Local car insurance: Why is it so hard to find?
While national car insurance agencies have a much greater presence due to their larger advertising budgets, local car insurance is often a better option for many drivers depending on their personal situation. Here is a brief guide that explains the basics of local insurance and provides valuable information for drivers that may not be easy to find anywhere else.
Why is local insurance harder to find?
Many people may not even know that something like local car insurance exists. If you think about it, most of us have heard hours and hours of car insurance commercials that use ridiculous attention grabbing tactics over the last several years, but none were probably from a local agency. The fact that these larger companies are more visible than smaller, local providers is one of the reasons it can be difficult to even learn that local providers are available or get quality information about them.
Even when you try to search for anything related to local car insurance online, many of the results are still tied to national providers because they have optimized their sites to perform well in search engines. This means that you really have to look for local carriers and do your research. \
How is local insurance different from national providers?
Local car insurance resembles a typical local business. When you are dealing with a local company, it is possible to have in person meetings and develop more of a personal relationship with your agent in the event you need to discuss costs, have an accident, or any other issues covered by the policy. You will probably develop a long term business relationship with one person at the agency, and they will become your primary point of contact. Many local agencies have staff available that can give much more detailed information about insurance in the area where you live and work, how specific factors affect your coverage, and costs. This is different from national brands that simply set their rates according to the cost of doing business in each zip code.
National providers do everything by phone or online in today's world because they handle such a high volume of customers. This can mean long wait times during calls, navigating automated menus or website forms, and speaking to a different person every time you need help. However, many people like the convenience of shopping for the best rate conveniently online, and it is easy to switch between national providers as much as necessary to get the best rate and right type of coverage. Larger companies also usually have tools such as phone apps that make it simple to access everything you need.
Using autoinsurance.com to get quotes
There is plenty of information available on autoinsurance.com for anyone who is eager to learn more about the advantages of local car insurance and make the switch. The most useful feature is the ability to comparison shop, where you can find which provider offers the best rates and most extensive services based on your location. This simple tool takes much of the hassle out of trying to find local car insurance on your own.
What information should you be looking for?
There are a few essential pieces of information you should ask from your local provider, or anyone else selling insurance. These include:
- The total cost of a policy and whether payments will be monthly, every 6 months, annually, etc.
- Deductible amounts so you know how much you will be required to pay after an accident out of your own pocket before the coverage kicks in. You can usually pay a larger premium to lower this deductible if you prefer.
- Does the policy include any additional services? This is important if you require roadside assistance after an emergency. Services available may include towing or help when getting locked out of the car.
- Consider how far you drive and how often you use your car. Someone who spends several hours on the road every day has a much greater level of exposure to accidents and your insurance provider usually tailors the rates based on this important factor. Conversely, if you barely drive at all, the provider should offer a lower rate with only minimal coverage because the risk of an accident decreases significantly.
- Ask if any discounts are available. This includes everything from a history of safe driving to being a member of certain organizations or an alumnus of the right school. You should be able to provide the agent with some basic background information and they can tell you if you are eligible for a reduced rate.
- Any special situations that might apply. For example, if you use a car for working or running a business, you should ask about how this may affect your rates or the procedure for filing a claim if an accident happens.
How to make the switch
If it sounds like a local option would be better for you, go to autoinsurance.com to start looking for a local auto insurance provider and get a quote instantly from the comfort of your own home.