- February 6, 2011
- Posted by: Richard S. McIntosh
- Category: Personal Insurance
If you haven’t reviewed your Minnesota car insurance in the past three years there is a very good chance you are over paying.
Over the past, almost three decades now, I have seen many companies come and go in the Minnesota car insurance market. A company will come out with a hot new program and then find out they were under charging and lost money causing double digit increases down the road. Sometimes insurance companies buy business. A new company just coming into Minnesota, might offer a low rate in the beginning, buying up a percent of the market, and again changing the rate over time.
There can be a huge difference in rates from company to company, maybe 100%. You think because you have been with a big named company for twenty years they have to be the cheapest out there. I’m not saying they aren’t, just be open minded and double check every few years. Taking 20 minutes to review your policy might just save you hundreds of dollars. We have had many a client wish they would have found our services years ago.
Credit Score: This can be a sore subject with many people. Minnesota currently allows companies to profile your credit to calculate a rate. It’s not that you won’t pay your Minnesota car insurance bill. It’s that statistics say a person with a glitch on their credit is more apt to make a claim. This is sad, but it boils down to good credit good rate and bad credit bad rate.
Driving record: Obviously your driving record plays a large roll in your rates on auto insurance. Insurance companies use C.L.U.E. (comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) to find claims and accidents information on consumers. Every time a claim is reported to an insurance company a C.L.U.E. number is generated. Thus when applying for new insurance, companies buy this information and rate your insurance with it. No claim is a good claim.
Discounts: Try to take advantage of every discount you can. Have your agent double check you are receiving every discount you are entitled to. 90% of the time having your home insurance with the same provider will save 10-15%. But here again, keep an open mind, just because you have 10 discounts, it’s the bottom line coverage verses price. What’s the bottom line? How much will my Minnesota auto insurance cost per year?
The Internet has changed the way Minnesotans shop for car insurance. It is easier that even before to compare rates. However, when it comes to purchasing the actual coverage, buy from an experienced agent. You making the decisions on coverage’s may not always the correct one. We see policies purchased online with super low or wrong coverage’s and missing full glass coverage quite often. An experienced agent will guide you through making an informed decision. We feel the customer service staff you talk with at some of these large online companies are very inexperienced. An experienced agent will save you money over the long run.
Type of Automobile: The type of auto you drive can also be a factor. If you select a family type of auto verses a luxury or sports car. The safety features are also important in lower rates not to mention the safety of your family.
Deductibles: The days of having a $50 & $100 deductible are over! Most automobile insurance policies we sell have $500 for comprehensive (with full glass in MN) and $500 for collision. Having a deductible less than this in most cases doesn’t appear cost effective. Besides would you turn in a claim for $150.00? I would recommend you don’t. On the flip side, purchasing a $1,000 in many cases can be painful for most folks come claim time.
Other drivers in the household: If another driver in your household has a DWI or negative driving record it can affect you. Now days, with the age of computers, insurance companies are using more and more ways to rate insurance. Some companies will now rate everyone in the household to some degree even if they have other coverage.
Where you live: Minneapolis car insurance and Saint Paul car insurance can be 20-30% higher than cities such as Lakeville, Farmington, Forest Lake or Hastings.
How you use your auto: If you use your vehicle in business versus pleasure or your son doesn’t have an auto with him at college, things like this can make a difference. If you change jobs or move and are now driving 2 miles to work rather than 20. Be sure to notify your agent when there are these types of changes.
My name is Rick McIntosh, an independent agent and president of Insuring Minnesota. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it helps you keep your MN car insurance costs under control.
We welcome your questions and comments. If you would be interested in a second opinion on your Minnesota car insurance, please feel free to give us a call at 952-469-0425 or complete our online quote form at: http://www.insuringminnesota.com/car-insurance/.