Woman With Car Keys

What should you think about when selecting insurance for your vehicles? Some agents seem to help more than others. Some coverages seem more necessary than other coverages.

Where you buy insurance matters. Doing your homework means shopping around. At the Insurance Place of Orange Park, Inc (Pickering Agency), I have told people that we want you to find the best insurance at a great price. We do our homework!

You want an agency that works to keep you happy with the results. I am almost sad when I see how people struggle with their family bills, and they are paying too much for insurance. This doesn't mean that someone cheated them, but it does mean either the agent or the client was not doing their homework!

When you deal with an agency like ours, you can trust that year-after-year, you will get competitive rates with several insurers. I am always happy when I can offer our own clients lower rates — and we will! We have been here since 1989. So, you know that we do our homework! Sometimes you don't know that a change will save you money. Find out what is possible!

Doing your homework means making sound business decisions all the way through the process.


1) Talk to us when your policy is at renewal, because it is easier to change your rates when you are starting a new policy term. The best time to review your coverages and cost is before you commit any money on the new term. We will review your renewal and find coverages that give you the best insurance for every dollar spent. This also means letting us re-rate your insurance. Some rates automatically go lower, but only if you re-rate your coverages. We have insurers that get more competitive on any given year.

Another way that we see lower rates is when you hold onto vehicles longer and build longevity with your last insurer. Yes, our companies have offered lower rates for stable client histories who keep their vehicles. These are rating factors that appear to show lower risk, which reflects in the rates charged. When you do your homework and ask us to rate your coverages, we have won lower payments for our clients. Some insurance companies keep charging the same old rate, even though a re-rate lowers their client's bill. Sometimes you "have to ask", to get something better.

2) If you are on the new car lot, check-out your insurance cost before you buy. I know you feel the excitement as I have! Take a breath and get that quote first.

Why should you quote first? Some clients who buy new cars will get sticker shock on their insurance. Insurance always charges by how much it costs them to insure a specific vehicle. In most cases, a newer vehicle is more expensive to repair, and you pay more. A lienholder (financing) will require comprehensive and collision. An up-charge occurs if you are adding a vehicle to the household: first, more vehicles to insure; secondly, if the finance company requires more coverage than your trade-in had, your payment is on the rise. Lastly, if your new fancy car is higher risk, the insurance will jump even more!

3) For older vehicles you own without any payments, you can make your own decision whether to have comprehensive and collision coverage (or not). For my family, when a vehicle is older, I make the choice not to cover with comprehensive and collision. Why? I take the risk that if the vehicle is damaged, then I will deal with it myself. If I carry this coverage, I know that in a total loss, I will only get the depreciated value of the vehicle. I would rather save money on insurance every month by not paying for comprehensive and collision. Of course, my hope is that there will be no damage to my vehicle.

Secondly, if I am in an accident where the other driver has insurance and is at fault, I know they should fix my vehicle.

4) Make a plan to pay-in-full and save hundreds of dollars. Build a little nest egg. When the calendar shows your auto insurance is renewing, pay-in-full. Save-a-little, save-a-little, and watch for the policy term to renew. You can put a chunk of money in your pocket! The trick is that once you are ahead and paying-in-full, then you have to keep saving each month so that you have the next full-discounted-payment when the policy renews again. Are you hearing me say, "big savings!"

5) A good double pump-up for you is to: #1, improve your credit score and #2, clean up your driving history. This means putting a stop to the negatives hitting your record! Many clients do not like the fact that credit scores have been reported as reflecting the risk of drivers. Without much argument, most of us will agree that if you can drive three years without any tickets, accidents, or claims, then you are deserving of a lower insurance payment. When you look at your own risk levels, also be aware that higher bodily injury limits will noticeably change your monthly payment. If you are a high-risk driver, this change is significant. This decision will set the level of risk that you will assume for yourself. When your insurance stops paying damages on lawsuits, then one of the recourses against you is a lawsuit to recover damages from your assets.

6) Maybe you have a choice about where you live. Your zip code can have a significant effect on your auto rates. What I explained about risk, also is affected by where you live. If your zip code has more accidents and creates more risk for your insurance company, then you pay more. Insurance rates are largely determined by actuarial science, which is determining the cost of various risks assumed by insurance companies when they insure your specific circumstances. Finally, on a positive note, you can save yourself money on your auto rate by owning your own home. The actuarial science has determined that this earns you a discount! Of course, not all insurers discount with the same criteria.

Do your homework today by talking to us at the Insurance Place of Orange Park!

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