Posted : 08/24/2009
Quick tips for smart auto insurance comparison shopping
30 to 45 days prior to the renewal date of your current policy is an ideal time for auto insurance comparison shopping. You can learn about the coverage options you have and your choice of companies without the pressure of making a quick decision.
Every two years, or more frequently if your rate or your family situation changes. Rates vary widely from one company to the next, so a little time invested in auto insurance quotes and comparisons can help you find savings - or make you feel comfortable with your current rate.
Drivers: Date of birth, driver's license number and dates of all accidents and violations in the past 3 years (some companies ask for 5 years). Don't leave anything out, because your company will order a motor vehicle report before you buy a policy - and your rate could change if you forgot a speeding ticket!
Cars: Year, make and model of every car. If you had any additional equipment installed after the car was manufactured, include the value so you know it's covered. This includes wheels, alarms, trim packages or custom paint.
Prior insurance: Name of current insurance company (not your agent) and your renewal date. And, when you get a car insurance quote, make sure you're not allowing a "gap" in coverage from your current policy to the new one.
Coverage limits: Start with what you have now for Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (and Personal Injury Protection coverage if you're in a no-fault state), or learn more about how much coverage you should buy.
Deductibles: Most people pick a $250 or $500 deductible for Comprehensive and Collision coverages. Know which you have now, so you can make an equal comparison.
Discounts: Know what discounts you have today and think about which discounts might help you save even more - discounts like low mileage, hybrid, safe driver, good student and more. If you're not getting a discount today, look for companies that match your profile.
Match the limits and deductibles you have today. Since you know what you pay today, be sure that you're getting a car insurance quote for exactly the same amount of coverage with the same deductibles. If there are minor differences, be sure you know what they are.
Adjust your limits and deductibles to see how the rate changes.Play around with buying more coverage, just to see if it costs a lot or a little. Same thing with deductibles. With some companies, you save a lot by picking a $500 or $1,000 deductible, but if the savings isn't 10 to 15%, it might not be worth it.
Make sure you've got actual auto insurance quotes - not just estimates.Some companies offer quick quotes and ballpark estimates, but these are not really worth your time. You can't buy an estimate - and you can be sure the rate will change.
Save time and learn more by shopping online. We may be biased about this one, but today's leading companies let you compare auto insurance quotes easily online - and you can buy online, too - or by phone. Why make insurance any harder than it already is? We're here to make it easy!
Start by researching a few companies and getting quotes online. Be sure that you're getting car insurance quotes that match your current coverage with the same limits and deductibles. When you have questions, try online chat or look for FAQs.
Talk to friends and family. Ask the people you trust about which companies they like and whether they've shopped recently themselves. And, ask how they were treated if they had a claim. In the end, that's more important than saving money.
Narrow your choices and compare the details. When requesting car insurance quotes, you'll want to compare rates, coverage and payment plans, as well as information about the reputation and financial stability of the companies you are considering. If you don't recognize a company, research them online - there are hundreds of auto insurers in every state.
Buy from a company you trust. When you've taken the time the educate yourself and request auto insurance quotes, you'll be confident in your choice, especially when you're saving money. Insurance.com offers auto insurance comparisons from up to four of the top insurance companies so you can find dependable coverage at an affordable price.
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