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Providing Car Insurance in American Falls

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In the past, buying car insurance in American Falls has been a tedious affair. You would look through your local Yellow Pages to find a local agent or ask a friend who they used.

You would then have to take time off of work to go to the agent's office.  The agent would learn about your needs, then present you with options to customize your policy. There wasn't much comparison shopping. You took what you had because it was convenient.

Shopping for Car Insurance

The internet has changed the way we shop for auto insurance. Now people in American Falls have access to all the major companies and their offerings, 24/7. This has shifted the power to the consumer and made comparison shopping much easier.

Many people feel like insurance is one of those necessary evils that you have to have in your life. Yet, you may not use it for many years, but once you have to use it, you are always glad you had it.

Choosing the right insurance policy isn't always about going with the cheapest option. You always want to find a good deal, but without sacrificing service. That is where having a local or regional agent pays big dividends.

Benefits of a Local Insurance Agent

A big dividend of a local agent is the ability to have an annual review for your homeowners and car insurance. Often, small changes in your life can impact your insurance. An annual meeting with your insurance agent helps spot trouble areas. With this review, you can save money with your coverages, or cover areas of exposure.

Reviewing your car insurance each year around renewal time is a smart idea. Often, there are discounts which may apply that weren't available before. Things like driving records, changing coverages, adding or dropping drivers impact your premiums.

Getting a New Insurance Policy

When getting quotes for a new auto policy, here are some things to remember.

Your Driving History. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it has a tremendous impact on the rates you will receive. Insurance companies don't like risk. The riskier you appear, the more expensive the quote you will receive.            

If you have had several claims over the past few years, you can expect a higher rate. Also, if you have had tickets recently, you can expect a bump in your premium. Yet, if you have had a clean record for the last three years, you will qualify for a better rate.

Your Credit Rating. While not an indicator of your driving history, your credit rating can impact your rates. Insurance companies don't like risk and low credit scores show potential risk. When getting a quote, ask the agent if they factor credit scores into their calculations. If you have great credit, you may be eligible for a better rate.

Specific things that affect your insurance rates:

  1. Driving Record. As mentioned earlier, your accident and traffic violations records affect your rate. Drivers with high accident rates or violations are riskier and receive higher premiums. Drivers with good records get better rates and terms.
  2. Geographic Region. For rural communities like American Falls, rates are often lower than urban areas. Rural communities tend to have fewer claims - reducing the risk factor. Once again, lower risk equals lower premiums.
  3. Gender and Age. Statistics prove younger drivers have higher accident rates and traffic violations. Also, certain age groups tend to have more claims than others, which affect rates.
  4. Marital Status. Married individuals tend to be less risky than their unmarried counterparts. Because of this, claim rates tend to be lower which results in lower premiums.
  5. Prior Coverage. Cancellations for non-payment of premiums or long gaps in coverage result in higher rates. On the other side, there are benefits to being with the same company. Many companies reward their customers with loyalty discounts. You may be eligible based on your driving record and continuous length of coverage.
  6. Vehicle Use. How you use your vehicle has a large impact on your rates. If you use your vehicle for short trips around town your rate will be lower than if you use your vehicle for work. Higher annual mileages result in higher exposure to risk which means higher premiums.
  7. Make and Model of Vehicle. If you are driving a sports car, you can expect a higher rate compared to someone driving a minivan. Age of your vehicle will also be a factor in your coverage. Older vehicles tend to not be worth as much, so replacing them isn't as expensive as replacing a new vehicle.

Possible Discounts. Each insurance company has discounts they offer for a variety of things. Discounts are available for things like: multiple vehicles, driver education courses, good student, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, good driver/renewal, auto/home packages.

Coverage Amounts. The most basic type of car insurance is liability. If you own your car outright, this is the cheapest type of insurance you can have. Liability insurance protects other drivers in case an accident is your fault. Liability insurance doesn't protect your vehicle. To cover your vehicle you need to add coverages like:

  1. Collision coverage. This pays for damage to your vehicle as a result of colliding with another object. Collision coverage is not required by law. It does add a layer of protection in case of an accident that may be your fault. Collision insurance does add to the cost of basic liability coverage.
  2. Comprehensive insurance. This covers damage to your car about every other cause. Coverage for things like fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods, and theft as well as broken glass and windshield damage are available. This coverage is less expensive than collision, but it isn't required by law. It is an add-on coverage to a basic liability policy.
  3. Optional coverages. Other less expensive coverages available are medical payments, rental car assistance, and roadside assistance coverage for towing and labor in case of vehicle malfunctions.

Basic Idaho Auto Insurance Amount Requirements

The minimum amount of bodily injury coverage required is $25,000 per person injured in any one accident and $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident.

The minimum amount of property damage coverage required is $15,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

For American Falls residents, getting car insurance doesn't have to be challenging. Access to options like the Dave Reichelt Agency make it easier than ever to find the right policy for you.

The trick is being an informed consumer and asking the right questions. This helps the agent pick the right product for you to review and allows you to compare apples to apples.

Finally, when you do select your agent and policy, make sure to read your new policy very carefully. An auto insurance policy is a binding contract, so it important that you know your rights as a consumer. Each policy states what your responsibilities and rights are. It also spells out the insurance companies duties. You should review any questions you have with your agent. This helps you understand what to do in case you need to file a claim.

Before signing take a moment to check the state insurance agency.  Verify that the company and your agent are current and in good standing with the state. If you buy insurance from an unlicensed agent you may not have the coverage you need. Worse yet, you may not be guaranteed coverage at all.

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