How Can An Experienced Driver With A Good Record Get The Best Rates?

How can an experienced driver with a good record get the best rates? "Shop around!" advises Clark Jackson, President and CEO of Jackson and Jackson Insurance Agents and Brokers in Glendora, California.

"Shop around!" advises Clark Jackson, President and CEO of Jackson and Jackson Insurance Agents and Brokers in Glendora, California. "There are many different insurance companies out there that are charging different rates and offering different discounts. Be informed and don't just pounce on the first 'deal' that you come across. As a good driver, you will have the advantage of possessing the most negotiating power when buying insurance. Your Independent Insurance Agent ® can help you find the best rate from an assortment of insurance companies."


Several major insurers, however, will also provide you with quotes directly over the phone or online. The rate you are quoted based on the information you provide about your vehicle and about your driving record will reflect the cumulative experience of others drivers who are similarly situated with you. "After all," Jackson explains, "insurance is a system whereby many people pool their money in order to cover the accidents and losses incurred by just a few. Otherwise, we wouldn't need insurance!"

He recommends that the first step in making sure that you are getting the best service for your premium dollars is in understanding how much insurance you should really have in order to cover unforeseen circumstances. "Automobile insurance is designed to protect you in two ways. The first one is to protect your personal assets from loss as a result of something that you have caused yourself (i.e., backing out of your own garage without opening the garage door). The second one is to compensate you for loss resulting from actions caused by someone who doesn't have insurance. Consequently, when considering how much insurance to purchase, ask yourself what possessions do you need to protect? Is $100,000 an adequate amount? Not if you have a home, job or other assets. An umbrella liability policy is recommended to layer on an additional $1,000,000 or more on top of your auto liability limits."
Second, Jackson advises consumers that they need to know what type of insurance coverage they have now and what the competition is offering. "Premium isn't the only consideration. Limits of insurance and coverage can vary and can wildly affect the bottom line premium. Do you want the limits you have purchased to apply to anyone who is driving your car or just to you? Do you ever rent a car for business trips or family vacations? Does your policy or the policy that you are purchasing provide coverage? How much? Coverage varies between companies. What type of deductible are you willing to pay in exchange for a lower rate? Also, will you be combining this coverage with other policies, such as a homeowner's or renter's policy? Many companies will offer multi-policy and multi-car discounts. You won't know this, however, if you don't take the time to shop around."
Finally, he urges new buyers to consider what will happen in the event that they ever have to file a claim. "Certainly the trauma and inconvenience of an accident is enough to deal with; the added frustration of not knowing what your insurance policy will cover and how long it will take to pay is something that you just don't need. The cost of insurance is important, but so is prompt and efficient service when you need it."

How about the financial strength of the insurance company itself? Are they going to be around when it comes time to pay a claim? Have any consumer complaints been filed against them? What is their reputation for service? Do you want the service of an independent insurance agent who has access to a variety of insurance companies or an agent representing only one company or deal direct through the Web or and 800 number? "There is a wealth of information on the Department of Insurance website for your state," Jackson says. "Familiarize yourself with the questions to ask upfront and you won't be hit later with unpleasant surprises."

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