Monkeygeek.com recently published articles about the "best cheap car insurance companies and quotes for 2020" featuring advice from Dr. David Marlett, Managing Director of Appalachian State University's Brantley Risk and Insurance Center and IIANC Distinguished Professor of Insurance at Appalachian State University. One article is specific to citizens of North Carolina and the other is for all Americans.
Here's what Dr. Marlett had to say in the nationwide article.
Can low-cost car insurance mean drivers are sacrificing quality?
It depends on the coverage limits. If low cost means lower liability limits, then the lower costs are leading to a lower quality product. If an agent recommends lowering your liability coverage to reduce costs then find another agent. Drivers need adequate liability limits to protect their resources and also other people they may accidentally harm in an accident.
What steps can drivers take to lower their car insurance costs?
First, lower your risk by driving responsibly and avoiding distractions. When you purchase a car, buy one that is rated highly by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Safer vehicles save everyone money in the long run. If you have young drivers, consider buying an older, lower-valued vehicle and dropping Comprehensive and Collision coverage (but be sure it has a good safety rating). Lastly, improving your credit score can lower your premiums. It may seem strange, but most insurers will factor in your creditworthiness into their premium calculation.
What is the best way for drivers to fit auto insurance expenses into their budget?
Nearly every state requires drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance, so this is a necessary expense. If it can't be fit in the budget, then they will need to use public transportation or a ride-sharing service.
Additional advice for North Carolinians
In the North Carolina specific article, Dr. Marlett advised on key factors drivers should consider and state-specific regulations.
What are the key factors drivers in North Carolina should look for when searching for the best auto insurance coverage?
All major insurers are highly rated for customer service, regulated by the NC Department of Insurance. North Carolina drivers should shop around and get 3-5 quotes. It is surprising how different insurers will rate people. You can do it yourself or find an independent agent to do it for you. It is quite easy to do and should take less than 2 hours. Considering you could save hundreds of dollars shopping around, that is time well spent.
How do regulations and rules in North Carolina impact insurance pricing and how consumers might shop for coverage?
The Department of Insurance reviews all rates and form filings. For a company to make changes, the Insurance Commissioner has to approve. The regulators in North Carolina have a strong reputation and focus on the consumer. The Department also regulates agent licensing to make sure they are appropriately educated and qualified to assist the customer. Lastly, the Department reviews the financial condition of insurers in the state to make sure they are adequately capitalized and have the financial resources to pay all claims.