If your goal is to get the best price on auto insurance in the Houston area and you have some time to shop, then read on to learn the best method for getting the best rates in town. Asking for all the discounts you are entitled to should always be your top priority and who you shop with will be next in line.
Shop with an Independent Agent
To save time, you should always shop with independent agents in your area. Independent agents typically represent multiple carriers and are in a position to offer you the best quote from their group of companies. A captive agent (State Farm, Allstate, Farmers) is only going to have access to one or maybe two companies which translates into much more work for you as the shopper. The independent agent will also put the needs of the customer over the needs of the company which is certainly the position you want to be in.
Ask about all possible Discounts
While you are giving the agent your information, be sure and ask about all the discounts their carriers offer, such as:
- Full Pay Discount
- Good Student Discount
- Multi-Car discount
- Multi-Policy Discount
- Safe Driver/Defensive Driver Discount
- Vehicle safety devices
Some of these discounts can amount to as much as 20% so taking the extra time to inquire can save you significant money.
Buy only What Meets Your Needs
Many personal auto policies come with additional bells and whistles, but you will be charged for them. Ask only for the limits and deductibles that meet your needs. Get your agent to check rates at different liability levels and different deductible amounts. Often the price for increasing your liability limits costs very little more than the mandatory limits so find out if you can afford better coverage for you and your vehicle. Always inquire about the rates for Med Pay, which is an optional coverage. Medical Payments coverage helps reimburse you for injuries if you or any passengers in your car are hurt in an accident no matter who’s at fault. In many cases, it is one of the best coverages to have for the money.
Most people understand that having higher deductibles will reduce your rates for comprehensive and collision coverage. You should consider, however, that the deductible is the amount you are going to pay out-of-pocket if you are in an at-fault accident or hit by an uninsured driver. Your deductible should never be more than what you are comfortable with paying out-of-pocket. Whenever you see someone driving a fairly new vehicle with body damage, it usually means they selected a high deductible and now can’t afford to have their car repaired.
Currently, one out of every six vehicle owners does not carry insurance on their car. This is a huge risk that is best dealt with by having Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage. If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, their insurance is responsible for paying for your injuries. But what happens if they don’t have insurance or are carrying very low limits? If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your policy will pay for your injuries up to the limits you selected.
Shopping for auto insurance in Houston is much easier today because of the internet and the new comparative rating programs. If you get a reasonable rate online, always call or visit with the agent first and make certain that what you are paying your hard-earned money for is going to meet your needs with the worst happens.