Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2020

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With the prices of everything going up and employers cutting jobs and salaries, saving money has become an essential element in the lives of a vast majority of people. Looking over the household budget and finding ways to save in the smallest amounts is now a major priority. Since almost every household has at least one car and every car has to be insured, automobile insurance is a good place to start looking for car insurance discounts and savings.

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Searching the Web

discount auto insuranceThe increasing use of the internet has made it convenient to compare auto insurance rates and cover the different insurance companies provide. Also, due to the increased level of competition, with good searches it is possible to find the lowest possible rates from the convenience of one’s own home. Online search is fast, convenient and one can get very competitive rates that can suit all budgets.

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The 800 People

When searching for the least expensive policy with the best coverage possible, relying only on the internet is not sufficient. Many insurance companies sell insurance over an 800 number, and not comparing prices of those with the ones found on the net only limits the options one has. The important point to remember here is that these auto insurance companies do not have to pay commission to field agents, so it stands to reason that these savings are passed on to the consumer.

The main issue here is that these companies are very selective. If one is a major risk on the road, then they may not qualify for one of the policies offered by the 800 guys. For the more cautious drivers who have not had any major accident claims and have not piled up tickets in the three years prior to requesting a quote, there is a good chance that they can get a good deal form these people.

Major Insurance Providers

State Farm has an 18 percent share of the auto insurance market, while Allstate holds its place at 12 percent. Each of these companies uses a different approach when it comes to insuring. Like the 800 insurance providers, they also use their own in-house sales agents, but that is where the similarity stops. Their agents operate out of local offices and are willing to insure all kinds of drivers, from the best ones to the most risky ones.

For a low risk driver an 800 insurer may be cheaper, while a high risk driver may not even get a policy from them. In that case, they will either have to go to someone like Allstate, State Farm or search online for one willing to insure a high risk driver.

auto insurance discounts

  • For a high risk driver, one way of finding the cheapest insurance is to get a quote from one of the online providers or someone like Allstate and State Farm, then visit an independent provider and see if they will beat the quote. A majority of the independent agents typically work with multiple companies, so it is possible to talk one of them into beating the quote.
  • It is common practice for large companies like The Hartford and even the multitude of smaller companies such as A. Central lnsurance to use independent agents as their main method of selling insurance and in return, pay the agents significant commissions. At times, the agents are willing to pass a part of their commission as discounts to their customers in return for their business. Additionally, an independent agent can provide substantial information regarding deals the different companies may be offering in a given market.
  • Sometimes an agent can help to find the best possible deals simply because of the knowledge they have. For example, one can be the ideal candidate for cheap auto insurance by maintaining a clean driving record, be in their 40s and have two cars that need to be insured. However, if they add a teenager as the primary driver to their policy, the rates go through the roof. Insurance agents know that while most insurers don’t refuse having a teen on the parent’s policy, in order to avoid it some companies quadruple rates. The insurance agent will be able to inform the customer which companies don’t do this and thus help to save money.
  • Also, if one lives in the countryside, they will be better off dealing with a local agent. Such agents know the area market better than any mass market company and are in a position to offer a better price. The mass market companies don’t always feel safe dealing with the unknown markets and small rural areas.

Final Options

If one has a driving record that is best left hidden, or if they are a male less than 25 years of age, single, and have never been insured before, then most insurance companies would rather not touch them. There are many state set companies that deal with atypical risks.

When all else fails, then the final option is to sign up with the state-assigned plan. While even this will cost significantly more than the typical low risk plans, at least one will have insurance. Then by practicing cautious driving one can dig themselves out of the hole in as little as three years.

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Final Reminders

Cheap insurance can be found in a lot of different places. However, there is nothing that will have greater impact on the price of an insurance policy that the kind of driving record one has. Maintaining a clean driving record and avoiding all traffic violations will help to reduce insurance costs the most. Some other factors that reduce costs include:

auto insurance reminder

  • Checking the listings of the state one resides in and purchase a car that is least likely to be stolen.
  • Ensuring that the car has as many safety features and anti-theft devices as possible.
  • Increasing the deductible. The greater the amount one pays out of pocket, the lower the premiums. However, one should make sure that it is a realistic amount that they can actually afford to pay in case they are involved in an accident. The policy holder has to pay this amount first before the insurance company pays its share.
  • One should make sure to take advantage of all available auto insurance discounts.
  • One should opt for lump sum payments, instead of monthly payments; this reduces the billing costs for the company and the savings are passed on to the customer.

Finding an inexpensive insurance policy requires effort and plenty of research, but it is possible.

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