Are you happy with your car insurance premium? Connecticut’s high population density and affluence drive the state’s auto insurance premiums up nearly 16 percent above the national average. Here’s the thing: You don’t have to settle for higher-than-average rates. There’s a chance you can save hundreds of dollars every year, and all it takes is a little bit of research.
Rates are determined on a ton of personal information. And on top of that, every insurer weighs these factors slightly differently. So, the only way to find the right policy is to hit the dirt and get some quotes.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Connecticut
These four companies have all earned “excellent” or “superior” ratings from A.M. Best, a top financial strength rating agency. This tells you they’ll have the money to pay out when you need them to. They also earned high marks in the latest J.D. Power auto insurance customer satisfaction survey for the New England region. In the event of an accident, you’ll appreciate a company that makes the claims process as simple as possible. Otherwise, your headache is going to get a whole lot worse.
Upon comparing the options, Progressive is the cheapest at $1,278. The next closest quote is Geico at $1,364 — only a $86 difference. Even Allstate’s rate is much more affordable than what Liberty Mutual wants to charge for minimum coverage. For that price, you could purchase significantly higher coverage limits with Progressive.
Connecticut’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Connecticut requires its residents to carry $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 of property damage coverage. Connecticut is one of the few states that requires uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage pays for medical bills and property damages when you’re hit by an uninsured driver. It carries the same $25,000/$50,000 minimums as the liability coverage.
Why are Connecticut’s insurance rates so high?
It’s hard to say exactly why Connecticut’s rates are so hefty, but the state’s urban population doesn’t help. The higher the population density, the higher the chances of accidents, theft and vandalism. Auto repair costs and medical care are also more expensive in urban areas, which means insurers have to pay out more for a claim in Connecticut than they would in Wyoming, for example. In fact, Connecticut’s average cost for a check engine light repair ($414) is the second most expensive in the nation.
The state’s affluence also contributes to the higher-than-average premiums. People with more money are more likely to purchase higher coverage limits and more expensive vehicles, and that’s going to increase the state average. If you hit one of those expensive cars, the property damages are likely to be very high. Insurance providers know this, and they adjust their base pricing accordingly.
Is paying more money for more coverage really worth it?
Minimum coverage seems cheaper, but is it really? Consider this:
- The average driver will get into an accident every 17.9 years.
- The average cost of a disabling, nonfatal injury is $93,800.
If you have the minimum coverage, and you cause an accident that leads to a $94,000 injury, your insurance will pay $25,000 and leave you to cover the rest. That’s a situation you’d rather not end up in, so you’re better off purchasing more coverage upfront.
Raising your coverage limits to $100,000/$200,000/$50,000 would cost $97 more per year with Progressive. That seems like a lot, but it comes out to only $16 more a month. It’s worth it because in the accident scenario above, your insurance would cover the entire cost of the incident.
Should you consider vehicle protection?
You may also want to think about adding vehicle protection. If you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, your lender will probably require collision and comprehensive coverage to ensure they get their money, even if something happens to your car. Collision coverage pays for auto repairs following an accident with another vehicle while comprehensive coverage takes care of damages due to natural disasters, theft or vandalism. Even if you’re not required to have this coverage, it’s often a worthwhile investment, particularly if you have a newer car. Auto repairs can get expensive quickly and it’s easier to budget a few extra dollars a month for your insurance premium than it is to save thousands of dollars to cover unforeseen damages.
What’s the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?
When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, it matters whether you have comprehensive or collision insurance. Collision insurance covers damage that occurs as the result of an accident with another vehicle, an accident with an object such as a light pole, and damage due to hitting a pothole or having a rollover. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, covers your vehicle in the event of theft, vandalism, hail, falling objects or collisions with animals.
Determining which type of insurance you need depends on the value of your car, your inherent risk of an accident, the weather where you live and the amount of your current savings (in case you do have an accident). If you have a car loan or a lease agreement, it may stipulate which types of insurance you must carry.
Are there any new Connecticut driving laws in the past few years?
Because driving laws and auto insurance laws change fairly frequently, you need to stay up to date. Over the past few years, Connecticut has enacted a few new laws, mostly having to do with distracted driving. For example, texting while driving is completely banned on the roadways in Connecticut. In addition, new drivers are not allowed to use cellphones while driving except when there is an emergency or when it is necessary to speak with law enforcement. Anyone in the state who is found guilty of distracted driving will have 1 point added to his or her driving record and will face heavier fines.
In addition to these distracted driving laws, Connecticut has also enacted laws to increase safety in highway work zones. Despite lowered speed limits in these areas, many drivers do not follow the posted limits. Therefore, anyone driving over 75 mph in a work zone will receive 2 points on his or her driving record, high fines and a requirement to attend an operator retraining program. Such a program must include information about highway work zone safety and the responsibilities of good drivers.
Do you need no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance is useful if you have an accident with someone who does not have insurance or if your state is a no-fault state, meaning that each person involved in the accident pays for his or her own damages. However, Connecticut uses the “fault” system, meaning that someone is found to be at fault in each accident, and that person is responsible for paying for the damages and the injuries of everyone involved. Therefore, you do not need to carry no-fault insurance in Connecticut.
What happens if you drive uninsured?
Driving without insurance will cost you at least $110, three months in prison, or both. In addition, your vehicle may be impounded and you will be responsible for the towing and storage fees. If you do not get your insurance situation straightened out within a month, you will also be fined at least $200, and your vehicle registration will be suspended. You won’t be able to renew your vehicle registration until you pay the fine and provide proof of current insurance.
Should you get SR-22 insurance?
If you have been caught driving without insurance, driving recklessly or you have multiple traffic citations within a short period of time, you may find yourself needing SR-22 insurance. In actuality, SR-22 is not a type of insurance; rather, it is a policy that is required by the state to show that you have proper insurance to cover your driving. You can get an SR-22 through your regular insurance company, which will create and file the proper paperwork for you for a high premium. As an at-risk driver who is required to have this special policy, most insurance companies will request a hefty payment for putting in the work for this additional coverage.
Choose to Shop Around for a New Policy
Think that car insurance companies care only about your “risk” factor? Think again. Nowadays, insurance providers analyze a whole bunch of personal data (like your credit score, online shopping habits, and even your social media activity) to estimate your tolerance for price changes. This practice is called price optimization, and it could be costing you a great deal of money.
According to Earnix, 45 percent of large insurance companies use this information to predict how likely you are to leave if they raise your rates. If they feel like you’re complacent, expect them to take advantage of you. That’s why it’s best to shop for with different car insurance companies every year or two. Not only will it help you make sure you have the best deal possible, it will also prevent you from being gouged. When insurance companies know you’ll jump ship if you get a better offer, they’re much more likely to offer you a competitive rate.
Fortunately, Connecticut banned this controversial practice in December 2015, stating that it was in violation of state law and unfairly discriminated against certain consumers. Insurance companies had 60 days to revise their pricing models to exclude non-risk-related factors or face disciplinary action. If you purchased your current insurance before February 2016, it may be worth getting some new quotes to see if you can find a better rate. And if you’ve noticed a mysterious increase to your bill, take it up with your agent. Demand an explanation. If it sounds fishy, threaten to leave. It’s your money, and there are plenty of other companies who would love your business.
Those who are young drivers are also riskier to insurance companies, so they have higher rates. Try getting a student discount to help with prices. Similarly, if you are a good driver and your rates are still high, consider taking a course on safe driving. If this doesn’t lower your rates, it’s probably time to move on to a different company.
Best Car Insurance in Connecticut
- Liberty Mutual
The only way to find your best auto insurance price is to get quotes from several companies and to compare their rates and coverages. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it could save you a considerable amount of money, so it’s definitely worth it. If you can, go with more than just the minimum coverage. The additional monthly cost to you is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars in damages you could be responsible for if you cause an accident down the road. Find the right insurance coverage for your specific driving situation.