Month: June 2018

Tips Every Home Owner Needs to Know About Insurance

June 6, 2018 Home and Life Insurance No comments

Insurance requires you to think about bad occurrences … medical problems, car accidents, emergency home repairs. But although it may sound pessimistic to dwell on what could happen (carpe diem, anyone?), it’s important to protect yourself from some of life’s biggest surprises.

When it comes to protecting your home, it’s not just about safeguarding against structural damage or theft—it’s just as much about feeling secure in where you live. If disaster strikes, your focus should be on reclaiming your sense of stability. The last thing you should worry about is money.

We spoke to LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planner Ellen Derrick—and some real homeowners—about the top 11 things you should know about homeowner’s insurance.

1. What It Covers

A typical policy will pay for damage to your property and your possessions in the event of certain storms, fire, theft or vandalism. Like renter’s insurance, it also provides liability coverage if someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue. Homeowner’s insurance also covers shelter costs, so you don’t have to face crazy hotel bills if you’re temporarily displaced from your house.

Homeowner’s insurance can protect belongings outside the home, too. If something is stolen from your car, auto insurance won’t cover it—but your homeowners policy likely will. “Most policies will cover your belongings when they are traveling with you,” Derrick says. “If you have a $1,200 laptop and it gets lost by the airline, call your insurance agent—right after you file the claim with the airline, of course.”

2. What It Doesn’t Cover

A standard policy has exclusions, including earth movements (landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes), power failure, war, nuclear hazard, government action, faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, defective maintenance and flooding. Windstorms are typically covered, including tornadoes, although insurance companies exclude tornadoes or hurricanes in some high-risk areas.

Water damage is tricky. As a rule of thumb, water from above (rainwater or a burst pipe in an upstairs apartment) is usually covered, but water from below (backed-up sewers or ground flooding) generally isn’t. If your region is prone to floods and earthquakes, you should consider supplemental coverage.

3. Why You Should Shop Around

Before committing to a policy, take the time to research an agent whom you trust—preferably one with good reviews online or via a personal recommendation. It’s certainly something that Ramzy Ayyad, who struggled to receive benefits following a house fire in November 2008, recommends that prospective homeowners do. “I had to deal with a rude adjuster,” he says. After complaining assertively to the adjuster’s boss, Ayyad finally received a check for the damages—but the process was exhausting.

By contrast, Terri Corcoran has nothing but glowing reviews for her adjuster. After a snowstorm caused a major leak in Corcoran’s laundry room, an insurance agent came to her home to assess the damage—and promptly determined that the entire room needed to be redone. “They wrote me a check on the spot for what it should cost,” Corcoran says. “I was really impressed by how the company responded!”

Bottom line? Don’t just shop for a policy. Make sure you also select the best agent.

4. Which Preventive Actions Can Reduce Premiums

It may sound like common sense to have a working smoke detector, but did you know that it might also help you land a lower insurance quote? The same goes for a burglar alarm. According to insuranceagents.com, you can reduce your premium by about 5% if you install something as a simple as a deadbolt, and up 15-20% for a burglar alarm system.

Insurance companies price your premium based on how much risk they foresee, so you can reduce the premium by reducing your liability risk, thanks to some smart preventive measures. For example, if you have a pool, you may be able to reduce the likelihood of a claim—and thus, possibly lower your premium—by installing a fence and a pool cover to minimize the risk of a neighborhood kid wandering onto your property and falling in.

5. How Replacement Coverage Differs From Market Value

There are two key distinctions that every homeowner should know: “replacement cost” versus “market value.” Replacement cost covers repairing or replacing your entire home. Market value is how much someone would pay to buy your home and accompanying land in its current downtrodden condition.

When you’re considering the type of coverage to take out, a policy that’s based on market value is typically less expensive but, as State Farm puts it, “for a cash-strapped homeowner, buying a policy based on market value offers the best chance to recoup at least partial expenses after a loss.” In other words, you won’t recoup as much in the event of a serious disaster.

For those who have a good emergency fund in place, Derrick says that there is a way to possibly get more substantial coverage and still pay lower premiums: “You might consider getting a policy that covers more in terms of replacing or rebuilding your property, but with a higher deductible.”

6. Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File a Claim

When buying a policy, make sure to ask about time limits to report a claim, and then abide by them! If you wait too long, you may not be eligible for benefits—especially if waiting has made the problem worse. David Baxter works for a residential and commercial restoration company in Florida, and he remembers a customer with water damage who waited almost a month to do anything about it. “When the mold set in, and he decided to call, his insurance didn’t cover him because it was outside of the 14-day window required for reporting the problem,” Baxter says.

7. Why You Should Write Everything Down

Senen Garcia, a lawyer in Coconut Grove, Fla., represents homeowners against insurance companies that fail to pay out on valid claims. He’s seen many denied claims because people don’t keep good enough records. “Homeowners must document everything that occurs during a loss, do as much as possible to mitigate [the loss]—and document such mitigation,” Garcia says.

In addition to saving receipts, contracts and appraisals, document phone calls by writing down who you spoke to and when. And be sure to stow it in a secure place! Don’t want to invest in a safe? Consider keeping digital copies online using a program like Dropbox.

8. How Jewelry Is Covered

When David Cohen lost his wife’s rings, he was relieved that his homeowner’s policy covered jewelry—but it was only up to a maximum of $3,000. “My wife gave me her rings to hold,” he says. “So I promptly put them in my jacket pocket … and then forgot about the rings when I took the jacket to the cleaners. As you can imagine, they were gone.”

Within three weeks, the Cohens received a check from their insurance company, but they were still out a good deal of money because his wife’s engagement ring was worth $6,000 alone. The lesson? When signing up for homeowner’s insurance, note the limits on jewelry. “Most people don’t realize that things like wedding rings aren’t usually covered by the basic limits in their policies,” Derrick says. “You can get an appraisal at your jeweler, and then consider buying a supplemental policy to cover it.”

9. Why Good Maintenance Matters

Insurance companies would rather pay as little as possible to repair damage, so they prize early detection and prevention. Deacon Hayes and his wife paid for a routine checkup on their air conditioner because they live in Arizona and wanted to make sure that the system was ready for summer. “The specialist told us that the unit was on its last legs because of a hail storm,” Hayes recalls. Thanks to his diligence, Hayes’s insurance policy ended up paying for a new $4,000 A/C unit.

According to Derrick, one very important thing to keep an eye on is your water bill. “If you notice an unusual spike or trend upward (and it’s not just because it’s 100 degrees outside, and you’re watering your lawn more), you could have a leak somewhere,” she says. “Finding the source early could save you from dealing with a bigger headache when a major pipe bursts.”

10. How to Save by Bundling

One way to save money is to bundle your homeowner’s insurance with other policies that you already own. “But don’t just buy a bunch of policies in order to ‘save’ money,” Derrick cautions. “For example, it makes a lot of sense to have your car and homeowner’s policies with the same company because you’ll usually get some kind of discount. However, if you don’t have a need for life insurance, don’t buy a policy just because the agent says you’ll save money on other policies.” After all, if you’re spending money on something that you don’t need, where are the savings?

11. When to File a Claim

A large section of Richard Clayman’s wooden backyard fence came down in a storm. “I didn’t think there was any way my homeowner’s policy would cover it—and my neighbors assured me that it wouldn’t,” he says. But he called his insurance company, just in case. “The agent asked how high (the fence was), what kind of wood it was and how much of it needed replacing. Next thing you know, I get a $700 check in the mail!”

Theresa Roma has a similar story: A bad windstorm took roof shingles off her house, and she almost didn’t file a claim because it didn’t feel worthwhile. In the end, she received over $25,000 for a new roof.

The obvious mishaps aside (fire, major flood, etc.), it can be beneficial to file a claim when in doubt, but Derrick cautions restraint. “Don’t file a bunch of frivolous claims,” she says. “The claims history for your property is also what determines your rates, so it’s better not to cry wolf, unless you have a real claim.” The repercussion if you file needlessly? A possible uptick in your premium.

Save Money on Your Homeowner Insurance Policy

June 6, 2018 Home and Life Insurance No comments

Shopping for homeowner insurance is one of those nagging home buying details that sometimes manages to slip though the cracks. It’s not unusual for insurance agents to receive last-minute frantic phone calls from title and / or escrow companies requesting a home insurance binder. To save yourself trouble, it’s a good idea to start shopping for a homeowner policy as soon as your purchase offer is accepted.

Further, realize that homeowner’s insurance is different from a home warranty plan.

Here are a few tips about buying homeowner insurance that are designed to save you time and money:

Determine Insurability

Your insurance agent needs extensive information from you to quote you the best rate for your policy. To determine insurability, an agent will ask:

When was the home built?
How old is the plumbing and electrical?
What type of roof?
What’s the square footage?
How many claims have been filed over the past 5 years?
Where is the home located?
If the home is located in a rural area without a nearby fire department or there is no fire hydrant on the street, some companies may refuse to insure it. In that case, you may have to inquire at a specialty or surplus-lines company, and this quote will take longer to obtain.

Deductibles

You can save money by having a higher deductible on your policy. Typically, insurance companies will start giving discounts at a $500 deductible and increase the discount as your deductible increases.

Most companies offer deductibles up to $10,000. Be careful, however, because many mortgage companies will not allow you to exceed a $1,000 deductible, so check with your lender before opting for a higher deductible.

How Much Insurance Do You Need?

Most agents use a cost estimator to figure cost replacement estimates.

This will ensure that your home is insured for the correct amount. Insurance companies do not insure dirt. If you buy a home that includes a large lot, do not be astonished when you receive an insurance policy for a lot less than what you paid for the home. This is because you are buying coverage for the home and not the land.

In the past, replacement coverage was called Guaranteed Replacement Cost. There is no such coverage anymore. Today it is Replacement Cost Coverage, which means each insurance company designates a percentage of additional coverage on top of the insured amount. This is designed to protect the homeowner who has suffered a loss from having to pay additional construction costs to rebuild. It can cost more to build because of inflation or simply because material prices have increased. For example, if the dwelling coverage is insured for $300,000, and the company has 125% replacement cost coverage, the homeowner would receive an additional $75,000.

Insurance agents often recommend 200% replacement cost coverage, which gives homeowners double the coverage.

Policy Options

You have other choices on your home insurance policy that you can tailor. Liability coverage is a part of your homeowner’s insurance policy that is often overlooked.

This protects the insured against claims arising from bodily injury and property damage to others. For example, if your five-year-old was playing with matches and set your neighbor’s house on fire, your liability coverage would pay for this damage. You might have to move out of the neighborhood, but your insurance policy would pay your neighbor.

It is common to see $300,000 in coverage for liability, but the cost to raise it to $500,000 is about $20 more a year. You can have up to one-million coverage on most policies. Over that, you need an excess liability policy or “umbrella” policy. Umbrella policies give you an additional $1,000,000 liability coverage for a $300 to $500 premium.

Available Discounts

Make sure that you are getting all of the credits for which you are eligible. If you have an alarm system that reports to a central station (a company such as Brinks or ADT), in some cases, you can get up to a 10% discount.

If you are over 50 and care to admit it, you may be eligible for a discount. Companies have different names for age preference policies, from senior discount to mature policyholder discount.

The most common discount is the multi-policy discount. This will save you money on your home and auto insurance. By combining the two policies with the same company, you are given a certain percentage discount on both. the percentage discounts vary among companies, so it’s best to shop around.

Review Your Policies

Call your agent and review your homeowner policy at least every three years. Needs change, markets change and coverages change. You should stay up-to-date on your insurance because you never know when you will need to rely on it.

How to Protect Your Child

June 6, 2018 Home and Life Insurance No comments

Act like a child

Explore your home at the child’s level – by getting down on your hands and knees and moving around each room. Ask yourself what looks tempting and what’s within reach (between the floor and about 40 inches above). Remove or secure any items that could be dangerous.

Also, check carpets for buried dangers like pins, coins or other things a child could choke on.

Post emergency numbers by all telephones

Check your state law to find out the age you can allow your child to stay home alone. Then set your child up to have a safe experience while you are gone. Make sure your child has easy access to this information:

  • 911 for emergencies
  • 1-800-222-1222 for the Poison Control Center
  • The number for a pediatrician, police, fire department, emergency medical services and a neighbor
  • Your home address so that caregivers and children can easily tell emergency personnel how to locate the home

Create house rules

Establish house rules and make sure your child is comfortable with them. Some common guidelines:

  • Don’t answer the door
  • Let the phone go to voicemail
  • Do not allow friends in the house unless a parent is at home

If your child stays home alone after school, agree on a daily check-in procedure. Set a time when you’ll call home or your child will call you. Tell your child how to contact you and what time you’ll return home at day’s end.

Walk around the house together

Take a tour of your house and point out potential hazards to your child, such as electrical appliances and heating equipment. Discuss which appliances and electronic devices can and can’t be used when you’re not home (e.g., the microwave is OK, but the oven is not).

Make sure your child knows the location of the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, make sure they know your family’s fire escape plan. Remind them to get out of the house immediately if an alarm goes off, and to call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone.

Prepare a snack or meal for your child in advance, preferably one that does not need to be heated. If your child must use the stove or oven, remind him or her never to leave a pot unattended while cooking and to check that the stove, oven or burner is turned off when they finish.

How much home insurance do I need?

June 6, 2018 Home and Life Insurance No comments

You know you need homeowners insurance to protect your home – but countless options can seem overwhelming. In addition to figuring outwhat type of homeowners coverage you’ll need, it’s also crucial to figure out how much home insurance you’ll need to adequately protect your property. It’s important to set realistic policy limits based on your specific home, property and belongings. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to accurately estimate how much home insurance is right for you.

1. What would be the total cost to rebuild my home?

Insurance is designed to help you plan for the worst. In the unfortunate event that your home has to be completely rebuilt due to a covered accident, a home insurance policy would ideally cover the entire cost (minus your deductible). Rather than simply insuring your home for how much you paid for it, you should consider the cost of rebuilding, market fluctuations in your area and your home’s age when estimating the rebuild cost. It’s also important to factor in the value of any new features or remodeling you’ve completed while living in your home. You can even work with a contractor to get a more accurate figure.

2. What is the total value of my personal belongings?

One of the most important features of home insurance is that it can protect your belongings in the event of a fire, wind damage or other covered accidents. To ensure that your policy limits can cover everything in your house, take an inventory of all of your home’s contents, room by room. Beyond approximating the cost of valuables such as electronics and art, you should also remember to include furniture, clothing, appliances and home goods in your estimate.

3. What would be the cost to live elsewhere temporarily in the event my home has to be rebuilt or repaired?

In the event that you and your family are unable to live in your home in the aftermath of a covered accident, how much would it cost you to live in a hotel or other temporary housing? Beyond the per-night cost, there are other day-to-day costs that you would incur if you were temporarily displaced, such as increased transportation costs, food costs and more. Your insurance agent will be able to calculate an amount based on your specific home and property.

4. How much could someone sue me for in a personal liability dispute?

Home insurance does more than protect your home and your belongings. The right policy can also protect you from paying out of pocket if you are found responsible for a guest’s bodily injuries. If the costs associated with their injuries exceed your policy limit, they could take legal action against you. Although choosing a personal liability limit isn’t as cut and dry as estimating other costs, think about your long-term finances and net worth when estimating how much personal liability protection you will need. Choosing how much homeowners coverage you’ll need is a big decision. Once you have an estimate, you can start your homeowners insurance quote from our services. Our policies are customizable to your unique needs.

Want to now How Much Home Insurance Costs?

How Much is Homeowners Insurance?

June 6, 2018 Home and Life Insurance No comments

You bought a new house and are trying to get a handle on your monthly expenses, one of the most important being your homeowners insurance. Determining the average cost of homeowners insurance depends on a wide variety of factors. For instance, did you know that owning a specific breed of dog can impact your homeowners insurance cost?

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that determine how your homeowners insurance is calculated – and what you can expect.

1. Insurance and claims history

The following are some of the factors taken into account when determining your homeowners premium:

  • Credit history
  • Insurance score
  • Gaps in coverage
  • Amount of homeowners claims
  • Frequency of homeowners claims

2. Qualities of your new house

Your premium also depends on the type of home you own, including:

  • Age of the home – Older models may be more expensive to insure because they often aren’t updated to local building codes.
  • Type of structure – The primary material used (such as brick or stone), as well as roof type (such as composite shingle or slate), are taken into consideration.
  • Security and safety features – Having the latest alarm systems and smoke detectors installed could result in a lower premium. Other devices that could help reduce payments include deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems.

3. The location of your home

One of the biggest impacts on your homeowners insurance cost is where you live. If you reside in an area prone to hurricanes or earthquakes, for instance, you generally will need additional coverage – which will likely impact your rate.

In addition to your region, the physical location of your house matters too. Being close to a police or fire station are contributing factors, as well as living in a neighborhood that experiences a high number of burglaries.

Remember, dependable homeowners insurance shouldn’t have to strain your budget. There are plenty of opportunities to save, such as bundling your auto and homeowners policies. Take a look at some of the discounts Nationwide has to offer.

What does motorcycle insurance cover?

June 6, 2018 Moto Insurance No comments

You need the best motorcycle insurance to stay protected on the road. Motorcycle insurance from Nationwide can cover collision damage costs, medical payments, theft and more. Learn more below about each motorcycle coverage option and get a quote online in minutes.

Basic motorcycle insurance coverages

Bodily injury liability

 

If you cause an accident and someone is injured, this motorcycle insurance coverage can help pay their medical bills and loss of income.

Property damage liability

This coverage helps pay for damages to another person’s vehicle or property, if you cause an accident.

Collision

Collision pays for damage to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or object, another vehicle hits you, or your vehicle rolls over.

Comprehensive

Also known as “other than collision,” this motorcycle coverage can help pay for damage to your vehicle from vandalism, theft, weather events and falling objects.

Uninsured motorist

Helps protect you and your vehicle from uninsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents.

Underinsured motorist

Helps protect you from drivers who do not have enough insurance to cover the costs of an accident.

Medical payments

Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), med pay can help cover medical costs related to an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.

Optional motorcycle insurance coverages

Custom equipment

This covers aftermarket parts and equipment not originally installed on your vehicle by the manufacturer. You get $3,000 of coverage if you have comprehensive insurance. You can buy additional limits up to $30,000.

Roadside Assistance

Get 24/7 emergency help if you need fuel, a tire change, a jumpstart or a tow.

Learn more about Roadside Assistance »

OEM endorsement

This coverage helps ensure that your vehicle is repaired with new parts from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), whenever available. If an OEM part is not available, we’ll issue payment based on the fair market value of the new OEM part. Available for vehicles less than 10 years old.

Vanishing Deductible®

Earn $100 off your deductible for each year of safe driving, up to $500. Your deductible could vanish completely.1

How Vanishing Deductible works

Let’s say you have a $500 deductible. After three years of safe driving with Vanishing Deductible, you’ll earn a $300 credit. If you have an accident, you’d pay just $200 toward your deductible before your insurance starts to cover any damages.

And if you’re involved in an accident, your deductible is reset back to $100 off.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost?

June 6, 2018 Moto Insurance No comments

The cost of motorcycle insurance varies widely and depends on a number of factors. Generally speaking, motorcycle insurance costs tend to be higher for younger drivers and those driving a sports bike. However, each rider has unique circumstances that may influence the cost of motorcycle coverage for them. Read on to learn more about some of the factors that go into motorcycle insurance costs and how they might be impacting you.

Factors that influence the cost of motorcycle insurance

  • Vehicle type, year, make, model and engine size (in cubic centimeters). As you’d expect, insurance for a newer sport bike with a large engine will cost more than insurance for a used cruiser with a small engine. Learn more about the different types of motorcycles and their uses.
  • How the vehicle is primarily used. Insurance for a bike that is primarily used for pleasure riding/recreation will be less expensive than it would be for a bike that is used primarily for your daily commute or business/deliveries.
  • Modifications, conversions and customization. Has the vehicle been converted to a trike, modified, customized, rebuilt, salvaged or had the original frame replaced? If so, you’ll want to let your insurer know so that you are properly covered.
  • Coverage options. Are you looking for a bare-bones, state-minimum liability policy or do you need a custom motorcycle insurance package that includes collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorcycle coverage, Roadside Assistance and an OEM endorsement?
  • Your age. Riders in different age groups pose different risks.
  • Your location. Rates differ according to geography, as well as where the vehicle is kept (which is sometimes referred to as your garaging address). Also, you may be eligible for a discount if your vehicle is stored in a locked garage.
  • Driving history. Have you had any accidents, violations or claims in the past 5 years?
  • Policy limits and deductibles. What level of protection do you need? If limits are too high, you’ll be paying for insurance you don’t need; too low, and you’re at risk of covering the difference out of pocket in the event of an accident. You’ll also be at risk of paying more out of pocket if you choose a high deductible in return for a lower rate.
  • Security and safety features and programs. A discount may be available if your vehicle has a professionally-installed radio or GPS theft-recovery system, or is equipped with a factory-installed anti-lock braking system (ABS). A discount may also be available if you take a safety course.

Lower the cost of motorcycle insurance with discounts

In addition to affordable rates, Nationwide offers a number of motorcycle insurance discounts, such as a multi-vehicle discount, a multi-policy discount and a riding association discount. Find out which motorcycle insurance discounts you may be eligible for.

Get a motorcycle insurance quote today

The best way to figure out how much motorcycle insurance is going to cost you is to get a quote.

Thankfully, getting an online motorcycle insurance quote from Nationwide is easy. To get a quote, visit our motorcycle insurance  page and enter your zip code to begin the process. You can keep your motorcycle insurance cost low with our annual On Your Side Review

Getting cheap rates on auto insurance

June 6, 2018 Car insurance No comments

Some insurance companies focus on the bare necessities for you to drive legally—bodily injury and property damage liability with the minimum limits—along with a claims process that’s spotty at best. Rather than take a chance on that cheap car insurance company, you can get quality coverage that won’t break the bank with Nationwide.

Nationwide’s insurance professionals can quickly design a car insurance quote that meets your precise needs, even for those on a budget. Rather than going with the cheapest car insurance quote, make sure the company you choose provides flexible coverage and billing options. For instance, Nationwide allows members to pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually online, through the mail or over the phone. It’s important to keep long-term flexibility in mind when deciding on an insurance carrier, not just go with the cheapest car insurance option.

How do I get cheap car insurance?

Everybody wants the best value for their car insurance premium. That’s why Nationwide offers many ways to get low rates, including our car insurance discounts. But what really makes us unique is the quality we offer our members. Here are a few benefits Nationwide members get:

  • Dependable, customizable car insurance – you can choose the auto insurance policies that suit your lifestyle and budget.
  • Top-notch claims service – Nationwide Claims Service is there when you need it, 24/7. You can file a claim online or by phone.
  • An annual On Your Side® Review to ensure your coverage is meeting your needs.
  • Accident Forgiveness helps you avoid increased rates in the event of your first at-fault accident.

How can I lower my car insurance rates?

Certain factors influence your auto insurance rates, including some things you can control:

  • The kind of car you drive – The price and style of your vehicle will impact how much your rates will be. The age of your car also matters; older cars tend to be cheaper to insure.
  • The kind of coverage you choose – If you drive an older car with high mileage, you might consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage if you need to keep your premiums low.
  • The amount of your deductible – Higher deductibles can significantly lower car insurance premiums. While it could mean more out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident, it could also mean paying less over time.
  • Where you keep your car – Rates are determined to some degree by the area in which you live and park your car.
  • The number of drivers on your policy – If you add someone to your policy, your rate will increase, particularly if that “someone” is a new teen driver. Statistically teenagers have more accidents so they’re more expensive to insure.
  • Your driving record – Insurance rates can sometimes increase after an accident or moving violation. The good news? You may qualify for a discount after a certain period of driving accident-free.

You can learn more about the factors that impact the cost of car insurance – and be sure to take them into account as you shop for coverage.

What about those discounts?

You can get more affordable rates on Nationwide coverage with our car insurance discounts, such as:

  • Multiple policies discount – When you carry multiple types of insurance policies from Nationwide (car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, motorcycle insurance and so on), you could qualify for lower premiums on each policy than if you had separate policies from different insurers. Think of it as a discount for bundling.
  • Affinity discount – We have established relationships with several organizations to offer discounts to their members. If you belong to such a group, you may be eligible for a discount on insurance from Nationwide.
  • Good student discount – Cheap car insurance for students is possible with Nationwide.
  • SmartRide® discount – SmartRide is a tracking tool we offer to reward safe driving. Here’s where rubber truly meets the road – plug the device into your car and it will track your driving habits, such as hard braking, speed and so forth. With a steady hand at the wheel, your low-risk driving can earn you lower insurance premiums.
  • Paperless discount – You’ll save money on stamps and avoid late fees if you sign up to have your Nationwide bill paid automatically at regular intervals from your checking or savings account. Some policyholders may even earn a recurring discount when they agree to receive documents electronically.

Start saving money today

Best Cheap Car Insurance

June 6, 2018 Car insurance No comments

Whether you’re buying only liability insurance or a full coverage car insurance policy, the thought of cheap car insurance is enticing. And there’s no better way to find the best deal than by shopping around and comparing quotes.

To help you find the cheapest car insurance, NerdWallet did a car insurance comparison of rates from the five largest auto insurers across the 12 most populous states in the country. Rates are for good drivers without accidents or tickets, with policies that include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

Best cheap car insurance by state

Overall rankings: Car insurance rates among the five largest companies

1. Geico

Geico NW

For the general population, Geico offers the cheapest car insurance quotes on average nationwide. NerdWallet found an average rate of $1,297 a year in our study.

Geico also provides a variety of easy-to-score discounts that can cut costs. Motorists who’ve gone five years without an accident qualify for the company’s good driver discount. There are also opportunities to save by insuring multiple vehicles, driving a car with air bags, always wearing seat belts and taking advantage of various other discounts.

2. State Farm

State Farm car insurance

State Farm ranks second for pricing among the four largest companies, but with an average quote of $2,296 per year, nearly $1,000 per year higher than Geico. The good news is drivers have ample opportunity to trim their costs, especially if they have a clean driving record. Among other savings opportunities, State Farm offers four separate discounts that deal with safe and accident-free driving.

State Farm is the nation’s leading car insurance provider in terms of market share, offering a vast array of insurance products and financial services in every state plus Washington, D.C.

3. Progressive

Progressive

Progressive returned an average quote of $2,821 per year, which comes out to $235 a month. That’s $525 a year higher than State Farm and more than double the cost of Geico.

Progressive may appeal to drivers looking for a paper- and agent-free experience. You can manage your policy entirely online. Starting a quote online and signing policy documents electronically are also two ways to qualify for discounts, along with things like bundling auto and home insurance and insuring multiple cars.

4. Allstate

Of the four largest insurers, Allstate had the highest average annual quote for good drivers at $3,182, or roughly $265 per month. Although ponying up that kind of cash is a lot to ask, the company has solid finances and relatively few complaints from policyholders. Allstate holds an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best and has a customer complaint ratio of 0.77, better than the industry median of 1.00, according to data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Among other discounts, Allstate offers price breaks for safe driving, including savings once you’ve gone accident- and violation-free for three years, and again for five years.

 

USAA: Best for those with military ties

Open only to active military members, veterans and their families.
You may already recognize USAA for its highly rated customer service. But the company has more to offer than a friendly bedside manner — it also notched the cheapest car insurance rates in our study, at $918 a year. USAA offers several discounts to help you save more, including for going more than five years with a clean record and for taking an approved defensive driving course.

USAA is open to active and retired military members and their families, and offers car insurance and other insurance products in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Check out smaller insurers, too

Finding cheap car insurance doesn’t mean you have to stick with large, national insurance companies. Regional and small insurers may beat the lowest offers from the big guys. For example:

Grange Mutual offered the lowest car insurance in Ohio at $701 a year.
Erie Insurance had a rate of $796 for Pennsylvania car insurance, second-lowest behind only USAA.
Tips for anyone to get cheap car insurance
No matter who your auto insurance company is, here are tips for saving on your policy:

Look for discounts — even ask for them. There could be discounts you’re not taking advantage of. For instance, maybe you now work from home and are driving less than when you bought your policy. Mention it and you might get a low-mileage discount.

Rethink your insurance limits and deductibles. Don’t strip away your coverage just for the sake of a lower price. But consider accepting a higher deductible on collision and comprehensive if it makes sense. Raising deductibles means you would owe more out of pocket if you had to file a comprehensive or collision claim. If you rarely drive or are financially comfortable with that risk, though, it’s a surefire way to get cheaper car insurance.

Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a new city with stellar public transportation. If you’re commuting by train instead of car, your risk for accidents will go down — and your rates just might, too.