How do I manage my insurance costs?

  • Buy your policies from the same insurer. You may be eligible for a multi-policy discount if you insure your home and auto with the same company.
  • Review your policy limits annually. You may be over or underinsured based on inflation rates, value of your vehicle and many other factors. It is always a good idea to review your policy with your local Independent Agent.
  • Ask your independent agent about company and state specific discounts available in your area. Many companies offer discounts on automobile policies for multiple cars, driver training, a defensive driver course,automatic seat belts and air bags, anti-theft devices, and many more. See your local independent agent for a complete listing of discounts available in your area.
  • Raise your deductible. Because the deductible is the amount you agree to pay on any claim, the higher your deductible the lower your insurance premium will be.

What types of coverages are available?

Buying an auto insurance policy is a lot like buying a car—there are many options to choose from. However, instead of compact disk players or automatic transmissions, your insurance policy consists of options called "coverages." Your insurance policy will vary from other policies based on the coverages that you have selected. To increase your protection, you can add additional coverages and/or increase the amount of insurance you purchase. Consult with your local independent agent for advice on adequate auto insurance coverage.

In the meantime, let's review the various coverages available:

  • Property Damage Liability - Provides for the repair, replacement or loss of use of another party's property damaged by you in a car accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection (No Fault) - Provides for "basic economic loss," which includes medical expense, work loss and other expenses of an eligible person who suffered personal injuries caused by use or operation of a motor vehicle. Requirements for this coverage vary by state.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists - This coverage varies by state. Provides for damages from injuries sustained by you and other insureds. This coverage is invoked when someone without coverage, or without enough coverage, is involved in an accident with you and they are at fault.
  • Comprehensive and Collision-
    • Comprehensive insures your vehicle against vandalism, theft, and natural disasters. While comprehensive coverage may be purchased separately, collision coverage cannot be purchased without comprehensive coverage.
    • Collision pays for the full cost of repairs for direct and accidental loss to your insured auto, minus the deductible. You may be thinking, "Do I really need collision coverage for my vehicle?" Check out our answer.
  • Miscellaneous Extras - Useful extras include rental car reimbursement, towing, glass coverage and more. These inexpensive add-ons to your auto insurance can cut down on your out-of-pocket expenses should you have an accident.

Certain policies may limit, or not provide protection on certain items and claims. Select from the menu on the left to view "Special Items" that can be covered by purchasing additional insurance.

How can I reduce my premiums?

There are several ways to reduce your premium. Here are a few:

  • Ask for higher deductibles - A deductible is the amount of money you will pay before the insurance company pays on your claim. By increasing your deductible, you assume a greater financial responsibility for a claim. In turn, your insurance carrier will reduce your premium.
  • Review coverage - Ask your agent whether it is cost-effective to carry collision on an older vehicle. If you can afford to replace or repair your vehicle after a driving accident, you may not need this coverage. However, collision coverage may be the only coverage that will protect your vehicle if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Safety discounts - You may be eligible for discounts for safety features such as automatic seatbelts or airbags.
  • Company discounts - Inquire about company discounts, such as multi-car and/or multi-policy discounts, mature driver and driver safety training certification.

Why did my premiums go up?

There are many factors that can cause an increase in premium. Did you or any authorized operator of the vehicle have:

  • a change in coverage
  • a change in vehicles
  • a change in vehicle use
  • a change in address
  • any traffic violation(s)
  • an accident
Review your declarations page (the first page of your policy). A message is usually printed on the declarations page that describes the change(s). Contact your agent or insurance carrier for a complete explanation.

Is my rental vehicle covered under my auto insurance policy?

Rental coverage varies by state. Policies generally do not extend coverage beyond the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Refer to your policy for specifics, or contact your agent and/or your insurance carrier for an explanation of coverage.

When do I need to purchase insurance?

Most states have financial responsibility laws that require automobile insurance on any owned vehicle. Some states further require evidence of insurance, in the form of an identification card carried in the vehicle. Contact your agent to have your policy amended and review your coverage options.

I've insured myself. Why do I need uninsured motorists coverage?

Uninsured motorists coverage was designed to compensate policyholders if they were hit by drivers who were uninsured, or who fled the scene of an accident. The number of uninsured drivers continues to climb each year. Uninsured motorists coverage is available to insured drivers so that they may better protect themselves.

I just got married. Can I get a break on my insurance premium?

Sure you can! If you and your spouse have separate insurers, place your insurance with one company. Most companies offer a discount for multi-car coverage. Further, if you have rental or homeowner insurance with the same carrier that provides your auto insurance, you may enjoy additional discounts. Contact your local independent agent to inquire about available discounts.

Is there coverage when someone else drives my car?

Yes, you are covered if other licensed drivers occasionally use your vehicle with your permission.

I'm a young driver. Why is my premium so high?

As a group, young drivers have more accidents than any other driver groups. There are several reasons for this. Age often reflects driving skill and experience, emotional maturity and judgment. These factors, in turn, affect the way many young drivers handle themselves behind the wheel. The amount that insurance companies pay for losses, per insured car, is more than twice as high for drivers under age 25 when compared to older drivers. So, to compensate for insuring a higher-risk driver, insurance companies typically charge a higher premium. As you gain experience and remain "accident-free," you should note a reduction in your premium. Take advantage of defensive driver training and other courses that may reduce your premium as well. Your local independent agent can advise you on steps that can be taken to lower your insurance costs.

Why do quotes from 3 companies all come back with different rates?

Each company has their own "formula" for determining premiums. Consequently, premium indications quoted will vary from one company to the next. As a consumer, you should look beyond the bottom price when looking for insurance. Consider what your money will actually get you: coverage, service, the agent's professionalism, and the company's financial strength and reputation for claims handling. Remember to use our Auto Insurance Checklist to gather the information you will need when you meet with your agent.

If I add coverage to my policy, does it cover each vehicle or a specific one?

That depends upon the coverage. For example, glass coverage is applied only to the vehicles you specify, with a charge for each one. Liability coverages are consistent for all vehicles on a policy. Again, check with your local independent agent to determine how additional coverages will be applied to your policy.