How to Compare Auto Insurance

Beginning drivers or others who are relatively inexperienced with car insurance need to know how to compare auto insurance companies and insurance policies to get the best coverage at the best rates. Getting car insurance is not like getting some other simpler kinds of goods or services. Choosing the best policies and insurance companies can be difficult. A variety of fundamental steps in comparing insurance policies will help those who need to really determine which options are best for their auto insurance needs.

1. Compare baseline costs. This will be a starting point for most insurance shoppers, but the search doesn’t end here. The companies that offer the lowest cost car insurance estimates may not be the cheapest companies. Use the general car insurance price quote as a starting point for going deeper into the policies offered by a specific car insurance company.




2. Compare liability coverage. Almost all U.S. states require basic minimum liability coverage for staying legally on the road. Different car insurance policies will include this coverage in different amounts. Assess the amount of liability coverage that the insurance company is offering relative to the overall cost of insurance premiums per year or per six-month policy.




3. Apply deductibles to an insurance policy. Deductibles change the amount that the policy holder pays, in exchange for an amendment to the agreement on claims that requires the policy holder to pay out a certain amount of money before the insurance company contributes to damages after an accident.

  • Set deductibles differently and calculate premium costs. Part of comparing car insurance policies is looking at how a deductible can change the price quote that you are offered from a specific company.



4. Evaluate programs like accident forgiveness.

  • Not all of car insurance cost happens when you buy the policy. Some companies spike rates tremendously when the driver is involved in even a minor accident. Talk to insurance company representatives upfront about how they handle accident forgiveness and how a theoretical black mark on your driving record would affect your premiums.




5. Look for other applicable discounts. Available discounts on auto insurance can decrease your premium rates. Assess discounts as part of in-depth research and when comparing available car insurance policies.

  • Look for military or student discounts. These two groups of drivers often get additional discounts from car insurance companies.
  • Evaluate safe driver discounts. Most multi-state insurers offer safe driver discounts that will bring down rates for those who have not been involved in an accident for a least a year or longer.




6. Talk to company representatives and observe customer service levels.Drivers can often get a rough idea of the service they would have from a car insurance company by talking to representatives before they buy a policy. Observing reps on the phone and taking notes can help a prospective car insurance customer know how they would be dealing with a company after they have become policy holder.




7. Ask about claims policies up front. When it comes to actually paying on car insurance claims, some companies are better than others. Asking the tough questions about theoretical claims and settlements can help individuals do research into what kinds of car insurance offers will benefit them the most.




8. Seek out shop recommendations. Another way for individuals in a specific local area to choose the best car insurance is to talk to local mechanics and body shops about what insurance companies they would most recommend. These professionals have experience dealing with the claims side of a car insurance company and can offer insight into the best buys around.




9. Assess the financial health of a specific car insurance company. Some items around the finances of large state car insurance companies are a matter of public record. Individuals who want to buy into the most secure policies can use these public records to practice due diligence related to which car insurance policy offers are the best ones.




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