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Car Insurance Being an Educated Consumer can Save You Money!

Consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to buying car insurance.  Finding a low price and a good value is not as easy as it might seem.  There are several simple things to look for when you are looking for insurance that can significantly change how much you pay:
1)     Application Fees:  When shopping for insurance ask your agent if there is an application fee.  Many agents and some companies charge these fees.  Often the money goes right into the pocket of the person writing your policy.  You may be able to call an agent with the same company and get the same rate without the fee.  These fees can be as high as $100 or more.
2)    Multi-Policy discounts are larger than ever.  If you have a homeowners insurance policy with a company you should check to see how much you can save by adding your car.  If you are shopping for car insurance your home can reduce the rate by 20% or more.  The discounts on the homeowners policy can be more than 30%
3)    Most, but not all insurance companies use your credit to determine your premium to some extent.  If you know that you have poor credit you should shop with companies that do not use credit scores.  If you have great credit then you need to find companies that rely heavily on credit.  
4)    Emphasize liability coverage on your policy and take the highest deductible you can afford.  Even if it means that if you have to file a claim you will have to pay your deductible with a credit card and pay it off over time.  You will save money and your policy will do more of what you really need it to do:  protect your future earnings.
5)    Don’t buy things you don’t need.  If you have multiple cars in your household don’t buy rental car coverage.  You will save $40 or $50 per year.  If you have a new car you probably don’t need road side assistance because the vehicle manufacturer provides it during your warranty period, so save your money.
6)    If you have your own medical insurance and you don’t frequently drive passengers around you may not need medical expense coverage.  Medical expense coverage can be overlapping with your health insurance and when a third party is involved the claims are frequently covered under liability.  Medical Expense is a very expensive medical coverage relative to health insurance limits.  You may be able to save money by reducing or eliminating this coverage.
7)    If you are a good driver use new technology that allows the insurance company to monitor your driving habits.  You can save 30% or more for as long as you stay with that company.  Nationwide has the "Safe Driver" program.
8)    Ask if the insurance company has it’s own claims adjusters.  If an insurance company does not have a local presence it could effect the time needed to get you back on the road.  Some companies use independent adjusters who are not as responsive as employee adjusters.  Employee adjusters also have a vested interest in your satisfaction.
9)    Watch for gimmicks like “Pick Your Own Price” policies.  You don’t want the cheap policy when you are in court waiting for the jury to come back with a determination of how much you owe the person you rear-ended in traffic.  A good insurance policy needs to protect your future earnings.
10)    Ask lots of questions.  If your agent can’t answer them or is unwilling to find you an answer you should move on to the next agency.  If they can’t or won’t answer questions now, imagine how they will be after you have a loss. 

If you would like to get a quote on your car insurance give us a call at 703-471-0050 or click here and one of our agents will give you a call.

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