Utah is well-known for being the holy grail of beautiful drives, and with an average annual insurance premium of $1,121, it’s one of the more affordable states in the country for car insurance. What’s even better is that with some diligent shopping, you could find yourself saving even more.
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When it comes time to shop for your policy, it’s key to remember that many factors affect the way a quote is calculated. Everything from your ZIP code to your age and your credit score can seriously alter the quote you receive.
Needless to say, you have to gather your own quotes to find out whether Bear River or American Family is the better insurer for your needs. In the (somewhat altered) words of Smokey Bear, only you can prevent paying more than you have to for car insurance.
You can get quotes from insurers using a combination of online tools and phone calls. Online forms take around eight minutes to complete, while phone calls can clock in at closer to 20 minutes. If you’re looking to purchase a policy, this is time well spent.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Utah
These companies stood out because of their customer support, financial rating and financial stability. Each of them, other than Bear River, which was too small for consideration, has an average or higher J.D. Power rating in the Southwest region as well as a favorable rating from A.M. Best. J.D. Power conducts incredibly thorough customer satisfaction surveys, while A.M. Best looks at insurance companies’ financial viability to help you find the company that will have your back if the unthinkable should happen.
As a rule of thumb, the more localized a company is, the better their customer service is. So even though Bear River isn’t rated, it made this list. It can make sense to stick with a more affordable company, like Bear River, and put your saved money into better coverage rather than paying more for a similar policy. You (hopefully) won’t be dealing with your insurance company on a regular basis, but when you do need it, attention to customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance.
Utah’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
The most basic level of coverage required in the purchase of insurance in Utah is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $15,000 for property damage, or a 25/60/15 plan. You can also sign up for $80,000 in total coverage.
What’s the point of getting more than the minimum coverage?
Everyone wants cheap car insurance, but it’s not always best to opt for the minimum coverage. That coverage with the lowest rate might cost you more in the long run. Here’s why.
It’s likely that you will have to file a claim in your lifetime — statistics show that the common driver averages an accident every 17.9 years, and the average cost of a car accident resulting in a disabling injury is $93,800. It’s fair to say that most people could not pay that out of pocket.
In most cases, upgrading to a 100/300/50 plan isn’t as daunting as you might think. For example, one quote for a minimal 25/60/15 plan with Geico was $1,272. To raise that coverage to 100/300/50, the cost went up to $1,432. That’s a $160 annual difference, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared with shelling money out of pocket. That relatively small increase in your premium gives you a level of coverage you can be confident in should an accident occur.
Is Utah a no-fault state?
Utah is a no-fault state. This means that if you get into an accident, your insurance will cover your medical bills and other bills, up to your policy limits, regardless of who was at fault.
Why are Utah’s rates so affordable?
Much of Utah’s population lives in rural, sparsely populated areas, where there is usually a higher percentage of crash fatalities because hospitals are spaced farther apart than in urban areas. However, Utah has consistently had fewer crash fatalities than many other states.
Fatalities are actually down 11 percent for the first six months of 2019, according to the National Safety Council. That’s good compared with other rural states, such as Arkansas and Iowa, where fatalities increased in the first half of the year. No doubt, this contributes to Utah’s affordable insurance rates.
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What if I’m not a full-time resident?
To purchase insurance in the state of Utah, you must either be a resident of the state or prove that your vehicle is principally parked there. The only other exemption to the rule is anyone with active military status.
What is SR-22 insurance?
SR-22 insurance is coverage for those with a bad driving history. This form of insurance usually costs more than average because insurance companies see these drivers as risky.
Which insurer makes the claims process the easiest?
How well the claims process goes can depend a lot on the adjuster assigned to the case. Keep in mind that insurers are in business to make money, so once an accident occurs, you become a claim number with a projected dollar figure attached to that file. That being said, the companies mentioned earlier do stand out in terms of customer service. This a great aspect because dealing with a car accident is worrying enough.
Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
Car insurance companies don’t calculate premiums based on your level of risk alone; they also consider how much money you’re comfortable paying. This technique is called price optimization, and as you may have expected, it’s caused a bunch of controversy over the past few years. The Consumer Federation of America simply calls it what it is: “profit maximization.”
Many large insurance companies analyze a wide variety of your personal data, such as your credit score, online shopping habits, and social media activity, with an algorithm that decides how likely you are to look for better deals. But not only that, these companies use that information to gauge how much cash you’re comfortable spending. And if they think they can get away with more than you’re already paying, they’ll take advantage of you.
Sorry Allstate, but company loyalty may not necessarily be the name of the game. In fact, loyalty to your insurer can do you more harm than good. The reality is that to say “thanks for sticking around,” many car insurers are upping your rates for no reason and masking it with a less valuable good driver discount (or something of the sort).
The smart customer shops around for a shiny new policy every one or two years. This is an excellent way to keep insurers more on their toes and less on their analytics. In the same way they’re privy to your personal information, they’re also aware of when you look for better policies. So, by doing so, you won’t be marked by the algorithms as someone who will be complacent with paying more.
While price optimization is a touchy and controversial subject, no company wants to lose you as a customer. Frequently keeping an eye out for a better policy is the best way to keep the competitive price offers coming in from your insurer.
If you’re worried about price optimization, there are a few things you can do in your region. First, if you have noticed any unwarranted price increases in your premium, call your agent and ask if they’re using price optimization tactics, and let them know you’re considering switching insurers. Second, send your thoughts to the Utah Insurance Department.
Shopping around also ensures that your current circumstances are taken into account. If your credit score has improved, you could benefit from lower premiums. Similarly, having a good driving record lowers your risk and your rate. If you’re insuring a young driver, compare quotes because some companies offer discounts specifically for that demographic or define new drivers in different ways.
With a low state average, every Utah driver should be able to insure their vehicle for an affordable price. But the savings don’t have to stop there. If you shop around, you’re guaranteed to at least figure out if there’s another provider that could offer you a better deal. Plus, you’ll avoid becoming a complacent customer in the eyes of your current insurer.
Keep in mind that the best car insurance is not always cheap car insurance, and most of the time, you get what you pay for. Choosing to investigate quotes for more than the state’s minimum coverage is a good thing to do. Who knows, you might actually find out that for some companies, more coverage is actually cheaper.
Best Car Insurance in Utah
- Bear River
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- American Family