At Shoff Insurance, we know that auto insurance premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars, so here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your car insurance.
1. Compare Quotes
Insurance premium costs will vary from company to company, so it pays to comparison shop. You can get referrals to reputable insurance agencies from friends and from the Florida State Insurance Department. Since you are buying insurance to protect you and your family financially, it’s important to pick a company that has a track record of stability. To insurance you are working with a solid foundation, check the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.
You can get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents while others sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others agencies may not use agents at all, but sell directly to consumers via the Internet. Don’t shop by price alone. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they provide information on consumer complaints by company. Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions.
2. Before You Buy a Car, Compare Insurance Costs
You may not think the type of car will affect insurance premiums, but the make and model of your vehicle will have a big impact. Before you buy a new or used car, you should check into insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based on several criteria: the selling price, repair costs, safety record and likelihood of theft. To help inform your decision, you can get more information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
3. Pick Your Policy Carefully
Auto insurance deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15% to 30%. Raising the deductible even more, $1,000 or higher, can save you up to 40% or more. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.
Also, you may want to consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective. You can look up your car’s value online at Kelley’s Blue Book.
Don’t forget to review your coverage every year at renewal time to make sure your insurance needs haven’t changed.
4. Ask About Multi-Policy Discounts
Many insurers will give you a lower “bundled” price if you buy two or more types of insurance from them—for example, your home insurance combined with an auto policy. You may also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce the rates for long-time customers.
5. Seek Out Other Discounts
While all rates and insurance will vary by your personal circumstances, don’t forget to ask about any additional discounts that may be available.
When you comparison shop, inquire about these or any other types of discounts that may be offered:
- Anti-theft Devices Installed in your Car
- Multi-Policy Discounts
- Defensive Driving/Drivers Education Course Credit
- Good Credit Standing Discount
- Loyalty Pricing for Long-Time Customers
- Multiple Vehicle Discounts
- No Accidents in the Past 3 Years
- No Moving Violations in the Past 3 Years
- Student Drivers with Good Grades
*The discounts listed may not be available from all insurance companies.
Remember, always compare the final price. A company that offers few discounts may still have a lower overall price.
This information and more advice is available from the Insurance Information Institute. (http://www.iii.org)
Peace of Mind Starts with Homeowner’s Insurance
At Shoff Insurance of Florida, we offer homeowner’s insurance to provide you with the peace of mind you need for the financial protection of your home against disasters.
Homeowner’s insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. Sometimes this also includes damage caused by household pets. Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are several exceptions. Be sure you understand what your policy covers.
A standard homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage, including:
1. Coverage for the structure of your home.
2. Coverage for your personal belongings.
3. Liability protection.
4. Additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster.
Different Types of Policies
A person who owns his or her home will have a different policy from someone who rents. Policies also differ on the amount of insurance coverage provided.
The different types of homeowner policies are fairly standard throughout the country. However, individual states and companies may offer policies that are slightly different or go by other names such as “standard” or “deluxe.” There are several options to choose from when consider the type of insurance that is right for you.
Actual cash value of your home and personal belongings. This type of policy pays to replace your home or possessions minus a deduction for depreciation.
Replacement cost. This policy pays the cost of rebuilding/repairing your home or replacing your possessions without a deduction for depreciation.
Page 1 of 2 Next
Give us a call today for a free consultation and quote. We can answer all your insurance questions and help you get the coverage you need. We’re Happy To Be Your Trusted Advisors; Shoff Insurance of Florida (321) 254-6829