Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance, so shop for quotes whenever something major changes in your life. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. If your risk for accidents goes down, your rates just might, too.
To ensure that providers’ financial affairs were up to snuff, we looked at independent evaluations from insurance rating and credit rating agencies A.M. Best, S&P Global, Moody’s, and J.D. Power. While each agency has its own rating scale, we required companies to have A or “above average” ratings from all four — solid indications that companies are in great financial health. Acquiring ratings from all four agencies also indicates that companies care enough about their business’ reputation to apply for these voluntary review processes. For an industry that’s centered around the principle of being there when you need help most, we found this focus on transparency to be the mark of a good provider. Smaller companies like Good Sam or National Interstate may provide seemingly better discounts, but they tend to only submit themselves for review to one or two agencies.
Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.
It’s important to note that every company considers credit very differently, and even among insurers this factor fluctuates by state. For example, NerdWallet’s 2019 car insurance rate analysis indicates that while State Farm charges higher rates for poor credit in many states, it doesn’t seem to do so in Maine. Similar variations are true for many other companies as well.

The company’s personal belongings coverage protects items, from laptops and linens to attachments and accessories, up to $3,000. Customer belongings are insured for what they paid and not a depreciated amount. They also have the option of adding more coverage if needed. The permanent attachments coverage works similarly, automatically ensuring any items attached—such as awnings, satellite dishes, and TV antennas—for the full amount it would cost to replace them instead of a depreciated amount.
Companies also needed to offer full-timer coverage for those who live year-round in their RV; full replacement coverage in the event the RV is totaled or stolen; personal belonging coverage for the property inside the RV, including electronics, appliances, and jewelry; vacation liability coverage for injuries that occur at the vacation site where the RV is parked; and permanently attached items coverage for items like satellite dishes, wheelchair lifts, or retractable canopies. Finally, companies also were required to cover most, if not all types of recreational vehicles.
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