums you pay, so over-insuring may be just as bad as under-insuring yourself and family.

State Minimum Car Insurance

State minimum car insurance is comprised of 3 coverage limits – bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. Find your state’s minimum car insurance requirements below, and then learn more about car insurance rates by state.

State
Bodily Injury (Person)
Bodily Injury (Accident)
Property Damage
Alabama
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Alaska
$50,000
$100,000
$25,000
Arizona
$15,000
$30,000
$10,000
Arkansas
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
California
$15,000
$30,000
$5,000
Colorado
$25,000
$50,000
$15,000
Connecticut
$20,000
$40,000
$10,000
Delaware
$15,000
$30,000
$10,000
District of Columbia
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Florida
$10,000
$20,000
$10,000
Georgia
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Hawaii
$20,000
$40,000
$10,000
Idaho
$25,000
$50,000
$15,000
Illinois
$20,000
$40,000
$15,000
Indiana
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Iowa
$20,000
$40,000
$15,000
Kansas
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Kentucky
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Louisiana
$15,000
$30,000
$10,000
Maine
$15,000
$30,000
$10,000
Maryland
$30,000
$60,000
$15,000
Massachusetts
$30,000
$60,000
$15,000
Michigan
$20,000
$40,000
$10,000
Minnesota
$20,000
$40,000
$10,000
Mississippi
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Missouri
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Montana
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Nebraska
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Nevada
$15,000
$30,000
$10,000
New Hampshire
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
New Jersey
$15,000
$30,000
$5,000
New Mexico
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
New York
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
North Carolina
$30,000
$60,000
$25,000
North Dakota
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Ohio
$12,500
$25,000
$7,500
Oklahoma
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Oregon
$25,000
$50,000
$20,000
Pennsylvania
$15,000
$30,000
$5,000
Rhode Island
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
South Carolina
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
South Dakota
$25,000
$50,000
$25,000
Tennessee
$25,000
$50,000
$15,000
Texas
$30,000
$60,000
$25,000
Utah
$25,000
$65,000
$15,000
Vermont
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Virginia
$25,000
$50,000
$20,000
Washington
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
West Virginia
$20,000
$40,000
$10,000
Wisconsin
$25,000
$50,000
$10,000
Wyoming
$25,000
$50,000
$20,000

How To Compare Car Insurance Rates

Every driver has to have car insurance and no one likes paying more to insurance companies than they must, especially when you can find cheap quotes online. Drivers can find the best and cheapest car insurance if they take a few minutes to compare rates from different carriers. Online comparisons offer consumers the ability to get multiple quotes from companies and review policies, coverage options, and deductibles.

By evaluating policies side by side, you are certain to find the provider most willing to offer the best coverage and lowest premiums. Below, savvy shoppers will learn how to compare car insurance rates and the important factors to keep in mind when shopping around.

Compare Car Insurance Rates

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Before you can effectively compare policies, deductibles, companies, and quotes, you must first research the types of car insurance coverage available. There are 3 main kinds of policies and add-ons: liability, collision, and comprehensive.

Liability Car Insurance

If an insured driver is at fault for an accident, liability covers claims and damages to the other car(s) as well as injuries to passengers, up to the limits of the auto policy minus your deductible. Your insurance company also provides legal counsel to defend you if a lawsuit is filed.

When you compare premiums to the cost of defending a lawsuit and paying damages, repairs, and medical bills out-of-pocket, you will see that liability coverage is really a bargain compared to the liability you may have if you are uninsured in an at-fault car accident. Even if a driver is not at fault for an accident, he/she may be named in a lawsuit and need an attorney to defend the claim.

Every state except Florida requires that drivers carry liability insurance, although each state maintains different mandatory minimum limits. Florida does not require liability coverage, but drivers should purchase the policy option for their own protection.

When drivers get quotes, they will find that there can be a substantial difference in the cost of liability car insurance between companies – some specialize in providing liability options and therefore offer the cheapest rates, while others are more geared towards servicing “high risk” drivers and purposefully give you higher premiums to keep you away.

Frankly, it all comes down to each company’s statistical analysis of your risk profile and how likely you are to file a claim that requires a payout. This is why the best way to find cheap car insurance is by literally comparing as many quotes as possible to find the lowest prices.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is not mandated by law, but it may be required as a condition of an auto loan from a bank or lender. Collision insurance pays for damages to your car caused in an accident. This type of policy usually has a deductible, which is the amount that you must pay for repairs before your insurance company makes any payments on your claim.

When drivers compare car insurance rates, they may want to consider a deductible of $1,000 instead of the more common $500 deductible because premiums are lower when deductibles increase. This is especially effective for vehicles that are old and have a cash value less than $3,000 to $5,000. What you save in premiums can be used to buy a new car should yours be totaled in an accident.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance covers damages to your insured vehicle that were not caused in an auto accident. Comprehensive coverage includes damage from flood, hail, fire or arson, and natural disasters. Like collision, comprehensive has a deductible, and may be required as a condition of a car loan from a lender.

When drivers get rate quotes for collision and comprehensive insurance, they will usually find collision has higher premiums. However, if you compare rates for comprehensive coverage in different areas, urban drivers usually pay the highest rates. Unless required, most drivers do not need to buy comprehensive coverage.

When To Buy Collision and Comprehensive

Since collision and comprehensive coverage can be expensive, only drivers who need full coverage car insurance should buy these policy options. As a rule, anyone with a car loan should have full coverage since it helps cover the cost of the loan if the car is damaged beyond repair (totaled) before you finish full repayment of your loan. It also makes sense to carry full coverage on cars with high book values, since replacing a totaled car may not be affordable for most families.

If you have an older car with a low trade-in value, you should compare premiums with and without these coverages before deciding whether to buy full protection or not. If you really want or need full coverage, buy collision and comprehensive insurance with high deductibles to offset the costs.

GAP Insurance

Any driver with a car loan should carry GAP insurance. Since cars depreciate rapidly and you may be repaying an auto loan for up to 5 years, drivers sometimes owe more on their loan than the car’s book value. GAP pays for the difference between the amount of the loan and the book value of the car (the maximum amount collision or comprehensive pays).

Basically, whatever your car insurance company will not payout in a claim through liability, collision or comprehensive coverage, GAP will cover. Drivers will find that GAP insurance is very affordable and useful, and insures that drivers will not be making payments on cars they can no longer drive.

Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Some states require that drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, also known as UIM, protects you and your passengers if anyone is injured as a result of an uninsured driver’s negligence. In most states, uninsured motorist coverage also provides extra liability protection when an at-fault driver does not have enough liability insurance to pay the costs of the claims (repairs, medical bills, property damage, etc.) arising from an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

Even though liability insurance is mandatory in most states, there are still drivers who do not have any coverage at all. UM property damage coverage pays for damages to your car caused by an uninsured driver. While collision coverage has a $500 deductible, the deductible for uninsured motorist property damage is only $100. UM is cheap and affordable and a claim for UM property damage does not increase your rates since you are not at-fault in the accident.

Complimentary Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance covers towing and labor for breakdowns or flat tires that occur during travel. A number of companies offer roadside assistance to their customers at no cost. When drivers get free quotes online, the cost of roadside assistance should be considered if not all of the companies offer the coverage for free. A free service offered through your provider can easily save you an AAA membership.

Upgrades like roadside assistance coverage can raise the value of a policy when drivers compare premiums of different carriers, though we encourage consumers to use a competitor’s pricing when negotiating. If one car insurance company offers complimentary roadside assistance, try to get your current insurer to throw in the coverage for free.

Comparing Car Insurance Quotes

In addition to allowing drivers to compare car insurance quotes between the best companies, online shopping comparisons encourage drivers to research the costs of different types of policies and coverage. By adding and subtracting different options, drivers can decide between liability, comprehensive, collision, GAP and other add-ons. This allows drivers to customize their own policy to the get best coverage for the cheapest price.

Lapse In Car Insurance

Basic liability car insurance is required in almost every U.S. state except New Hampshire and a lapse in car insurance can lead to fines, the suspension of your license or vehicle registration, impoundment of your vehicle, and even jail time in some cases. The reasoning behind making this kind of coverage mandatory is sound: if someone drives, they need to be financially accountable for their actions.

Car Insurance LapseFrom the moment someone begins learning how to drive a car, they are expected to be insured without interruption. A car insurance lapse is unacceptable to insurance companies and law enforcement, and drivers who don’t buy auto coverage are putting themselves in harm’s way, physically and financially.

What Does A “Lapse in Car Insurance” Mean?

A lapse is defined as the “cessation of a privilege, right or policy due to time or inaction.” Basically, you no longer have car insurance coverage and are not covered by your last provider. If someone does not pay their monthly or bi-annual premiums on time, their coverage will lapse, regardless of how legitimate their reasons might be. Common reasons for lapsed auto insurance include:

  • I forgot to pay my bill
  • I’m broke and don’t have the money
  • My car broke down and I’m not driving
  • My only car was involved in an accident
  • I sold my car
  • I’m moving abroad or leaving the country for an extended period of time

Unfortunately, insurance companies won’t make exceptions for you if you don’t have the money to pay your bill or simply forgot to make a payment. You will eventually be classified as a “high risk” driver. The only exceptions to the rule are military employees in training or on deployment, newly licensed teen drivers, or drivers who have motorcycle insurance.

What Happens When You Don’t Have Coverage?

When faced with an economic crisis, unemployment, or temporary financial hardship, consumers tend to evaluate their bills by their perceived importance. Obviously utilities, food, housing and transportation are indispensable, but too many Americans view car insurance as something that can be cut. Most drivers think, “I’m a good driver. I’ll just be extra careful” and then let their car insurance lapse.

Public Records

What most families don’t realize are the legal and economic consequences of this decision. Even if you don’t get pulled over for a ticket or have an accident, the lapse in car insurance is a matter of public record (companies are bound by law to report policy beginning and ending dates) and will be used to justify higher car insurance rates in the future, as is the case with “high risk” drivers.

Loss of Discounts

No car insurance is especially serious because once coverage is lost for even a day, your “Customer Loyalty” and “Safe Driver” discounts can be lost and your future premiums will increase. This doesn’t include the huge potential liability drivers face if they become involved in an at-fault accident.

Penalties For Having No Car Insurance

Lapse In Car InsuranceIf the police or fire department shows up at the scene of a car accident, they will request proof of insurance from all parties involved. This will result in being cited for driving without insurance, and the minimum you can expect is a hefty fine. For example, the State of New York penalizes drivers $8 per day. After 30 days, the fine is $10 per day and after 60 days, the penalty is $12 per day. Suspension of driving privileges and even jail time is possible.

The Cost of A Car Accident

Aside from the immediate fine and suspension of their driver’s license, there are other consequences of allowing a car insurance lapse to occur. If you caused the accident, you will be responsible for paying any damages or repairs to the other vehicle, medical bills for injured passengers, litigation costs, as well as your own damaged property. Considering how expensive medical bills can be and the high cost of litigation these days, the out-of-pocket expenses can force some families into bankruptcy.

Forego Your Rights

Furthermore, many states will not allow you to seek reimbursement for lost wages, benefits, or accident-related medical treatment even if you did not cause the accident. Regardless of who is at-fault, you forego these rights when you choose to not have car insurance.

Auto Loans – Your Lender’s Rights

Finally, don’t forget your financial obligation to the bank or lender who financed your auto loan. If you are unable to find car insurance coverage during the grade period, the lien holder (bank) will either repossess your vehicle or buy a policy on your behalf and increase your monthly payments.

How To Avoid A Lapse In Car Insurance

One of the main reasons for a lapse in car insurance is irresponsibility on the part of the insured about when their premium payments are due. Insurance companies are required by law to announce any policy changes, including cancellations, ahead of time and in writing. This advance notice gives customers time to find alternate coverage when deciding to switch carriers. However, many people neglect their mail, thinking that the letter from the company is a bill or junk mail. Ignorance is no excuse if your provider has performed their obligation.

Automatic Payments. Start by setting up automatic payments to avoid forgetting your due date.

Plan Ahead. If you plan on switching carriers, time the start of your new policy with the end date of your old policy to avoid any lapse.

Lower Coverage. Lower your liability insurance to your state’s minimum requirements to get cheaper rates. Eliminate unnecessary coverage such as collision, comprehensive or GAP insurance and raise your deductibles.

Get Discounts. Actively seek discounts so that coverage is more affordable. If your car is damaged, not working, in the repair shop or you are driving very little these days, ask for a “Low Mileage” discount.

Contact Your Carrier. Read all your mail and stay in contact with your company, working with agents to lower your premiums as much as possible. It is better to remain compliant with the law than to deal with the consequences later.

Avoiding A Gap In Car Insurance

Even those in severe financial straits need to adhere to the laws of the land. Auto insurance is important because it protects all parties involved, and allowing a lapse in car insurance coverage only sets the stage for larger financial and legal problems. The good news is that, with free car insurance quotes online, Americans can always find cheap rates.