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How to shop for car insurance?


John Howard

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Consider the implications: one-third of drivers are dissatisfied with their insurance coverage, yet the vast majority of them continue to renew their policies without shopping around for better deals. This has serious repercussions. Insurance companies are well aware of this, and they are well-known for hiking prices at the time of policy renewal, which occurs every six months or once a year, depending on the coverage.

Take advantage of the fact that your auto insurance renewal is approaching — or that you’re shopping for car insurance for the first time — by browsing around for a lower rate on your auto insurance policy. You can achieve your goal by taking the following steps:

How to shop for car insurance

Find out what the minimum coverage requirements are in your state.

The law requires that you have liability insurance. Whenever you’re involved in an accident, liability insurance protects the other car, driver, and passengers from the harm you’ve caused to their property. You will almost certainly need comprehensive and collision coverage if you loan or lease your vehicle.

State-specific regulations for liability coverage, as well as minimum coverage amounts, are different. Most states mandate liability insurance coverage for physical injury and property damage, which are the two most important components of liability insurance protection. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are also included in liability insurance policies.

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At least three distinct insurance policies should be scrutinized.

Examine at least three different types of insurance. The simplest way to ensure you haven’t overlooked any red flags or essential concerns is to compare coverage by receiving quotes from at least three different vehicle insurance companies. Check both national and local businesses. You’d be astonished at how many regional insurers outperform national carriers in terms of client satisfaction.

For a variety of reasons, comparison shopping is the best method. To begin, it discourages you from assuming that a particular company is the cheapest. Furthermore, one company may be more forthcoming than another regarding a certain aspect of their policy. This can help you construct a list of questions to ask all potential insurers.

You can use an internet insurance comparison tool, such as QuoteYeti, to help you with comparison shopping. You’ll need the vehicle identifying number (VIN), as well as the year, make, and model of your vehicle. This information will include your daily commute (in miles), zip code, the location of your vehicle (in a garage or on the street), and the number of incidents you’ve had in the last few years. You’ll also need to give your age and gender, as different states take these into account.

Obviously, you’ll want to choose a plan that fits your budget, which means premium cost will most likely be your first priority. However, you should think about the deductible, or the amount you’ll pay if you file a claim, as well as the coverage areas. Certain plans cover damage caused by uninsured drivers, while others do not.

You should select a plan that meets all of your state’s minimum coverage requirements, as well as any additional needs that apply to you. Keep in mind that if you’re financing or leasing, you’ll almost probably need comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the state’s minimal liability coverage.

While a cheaper premium is preferable, you frequently get what you pay for. After obtaining quotes from each company with which you speak, request that they send them to you via email. If possible, print out each quote and compare the coverage line by line. This will provide you with an accurate estimate of the costs associated with an accident.

Don’t lie on your insurance applications

When faced with escalating premiums, you may be tempted to “fudge” your figures in order to obtain a lower rate. You’re not by yourself. At least 10% of all drivers have either purposefully understated mileage, excluded a driver from their policy, gave a zip code in a more desired region than the one the car is actually stored in, or claimed their car was for pleasure rather than commuting.

While you may benefit from lower premiums if you go this method, all of these lies will be exposed if you file a claim. In this circumstance, you could be liable for the entire cost of damages because your insurance would be ruled inapplicable because the amount you were paying did not reflect the reality of your position. That is why, when shopping, it is best to avoid playing the odds and to be really honest.

Ask for Car Insurance Discounts

One method for obtaining low-cost auto insurance is to request a discount. Most firms list available discounts on their websites, while some may be missing. Commonly available discounts include:

  • Deals for members of professional organizations (be sure to name yours)
  • Special bundle prices for joining your auto insurance policy with other policies, like homeowner’s or renter’s insurance
  • Multi-car discounts
  • Special quotes for paying your six-month or annual premium in one payment
  • Anti-theft installed systems
  • Good driving record discounts
  • On-time payment discounts that could save you in the long run

Remember to be thorough in your search, beginning with major companies but also looking into local companies to compare pricing. You’ll be glad you did it. On average, people who shop around can save up to 47 percent on premium prices, or $847 per year. Even if you just save a portion of this, a $200 savings is money that can be better spent (or saved) elsewhere.

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