Car Insurance Companies

Car Insurance With A Suspended License

Car Insurance With A Suspended License

Getting car insurance with a suspended license can problematic. If your driver’s license has been suspended, then you might have questions about how to find cheap car insurance. While you may still be able to buy insurance for drivers with a suspended license, your current company may decide to cancel your policy or prevent you from renewing your coverage. Depending on the reason for your suspended license, there may be a workaround that can get you and your vehicle insured by a good provider.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get auto insurance with a suspended license, including ways to get cheap rates and the top insurance companies to work with.

Car Insurance With A Suspended License

Can You Get Car Insurance With A Suspended Driver’s License?

This is one of the biggest questions people ask after having their driver’s licenses suspended. On the one hand, if your license is suspended, you can’t legally drive a car. On the other, if you do not maintain insurance coverage, the lapse may affect your rates in the future.

Unfortunately, when it comes time for your insurance company to renew your policy, your insurer will pull a DMV report and discover your suspension. At this point, most carriers will either cancel your policy right away or refuse to renew it once the policy expires.

Furthermore, most auto insurance companies won’t issue a new policy to a driver with a suspended license. This is because most suspended licenses are a result of reckless driving or serious traffic violations, including a DUI, DWI, a number of moving violations that accumulate points, or simply driving without a license.

To an insurance company, a driver who ignores the law is a high-risk driver who will eventually cost the company money in terms of a claim. This is why some providers will charge very high premiums or deny coverage altogether.

How To Get Insurance With A Suspended License

Suspended license insurance can be difficult to find since the suspension alone makes you a tremendous risk to insurance companies. Nonetheless, you may have some options. First and foremost, call your insurer and ask whether you can keep your insurance policy if you agree to sign an affidavit of non-use.

Essentially, this affidavit is a legal statement that says you will not be driving the car. Once filed, the insurance company is under no obligation to pay for any claims that arise out of your use of the car.

Another option involves purchasing comprehensive insurance coverage, which can cover your car in the event of theft, vandalism, weather, or other non-use accidents. Some insurance providers will offer comprehensive coverage without the previously mentioned affidavit because it is illegal to drive your car without liability coverage.

So if you were to drive with comprehensive only, the insurance company would not be held responsible when it comes to damages. It would only be responsible for damages that occur during non-use events.

How To Get Insurance With A Suspended License

Best Insurance Companies For Suspended License

Finding the best insurance companies for a suspended license can be tricky. Although there is no comprehensive list of auto insurers that will provide you with suspended license insurance, there are a few factors to consider that will make your search easier.

While most companies in the US will not sell you collision insurance unless you first purchase comprehensive coverage, there are some providers that will sell you a stand-alone comprehensive policy regardless of your license status.

In fact, this is referred to as OTC coverage, which stands for “other than collision”, but these carriers do not make your car legal to be on the road.

If you struggle to find an insurance company to provide you with this sort of coverage but you own your home, take a look at your homeowner’s insurance policy to find out whether vandalism, theft, and damages would be covered as long as the car is on your property.

You may just discover that you don’t need to purchase a suspended license insurance policy after all, but be aware that the limits your homeowner’s insurance company will pay are typically quite low.

Why Your License Might Get Suspended

Your license may get suspended for any number of reasons, so if you want to avoid the hassle and expense associated with lapses in coverage and trying to keep your car insured despite your suspended privileges, you will want to steer clear of them. They include:

  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI or DWI)
  • Refusing to take a blood-alcohol or breathalyzer test
  • Leaving the scene of an accident (with or without injury)
  • Failing to pay your child support
  • Failing to pay your tax debts
  • Accumulating a maximum number of “points” on your driver’s license in a predetermined time-frame
  • Reckless driving

This list represents the most common reasons for license suspension, bit it is not all-inclusive.

Suspended Drivers License Insurance

Keep Your Insurance After A License Suspension

Despite this, there are several reasons why you might want to carry suspended license insurance, even if you can’t drive your car yourself.

  • You aren’t the only driver. If you’re married, or if you have licensed children who are driving your car, then maintaining insurance is vital. In most states and locales, driving without car insurance is illegal and very, very risky.
  • You don’t want the gap in coverage. Lapses in auto insurance coverage for any reason will hurt your insurance credit score, and this means your rates will go up quite a bit when your suspension is over.
  • You want to keep your car protected. Finally, even if your car won’t be out on the road, you might want to keep it protected in the event of theft, vandalism, or damage caused by severe weather.

Whether or not your insurance provider will give you coverage for any of these reasons depends solely on the provider. The best thing you can do is contact your insurer and ask about their options for suspended license insurance.

How To Get Your License Reinstated After Suspension

If your license has been suspended and you want to get it reinstated, there are a few things you will need to do beforehand. First, if you disagree with the reasons why your license was suspended in the first place, find out if you can appeal the decision – but do so within 30 days.

Next, determine how long your suspension is slated to last. It may be definite, which means it ends on a certain date, or it may be indefinite, which means there is no set end date. Ultimately, you must fulfill the court’s conditions before you can reinstate your license.

If it is a definite suspension, you must wait until reinstatement is available, ensure that you have paid any relevant fines and court costs, and then visit your local DMV. You may be required to take a written or driving test, and you may even need to pay more fines or fees before you can reinstate your license.

If it was an indefinite suspension, you will need to meet the criteria attached to the suspension. You can find this information online in most states, or you can call your local DMV to learn more.

Cheap Car Insurance For Suspended License

The Difference Between A Suspended and Revoked License

Many people mistakenly use the terms “suspended” and “revoked” interchangeably, but it is important to note that the two are not the same. A suspension simply indicates that you have temporarily lost your driving privileges, which may allow you to purchase non-operating or non-use suspended license insurance to avoid coverage gaps until your license is reinstated.

A revoked license is much more serious. Though it is much like a suspension, once a revocation ends, you can’t simply pay a fee and start driving again. In this case, you must start over to obtain your license. From taking the written driver’s test to passing a road test with an instructor in the vehicle, you will have to go through your DMV to get a new driver’s license.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates 2019

If you’re wondering what factors affect your car insurance rates, there are actually a number of ways companies calculate insurance prices. Also known as auto insurance rating factors, there are many different variables that impact premiums and others that do not influence your cost of insurance. Generally, the personal factors that affect your premiums the most are your age, gender, driving history, where you live, vehicle make and model, and coverage. With so much data and statistics available today, the best car insurance companies take several things into consideration when determining rates.

Below, we’ve compiled a complete list of how car insurance rates are determined. Furthermore, we discuss how these specific factors raise or lower your premiums to help drivers get the cheapest insurance coverage in their state.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates

How Are Car Insurance Rates Determined?

Knowing what factors determine the cost of auto insurance can be powerful in buying cheap coverage. The various factors insurers utilize to come up with premiums vary from company to company, but the rating factors below are considered industry standards.

It is important to consider that each of these factors weighs differently, too. For example, a driver’s marital status will not impact prices as much as her driving record, claims history, vehicle type, or credit history. Along those same lines, one insurer may weigh a consumer’s age, gender, or zip code far more heavily than another. This is why we highly recommend you compare car insurance rates at least once a year to always make sure you are paying the lowest premiums possible.

Below are the factors that have the most impact on your car insurance prices.

Top 15 Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates 2019

Where You Live – State, City and Zip Code

Because most auto accidents, collisions, moving violations, and tickets occur close to home, where you live influences your car insurance premiums. Similarly, drivers in high-density cities and areas are more likely to be involved in incidents resulting in claims. On the flip side, drivers in rural areas usually get lower prices.

Furthermore, consumers living in areas where auto theft, vandalism and similar crimes are common will also pay higher premiums, while residents of safe neighborhoods are labeled low risk and get lower premiums.

Another factor affected by where you live is the state insurance requirements. The minimum amount of car insurance you are required to buy according to state laws and regulations will increase or decrease your quote. This is why consumers often compare average car insurance rates by state in the hopes of understanding how much they are paying in comparison to other residents.

Compare Car Insurance Rates By State Averages

Ultimately, insurance companies use statistics and data based on your zip code, city and state to determine how much your insurance will cost. This is why providers always ask for your zip code when you get free insurance quotes online.

Age

Not surprisingly, age affects insurance rates. For the most part, insurance providers estimate that risk decreases with age. Studies have shown that young drivers are more easily distracted, and are far more apt to engage in risky driving behavior. This means that teenage drivers and college students with only a few years of driving experience pay higher premiums than older, mature drivers.

Nevertheless, as drivers get older, their rates will start to decline steadily. While there is no industry schedule for lower premiums by age, most young drivers find that their rates decrease by 15% to 20% when they reach the age of 25. The cost of insurance for 16, 17, 18, 21, and 23 year old male and female drivers confirms this trend.

In contrast to teen drivers, insurance companies consider drivers between the ages of 30 and 65 the safest, based on information collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Drivers who fall into this age range and have a clean driving record often pay the cheapest premiums.

While drivers between the ages of 65 and 69 are starting to show signs of being higher risk, quotes increase once a driver reaches 70. Research has shown that elderly drivers have slower reflexes, and have the potential to experience a significant medical event (e.g. heart attack or stroke) while driving.

The takeaway is that young drivers have high rates and older drivers have low rates. However, states that don’t allow companies to rate based on age include California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

Gender

Insurers also consider gender when they calculate quotes, and while this may seem outdated, statistics have shown that male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and collisions than female drivers. There are several reasons for this.

For starters, men tend to drive many more miles than women each year, which creates an inherent risk. Statistics have also shown that men are more willing to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel; more men than women are cited for failure to use a seat belt, drinking and driving, and excessive speeding than women every year.

Of course, things change as people age, and by the time men and women reach their 30s, auto insurance premiums are about the same for both. Some insurers may even rank females as higher risk drivers once they reach their 30s, but again, this depends on the company’s own claims data.

Finally, once drivers reach the age of 60, statistics again show that male drivers pose the bigger risk; men over the age of 60 crash more often than women in the same age group. However, this is also strongly correlated with the fact that males tend to drive more, often being the primary driver when the family is together.

Nevertheless, there are states that do not allow gender to affect rates, including Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Marital Status

Marital status can also be a factor in determining your cost of car insurance, thanks to statistics. It has been shown that married couples simply drive less frequently, and less time spent on the road means less risk for companies.

Similarly, traffic data suggests that married drivers tend to be safer and more conservative on the road, while single drivers engage in more risky behavior. For instance, a study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) even found that single drivers were twice as likely to be involved in an auto accident during their lives. As a result, single drivers can expect to pay higher premiums compared to married drivers.

Across the board, married couples save between 5% and 15% on their insurance policies based on marital status alone. It is also important to consider the fact that the best car insurance companies provide discounts for combined policies – a significant perk for married couples who purchase multi-car policies or who bundle existing policies (i.e. home and life insurance).

Driving Experience

Driving experience is one of the biggest factors that car insurance carriers use to determine risk. The less experience a driver has, regardless of his/her age, the higher the risk of an auto accident. By far, teenage drivers and college students are the riskiest to insure due in part to their lack of experience. When insurance companies factor in their age, the reasons why policies for teenage drivers are so costly become clear.

Generally speaking, the more experience a driver has, the lower his/her premiums, but driving record plays a role, too. Drivers who have many years of experience and a clean driving record without collisions or traffic tickets pose the least risk to insurers, and they are rewarded with the cheapest car insurance rates.

On the other hand, a driver with 20 years of driving experience, a few at-fault accidents and several traffic violations will see his premiums go higher.

Driving Record and Claims History

Of all the factors providers use to calculate your cost of insurance, your driving record and claims history is one of the most influential. Your driving history provides an accurate summary of a driver’s ability to remain safe on the road, his/her penchant for taking risks, and ultimately, the risk the insurance company assumes in selling that individual a policy.

One violation may not result in you being labeled a bad driver because most carriers allow you to take a defensive driving course. However, two traffic violations may increase your monthly or annual premiums by 20%. Unfortunately, more serious violations such as driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless driving can push rates up by 50% or more.

How Claims Affect Car Insurance Premiums

Many of the nation’s largest insurance companies consider drivers who have multiple serious violations uninsurable. This simply means that for some companies, the risk posed by some drivers far outweighs any potential benefit in insuring them.

It is still possible for these individuals to purchase car insurance policies through nontraditional insurers at a significant cost. Most carriers have specific subsidiaries that deal with high risk auto insurance.

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Credit History

Research indicates that a driver’s credit score can be a strong indicator of responsibility and safe driving on the road. Some consumers disagree with companies basing car insurance costs on credit scores, claiming a driver’s credit history has very little to do with the ability to drive safely and defensively. Statistically, though, drivers who have lower credit scores (typically under 600) are riskier to insure.

Consumers with bad credit or low scores tend to file more claims as a whole, and they tend to inflate the dollar amount of those claims more often than drivers with higher credit scores. Recent research even demonstrates that individuals with low credit scores are more likely to commit insurance fraud.

Although some states do not allow carriers to consider your credit score and history as a rating factor, it still may have an influence on how you can pay for your policy. For example, drivers who have very low credit scores may be required to pay for six months’ worth of premiums up front.

In other cases, insurers will not allow individuals with poor credit to set up automatic payments. Because many providers offer discounts for this, but only to those with good credit, those with poor credit may see an additional charge of between $5 and $10 each month.

States that prohibit the use of your credit score as an insurance rating factor include California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

Previous Insurance Coverage

Compiled data collected from many of the country’s top insurers shows that individuals who have had auto insurance coverage for a long period of time without a lapse are less likely to be involved in accidents. Though insurers prefer to see drivers who have had an insurance policy through the same company for at least one year, this is only a minor consideration.

The longer drivers can go without a lapse in coverage – and without late payments – the lower the risk to the new insurer, and the cheaper the premiums as a result. Even a very short lapse in coverage of one or two days can result in more expensive rates.

Teens or young adults who are moving from their parents’ policy to their own are special considerations in this case; this is not considered a lapse in coverage as long as the new policy takes effect before the current one ends. Even consumers who won’t be driving for an extended period of time have an affordable option to prevent a lapse. The cheapest car insurance policy in this case is a non-owner’s policy.

Vehicle Type and Value

The type of vehicle and its value also tremendously influence costs. Some vehicles may be stolen or vandalized more than others in certain areas, and statistics might also show that vehicles in a specific color are more likely to be involved in accidents. Moreover, certain vehicle types, such as sports cars, are conducive to speeding or aggressive driving styles.

The make and model will also influence the vehicle’s value and potential cost to the insurer to repair. For instance, a Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Lexus, or Jaguar is likely to be more valuable and more expensive to repair or replace than a Ford, GM, Camry, or Honda produced in the same year.

Some insurance carriers look at the condition of the vehicle, as well. Automobiles that have not been properly maintained and those that have been in previous accidents may be at more risk of mechanical failure on the road, thus increasing risk.

On the other hand, a car with numerous safety features, such as side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and an anti-theft device, may be eligible for significant discounts since these features lower the risk of injury and damage.

Average Annual Miles Driven

The number of miles a consumer drives each year also plays a role in determining overall risk. After all, the more time a driver spends on the road, the greater the likelihood of being involved in an accident at some point. Insurers may calculate a driver’s mileage in any number of ways, but the most common involves determining the driver’s daily commute.

Cost of Car Insurance vs Annual Miles Driven

Vehicles driven for pleasure may have more or less annual mileage than those used for work, so insurance companies typically rely on the driver to provide accurate mileage information.

Finally, auto insurance rates for cars used for ride-sharing services or for making deliveries are much higher due in part to the additional mileage, but also to the enhanced liability of carrying passengers or goods.

If you have multiple cars on your policy and don’t drive one or more as often as others, talk to your company about getting a low-mileage discount.

Amount of Auto Insurance Coverage

Aside from your driving record, the amount of coverage you want (or need) to buy will significantly impact your monthly or yearly car insurance rates. There are numerous types of coverage from which drivers can select, and in most states, liability is considered the bare minimum. Other coverage options include collision and comprehensive, uninsured or underinsured motorists, and medical payments and personal injury protection insurance.

It is important for each driver and owner to truly understand his/her needs and remember that state minimums are not always the best choice, even though they come with the cheapest premiums. After all, if your coverage runs out, you are liable for medical expenses and damages out-of-pocket. Always buy enough protection to cover your assets and protect your family.

Consumers should talk to their insurance agents to discover their options and choose a good mix of affordability and risk reduction. For new cars, buy full coverage auto insurance coverage; otherwise, for old or low-value vehicles, just get liability. Some insurance providers may even sell discounted roadside assistance, which can come in handy for drivers whose vehicles may break down or run out of fuel on the road.

Deductible Amount

A deductible is the amount of money a driver must pay toward a claim before the insurance company insurer will pay out. Deductibles can vary from company to company and from policy to policy, but most range from $0 to $1,000.

The lower the deductible, the higher the car insurance premium and vice-versa. Many drivers mistakenly choose a high deductible to get lower monthly payments only to find out that they don’t have the money saved to pay the deductible for a significant repair.

Though it may seem like a good idea to get the cheap car insurance option despite the high deductible, drivers should always consider their financial circumstances and whether they can actually afford the deductible in the event of an accident. Much like choosing coverage amounts, it is important to balance the affordability of the car insurance policy with the affordability of the deductible.

Education

Drivers with more education tend to pay less for car insurance coverage. Studies have shown that a driver without a college degree can get quoted a rate 20% more than another consumer with a bachelor’s degree. Similarly, professionals with post-graduate degrees enjoy the lowest rates.

Grades

Many students and parents of young drivers wonder if grades affect car insurance. Because most insurers offer good students discounts, having good grades can help parents and families get lower insurance rates.

Companies have found that grades can correlate with driving behavior and risk. Specifically, students with a “C” or “D” average were nearly 50% more likely to be involved in an accident within their first year with a driver’s license.

For this reason, providers will give discounts to students with good grades. Parents of teens or students with at least a 3.0 grade point or “B” average should ask their agent or representative for a “Good Student Discount”. Just be prepared to provide documentation since most carriers will request a transcript or some form of proof.

Compare Car Insurance Rates

While understanding all the rating factors that can affect insurance rates can be helpful in finding the cheapest prices, the truth is that the best way to get lower premiums is to bring a competing quote from another company. Use our free online car insurance comparison tool to get free quotes online from all the best providers. Even if you don’t plan on switching companies, if another carrier is offering cheap rates, your current insurer is likely to match their prices to keep your business.

Just enter your zip code to find companies in your area and get multiple instant quotes to compare policies, coverage options, prices, and services! Ultimately, this is the only way to ensure you are getting the best auto insurance for your needs!

Best Car Insurance Companies 2019

Getting the best car insurance isn’t just about which company offers the cheapest quotes or biggest discounts. Drivers have to compare coverage, rates, customer service, claims processing, financial stability, and billing and payment flexibility. While there are many reputable insurers to choose from, the best auto insurance companies offer good coverage, affordable premiums, and financial protection.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top-rated car insurance providers in the United States. Furthermore, you’ll find a chart of company ratings to help you compare them side-by-side. Ultimately, these auto insurance rankings will help you find a good company and low rates. Just remember that cheap insurance isn’t always the highest-quality, and the top insurers know how to provide their customers with both quality and value.

Best Car Insurance Companies

Best Auto Insurance Companies For 2018

Here are the best auto insurance companies of 2018. Some insurers specialize in specific types of coverage and are known for catering to certain types of demographics. The key is to compare insurance quotes online, find a good company, and get the best car insurance for your needs.

Check out these highest-rated insurance providers by category.

Top-Rated Insurance Company

GEICO offers quality coverage at some of the cheapest rates in the industry. True to their advertising, GEICO helps qualify their customers for a number of discounts, including ones for emergency deployment for active military members, good students, customer loyalty, and safe driving records. The company even has special savings for federal employees and military members. Overall, GEICO gets rave reviews.

Best Company with Agents

Allstate has one of the largest network of agents in the United States. With Accident Forgiveness, Safe Driving Bonuses, and a Claim Satisfaction Guarantee, Allstate is an insurance company very focused on providing excellent customer service and affordable premiums. If you prefer interacting with an agent or broker who can personally walk you through your policy coverage, choose Allstate for a personal touch.

Best Insurance Company For Military Members

USAA is the absolute best car insurance company for military members and families. Customer and industry reviews, including J.D. Power, consistently rank United States Automobile Association (USAA) among the top insurers in any category. USAA is well-known for their cheap rates, comprehensive coverage, excellent claims service, and deep discounts.

For example, military members who keep their cars on bases can save an additional 15% on premiums. Unfortunately, membership is limited to active or retired members of the military and their family members, but if you qualify, USAA is the top insurance company for you.

Best Auto Insurance Company For Seniors

AARP and the Hartford have teamed up to cater to older drivers aged 50+ with special policies and coverage benefits, such as RecoverCare and affordable long-term rates. Cognizant of most seniors’ limited retirement income as a result of fixed pensions and Social Security, AARP works with the Hartford to lock in cheap annual car insurance rates, making it easier for older drivers to budget.

Furthermore, RecoverCare is a policy benefit that helps seniors transition back into everyday life after a car accident. The program covers the costs, up to $2,500, of in-home assistance such as housekeeping, maintenance, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. AARP/Hartford should be the top pick for car insurance for seniors.

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Auto Insurance Company Ratings

Below, you will find a list of the best car insurance companies by ratings. These ratings are based on reviews for policy offerings, pricing, customer service, and financial rating. Reviews and ratings are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. The A.M. Best financial rating is expressed as a letter grade from A++ (the highest) to D.

Here are the best insurance companies by ratings, including GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, Safeco, Metlife, Esurance, 21st Century, Mercury, and Amica Mutual!

Name
Overall
Policy
Price
Service
Rating
USAA
5
5
5
5
A++
Erie Insurance
5
4
4
5
A+
Liberty Mutual
4
5
4
3
A
Esurance
4
3
4
3
A+
American
4
4
3
4
A
Ameriprise
4
4
5
4
A
Amica Mutual
4
5
3
4
A++
State Farm
4
5
3
4
A++
The Hartford
4
4
4
4
A
Allstate
3
3
3
3
A+
Progressive
3
3
3
3
A+
Nationwide
3
4
3
3
A+
21st Century
3
3
3
3
A
Metlife
3
3
4
3
A
AAA
3
3
3
3
A-
Farmers
3
3
3
3
A
GEICO
3
3
3
3
A++
Safeco
3
3
4
3
A
Mercury
3
2
3
3
A+
Travelers
3
2
2
3
A+

Largest Auto Insurance Companies

Here is a list of the largest car insurance companies by percentage of auto policies covered in the United States.

  • State Farm – 18.4%
  • Allstate – 10.1%
  • GEICO – 9.6%
  • Progressive – 8.3%
  • Farmers – 5.9%

How To Find The Best Car Insurance Company

Finding cheap car insurance companies becomes easier when you know what to look for. For instance, buying full coverage with a $500 deductible on a 10 year old car worth $5,000 makes absolutely no sense because your premiums would be too high in comparison to the value of the vehicle.

However, change your policy to liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible, and you may pay a few hundred dollars per year while saving up for your next auto purchase.

Different Types of Car Insurance Coverage

By researching the different types of car insurance coverage available, determining the right amount of limits, and applying for qualified discounts, you can buy the best car insurance for you and your family’s needs. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that.

Liability Auto Insurance

Liability car insurance provides coverage for at-fault accidents. When you, the policyholder, are at-fault in a car accident, and the other vehicles, drivers or passengers involved will be filing claims against you and your insurance company, your carrier is required to protect you. Liability auto insurance will cover claims, minus your deductible, against bodily and property damage, including repairs, damages, medical bills, litigation and legal costs, and property replacement.

Every driver must carry at least the mandatory minimum liability insurance for his/her state, but some families need more than the minimum to protect their personal property and assets from claims and lawsuits by 3rd-parties injured in auto accidents.

What Is A Deductible?

Your deductible is the amount of money you are required to pay out-of-pocket before filing a claim to have your car insurance company pay the balance, up to a maximum liability limit. Policyholders can choose their deductibles and coverage limits, each of which have a direct effect on your rates. High deductibles are cheaper than lower deductibles, but obviously require a larger payment out-of-pocket before filing a claim.

Collision and Comprehensive Car Insurance

Collision and comprehensive car insurance pay for damages to your own vehicle and usually have deductibles of $500, $1,000 or $1,500.

More specifically, collision insurance provides coverage to protect your own vehicle after an accident, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Collision car insurance is usually required for new cars with auto loans, since the lender or bank wants to guarantee their investment is protected, especially in case the other driver does not have adequate protection to pay for your damages and repairs. Meanwhile, comprehensive car insurance covers damage from fire, theft, flood, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, other natural disasters, or “acts of God”.

It is possible to get cheaper quotes by raising your deductible to $1,000 or even $1,500, but this may not be the ideal policy for drivers that would find it difficult to pay the $1,000 deductible if their car was damaged. The best deductible for one driver may not be good for another, and consumers should compare auto insurance quotes side-by-side to determine what balance between premiums and coverage is optimal for their needs.

Personal Injury Protection Insurance – PIP

Twelve states allow personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and is a mandatory policy add-on in Florida. PIP insurance is also called “no-fault insurance” because each driver is covered by their own carrier regardless of whose fault the accident is. Personal injury protection pays medical bills for the insured driver and family members injured in an accident.

In some states, optional PIP also covers lost wages and essential services in case of temporary or permanent disability. The cost of PIP coverage varies and each driver should decide how much personal injury protection is needed, if any is even required at all.

Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage

While most drivers obey the law and buy auto insurance, some drivers do not. The minimum liability limits that many drivers carry may not be enough to cover serious injuries or damages. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family in the event that they are injured by a driver that is uninsured or under-insured. UIM coverage is not a requirement by state laws, and purchase of this policy add-on is not recommended in most cases.

Policy Add-Ons

Many insurers offer free roadside assistance as a courtesy to their customers. Roadside assistance covers towing and labor costs for breakdowns or flat tires. Instead of buying roadside assistance from AAA, getting this service for free can make a policy attractive.

Factors That Affect Insurance Rates

When completing a comparison via online quotes, consumers should be aware of the different factors that may affect their auto insurance rates. Car insurance companies use statistical analysis to determine which factors and types of drivers are more accident prone and likely to require claims and payouts. The following factors affect your car insurance rates:

Gender

Statistically, males are higher risk than females. Males, on average, drive further distances and more often, aggressively and recklessly, resulting in more accident claims and citations. Young or teen male drivers are especially high risk, and contribute significantly to higher rates for males. Fortunately, age also plays a role in determining car insurance quotes, and when drivers turn 25, rates become cheaper.

Age

Car insurance companies relate age to maturity and experience. An experienced driver with a good driving record or history demonstrates responsibility and stability, and thus deserves cheap premiums. Younger, inexperienced drivers present more of a risk to insurance companies, requiring carriers to offer higher prices for young or teen drivers. Generally, drivers between the ages of 30 and 50 get the best rates.

Driving History or Record

What better way to determine whether you are a good driver than to look at your driving history for citations, tickets, and accidents. The cheapest car insurance quotes are reserved for drivers who have exhibited safe driving skills for a long period of time, maintaining a good, clean driving record. A ticket or violation here or there is acceptable, and most car insurance companies even offer Accident Forgiveness.

Car Make and Model

Almost all Americans know that the type of car you choose to buy will inevitably affect the cost of your auto insurance. There are two relevant reasons for this correlation. Car insurance companies use statistical tables and research to determine the type of driver you are based on the kind of car you’ve purchased.

Research concludes that sports cars are strongly correlated with faster and riskier drivers, while minivans or SUVs are bought by parents who care about the safety of their family. The other reason is more straightforward: expensive, luxury cars cost more to repair, thus resulting in expensive payouts and claims by the company.

Other factors to consider include your address or location, marital status, annual mileage driven, and credit score.

Car Insurance Discounts

Part of finding good car insurance is comparing discounts offered by different providers. Most insurance companies offer “Good Driver”, “Good Student”, “Customer Loyalty”, “Low-Mileage”, and “Good Credit Score” discounts, as well as savings for drivers that complete a defensive driving course. Young or teenage drivers that complete a driver’s education course may also qualify for auto discounts.

If your vehicle has an alarm system or anti-theft device, anti-lock brakes, air bags or other safety features, you may qualify for lower rates. Furthermore, auto insurance companies that also sell multiple types of insurance provide bundling discounts to customers who buy more than one type of policy, say car, life, and/or home insurance.

While carriers are constantly developing new ways to remain competitive and help policyholders save money, here is a list of the most common car insurance discounts you may qualify for.

Discounts To Ask For

If you’re looking to lower your car insurance rates, here are the best discounts to ask for:

  • Good or Safe Driver
  • Good Student
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Driver’s Education
  • Multiple-Vehicle
  • Multiple-Policy
  • Anti-Theft Devices, Alarm Systems
  • Low-Mileage
  • Automatic Payment
  • Full Payment – Annual or 6-Month versus Monthly
  • Member Affiliations/Associations – Federal Employees, Military Members, Corporate, Credit Union, University

Customer Service

No carrier can be the “Best Car Insurance Company” without providing excellent customer service. The average driver has little contact with their company, agent or representative unless he/she needs to file a claim. The top companies offer fast, hassle-free claims servicing and payments. They also mediate and resolve claims with third parties on your behalf.

Get The Best Auto Insurance

Pricing is always a component of value, but it should not be the only factor considered when choosing a policy. Getting the right amount of protection from a reputable, top-ranked company that offers excellent customer service is just as important as getting the lowest rates. After all, you get what you pay for and car insurance is no different than any other product or service.

Consumers can compare premiums by requesting instant, free car insurance quotes online. Just enter your zip code and choose from the list of companies. It is quick, easy and helps drivers find the best and cheapest rates and coverage.