These days, an agency that doesn’t offer a free car insurance quote online is in the minority. But just because it’s easy and free to get a quote doesn’t mean you’re getting the best quote. And it definitely doesn’t guarantee you’ll be saving money.
The fact is the number of things that affect a quote vary and can include things like the type and quality of coverage being offered, your driving record and what kind of customer service you can expect. A one-size-fits-all mentality isn’t going to serve you well if you’re trying to get the best quote to meet your needs.
That’s why understanding what factors impact rates is key, if you want the best auto insurance coverage from the best insurance agent.
Let’s dive into a few of the things you should consider when getting an auto insurance quote.
Your Driving Record
Perhaps the most obvious thing to consider when looking at various insurance companies and monthly rates is your driving record.
Insurance companies want to review your history to see what type of risk you pose. So it makes sense that a clean driving record, which means lower risk, will likely result in lower rates. Teen drivers are also considered to be riskier due to inexperience.
Things like numerous accidents, DUI’s, and moving violations, on the other hand, indicate higher risk and will likely result in higher rates.
In fact, some auto insurance companies won’t even sell you a policy if your risk factor is too high.
The nature and severity of any accidents and who was at fault will typically affect your quote. Most car insurers look back from 3 to 5 years to determine risk, but some will even go back as far as 7 years.
Check your records to see what violations are listed that might cause your rates to rise or if you have violations that have fallen off that could reduce your rates.
Should You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
The number of uninsured (and underinsured) motorists can vary state by state. While Oklahoma drivers, by law, are supposed to have a minimum required coverage, 25% of Oklahoma auto owners don’t have the required minimum coverage or don’t have liability coverage at all. Drivers in the Sooner state should be concerned that a quarter of automobiles on the road aren’t adequately insured.
While you’ve been responsible and have purchased adequate coverage, you may also want to know you’re covered in the event you have an accident with someone who hasn’t. Uninsured motorist insurance typically covers your medical bills and loss of income related to accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers if the accident was their fault.
Without this type of insurance, you could be on the hook for expensive medical treatments and for lost wages during your recovery, which the at-fault driver’s insurance would otherwise have covered. Talk about adding insult to injury!
So while many people aren’t thinking about this when they’re shopping quotes and coverage options, it’s definitely something to consider.
Vehicle-Related Medical Expenses
What many people don’t realize when comparing auto insurance companies is that not all vehicle-related injuries are covered under the terms of the policy being quoted
You need to know if the insurance rate you’re being quoted by every car insurance company you evaluate includes bodily injury liability coverage for medical expenses incurred by you or any of your passengers who are injured during an accident or auto-related event— regardless of who was at fault.
- What about injuries as a result of having been hit as a pedestrian?
- Does the quote include any coverage for you and your family members in this event?
- What about injuries for things like having slammed a finger in the door of an automobile?
- Or chiropractic visits following an accident?
Are these things covered in the “low cost” quote you’ve received? Finding out could make a world of difference in your monthly premium.
Say, for instance, that you’re hit as you cross a parking lot. Not your vehicle, but your person. Your medical bills will be handled by MedPay— in fact, MedPay might be the only way you get compensated for your bills related to the accident. But many companies providing free insurance quotes may not offer this type of coverage, or even know about its existence.
It pays to ask the right questions, so when you are getting a quote, keep these points in mind.
Other Areas of Coverage
Are you covered by your car insurance company if you are driving in a rental car? There are all kinds of “what ifs” that you should plan to ask when looking for auto insurance.
As your evaluating your vehicle-related coverage and your future life planning, take a look at life insurance offerings.
Usually people start looking to purchase life insurance during some kind of life transition but as you are adding or changing your policies, it’s a good idea to look at your overall coverage.
“Bundle today!” - You’ve heard it on TV, on the radio and seen it in magazine ads. Typically offered bundles include home and auto but life and auto can also be bundled. This is a savings opportunity!
Keep your budget as a whole in mind when evaluating your individual coverage needs and look for competitive bundling rates.
If you have an existing life insurance policy with a company, check to see if they offer auto and what kind of savings can be offered if you add it to your coverage. Usually this means saving hundreds of dollars a year.
If you don’t have life insurance yet, this could be an opportunity to start at a lower cost than individual purchase. Either way, prepare to go through the screening process so they can determine a quote. More about life insurance is available here.
Will Your Agency Be Involved In The Claims Process?
You may be shocked to learn how many insurance agencies in Oklahoma are never involved with the claims process. In fact, many agents consider their job done once you've turned in your claim.
What you need to know when getting auto insurance quotes, is whether your agent will be involved in the claim process.
Why is this important?
Because it can mean the difference between a claim dragging on for months and it getting resolved in a much shorter time period. Plus, agents can act as a liaison between you and the adjuster who probably won’t translate insurance terms for you to make the process easy to understand.
And if you’ve purchased additional coverage not included in standard policies, the adjuster may deny your claim if he or she hasn’t read your policy closely (or at all), and an involved agent can catch these things right away.
If reducing the likelihood of headaches and delays is important to you, you need to know if your quote includes an agent who will be involved, or if the quote assumes the agent’s job ends once you submit the claim.
Make Sure You Get the Right Oklahoma City Insurance Agent To Give You A Quote
There are many options for car insurance in Oklahoma, each with different terms and conditions. And not all of them are the right fit for your circumstances.
So don’t make the mistake of going with the first agency you pull up in a web search or the agency that spends the most advertising their “LOW LOW rates!” on television.
At Thrive Insurance, our goal is to provide real answers and solutions to real problems. We’re specialists in auto insurance coverage, and our goal is to provide our clients with a number of options that provide them with just the right amount of insurance so they’re not over- or underinsured.
We don’t believe in giving half-hearted answers or taking short cuts that leave our clients holding the bag when an accident happens. We’re obsessed with customer service and we believe our commitment doesn’t end when you submit your claim. That’s also why we’ve created our mobile app: So we are accessible to help you when you need it most, no matter where you are. Click here to get started on a quote with us today.