Getting the Best Car Insurance

Choosing the best car insurance isn't just about getting the lowest price. Cheaper auto insurance doesn't always provide necessary coverage and not all car insurance quotes reflect the maximum discount you might be able to get. These tips can help you find the best possible price on appropriate coverage for your vehicle.

Get Ready to Research

Finding car insurance quotes to fit your needs and budget starts with researching insurance companies. Compare rates from top providers through directories or on company websites and include local insurance providers in your search for a wider range of options. Choosing a company in your area gives you the opportunity to work with an agent who is always close by and with whom you can develop a good relationship.

While researching, compare car insurance quotes for the same amount of coverage from each company. Find out what discounts and deductions are available either by looking online or calling companies directly,

Be sure to research what current customers are saying about each provider and delve into company histories to get an idea of how claims are handled. A track record of good customer service suggests an insurer is reliable when claims need to be filed.

Know What Coverage You Need

People sometimes pay too much for car insurance because they choose policies with more coverage than they need. However, you don't necessarily want to fall to the other extreme in an attempt to get the lowest premiums and wind up with a nearly useless policy.

The best insurance is a policy offering exactly what you need so that you know you can rely on your coverage in the event of an accident or other unforeseen event.

Each state has particular requirements for drivers, so a good starting point is to find out what coverage you're legally obligated to have.

If you're leasing a car, there may be additional requirements from the dealer to protect the car during the term of the lease.

In general, newer cars should have comprehensive policies to cover damage from:

  • Collisions with animals.
  • Falling objects.
  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.

A collision policy is also necessary to handle costs related to any damage incurred during a crash. Whether you hit another car, collide with an immobile object, or roll your car, this type of policy pays for the repair OR replacement of the vehicle.

Cars being paid off with loans may also need to have a Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) policy. A GAP policy ensures full payment if the main policy doesn't provide enough to cover the difference between the cash value of the car and the remainder owed to the lender.

Learn More About Your Car

Some makes and models have a higher car insurance rate due to:

  • Frequent accidents.
  • Frequent repairs.
  • High claim rates.
  • A high likelihood of being stolen.
  • High repair costs.

Cars are rated based on these factors and knowing how your vehicle stacks up can help determine how much you can expect to pay. If you're in the process of shopping for a car and know you'll need a comprehensive policy with collision coverage, look for models known to be less expensive to insure.

Should you discover your current vehicle doesn't have a favorable rating, you're not out of luck. There are other options for reducing auto insurance costs over which you have more control.

Make a Call

You don't always have to shop for a new insurance policy to get a better rate. Call your current provider and ask about any updates to their car insurance quotes.

If another company quoted you a better deal, let your agent know. They may be able to find extra discounts to lower your current premiums or suggest dropping unnecessary coverage from your policy.

Raising your deductible can also cut monthly payments, although it'll mean paying more out of pocket if you get in an accident.

Safer driving habits may qualify you for a lower car insurance rate or you may discover the company has changed the way they calculate premiums to make insurance more affordable.

New discounts or deals may apply to your policy, especially if your car includes features such as anti-theft and comprehensive safety systems. In the event that you're able to get a lower car insurance quote, ask about making annual or six-month payments for a further reduction in the cost of your premium.

Drive (and Pay) Responsibly

Being responsible when you're behind the wheel can qualify you for a “safe driver" discount, even if you drive a new car with comprehensive and collision coverage. These discounts are becoming more common among insurance providers and are good incentives to improve your driving habits.

Additionally, when your insurance bill arrives, be sure to pay it on time. Carry this habit over to other bills, such as credit cards, to preserve or raise your credit rating. The better your rating, the more likely you are to qualify for low insurance premiums because you represent less risk to the company.

Consolidate with One Insurer

If your household currently has separate policies for multiple vehicles, consider combining all the coverage into one policy with a single insurance company. Most providers will offer a discount for additional vehicles, so whether you're looking for a new policy or contacting your current insurer for better rates, ask about these rebates to find out if consolidation is the best choice.

Be ready to shop around for car insurance quotes and do your homework to discover which auto insurance option is best for you. Look for the best rate on what you need, and you'll have peace of mind knowing you're paying a good price for reliable coverage.