Different states have different laws regarding auto insurance. But every single state requires drivers to have at least a little bit of car insurance coverage before taking their vehicles out on the road.
If you don’t have a car insurance policy at the moment, you should set out to change that immediately. You’ll need to have proof of car insurance in your vehicle at all times to keep yourself on the right side of the law.
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on car insurance, though. By doing some rate shopping, you should be able to track down a cheap insurance policy that will work well with your specific budget.
Today, we’re going to provide you with some auto insurance rate shopping tips that will put you in a position to get your hands on the most affordable car insurance policy possible. Check out these 10 tips below and put them to good use ASAP.
1. Start by Deciding Which Kind of Auto Insurance Policy You Want
All auto insurance policies are not created equal. There are definitely some that will provide a whole lot more coverage than others.
For this reason, you should kickstart your search for a new car insurance policy by learning about the different types of policies that are out there. It’ll put you in a position to decide which kind of auto insurance policy that you actually want.
Some of the most common types of auto insurance policies are:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BI)
- Property Damage Liability (PD)
- Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist
Some people who don’t drive a lot will get a very basic liability insurance policy. Some others who spend almost all day long driving will get a more comprehensive insurance policy. It’ll be your job to choose the right insurance policy based on everything from your specific needs to your budget.
2. Learn About the Different Car Insurance Companies That Exist in Your State
If we were to ask you to rattle off a list of all the different car insurance companies that you know, you could probably name at least 10 of them without a problem. But guess what? That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to auto insurance companies!
There are actually almost 6,000 car insurance companies in the U.S. at this time. This means that you should have at least a few dozen options in your state.
You should familiarize yourself with as many auto insurance companies as you can. This will really open up your eyes to all of the different options that you’ll have. You might be able to save yourself a significant amount of money by going with one car insurance company that you’ve never heard of before as opposed to a company that has commercials that play all day long.
3. Find Out About the Auto Insurance Rates You Can Get From Different Car Insurance Companies
Once you’ve had the time to learn about all of the different auto insurance companies that operate in your state, you can go ahead and get rates from each of them. You can call around to each individual company to get their best rate if you would like, but you can also take a much easier approach to rate shopping.
There are sites out there that will give you the opportunity to rate shop with a handful of different auto insurance companies. If you want to find out what it will cost to get, say, liability car insurance, you can visit a site like this to get the inside scoop.
This kind of site will cut down on how much time you have to spend rate shopping. You’ll be able to get access to a bunch of different rates from various auto insurance companies at once. It’ll make shopping for the best insurance policy possible so much simpler than it would be otherwise.
4. Look Through the Different Car Insurance Policies That Auto Insurance Companies Have to Offer
When you go rate shopping through a bunch of car insurance companies at once, it’s easy for you to simply fall in love with a cheap insurance policy. Many people will pick out the least expensive policy they can find and roll with that one.
You might get lucky when you do this and wind up with a great auto insurance policy. But you might also end up working with a car insurance company that has a bad reputation. Or you might get hit with all kinds of hidden fees that will make your insurance policy more costly than you anticipated.
As a result, you should always take a deep dive into the different car insurance policies available to you before choosing one over all the rest. You’ll be able to see which auto insurance policies are worth your time and which you should toss to the side.
5. See If You Might Qualify for Discounts Through Different Auto Insurance Companies
Did you know that you might be able to qualify for all kinds of different discounts when you’re signing up for an auto insurance policy? Some people make the mistake of not taking advantage of these discounts—and they, quite literally, pay the price for it.
You might be able to get a discount on auto insurance if:
- You drive a certain type of vehicle
- You have an especially impressive driving record
- You’ve taken different kinds of driving courses
- You’re a military member, a senior, a good student, etc.
- You’re willing to do something as simple as accept paperless billing
There should be at least one car insurance discount that you qualify for. But some auto insurance companies are more willing to give out discounts than others. So you’ll have to check to see which ones will give you which discounts when you sign up for an insurance policy.
6. Do Some Additional Homework on the Car Insurance Companies You’re Considering
As part of the car insurance rate shopping process, you should always do your fair share of homework on the insurance companies that you’re considering. If you work with the wrong company, you’re going to regret it down the line.
A good car insurance company is obviously going to make it easy for you to obtain affordable auto insurance. But they’re also going to go above and beyond by offering:
- Easy auto insurance payment options
- A dependable customer service department
- A claims process that is simple to understand
Don’t be shy about looking more into each and every car insurance company that you’re considering. The more that you can find out about them, the easier it’ll make it for you to select the one that you like the most.
7. Reach Out to Auto Insurance Companies to Inquire About Their Individual Rates
When you reach this part of the process while rate shopping, you should have a few car insurance policies and auto insurance companies that you like. You’ll want to reach out to these auto insurance companies to inquire more about their individual rates.
Oftentimes, car insurance companies will be willing to give you a slightly better deal than they might have given you originally when they know that you’re trying to decide between them and other companies. They’ll put their best foot forward and will make you the strongest offer that they can to you.
You might be able to save some additional money just by contacting different auto insurance companies and asking them for their final offers. You may be surprised to see how willing they are to work with you and your budget.
8. Choose the Car Insurance Company and the Auto Insurance Policy That You Like Best
After you’ve done everything else that we’ve talked about here, you’ll officially be ready to pick out a car insurance company and an auto insurance policy. You should call up the company that you want to work with and let them know that you’re ready to move forward with them as your auto insurance company.
They will welcome you to the family and start to put together the proper paperwork for you. You might have to run down to their office to go through this portion of the process if they’re a small, local car insurance company. But these days, most of the paperwork that you’ll need to do can be done right online.
9. Finalize Your Car Insurance Policy With Your New Auto Insurance Company
If you have any questions or concerns about your new car insurance policy, you’ll want to bring them up to your new auto insurance company while you’re speaking with them. You do not want to finalize your policy if you still have any lingering questions or concerns.
It’s very important that you have the right amount of coverage for both yourself and your vehicle. If you don’t, getting into even just a minor accident could cost you way more money than you might have expected.
For just a few extra dollars a month, you may be able to get a better car insurance policy that will offer more comprehensive coverage. But you’ll never know if you don’t discuss it with your auto insurance company.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask any questions that you have about your policy to your car insurance company before finalizing it. The last thing that you want to do is agree to take on a policy that isn’t going to be as comprehensive as you might need it to be.
10. Go Rate Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy At Least Once Each Year
A lot of people will go car insurance rate shopping once and then never do it again. It’s not uncommon at all for people to stick with the same policy and the same auto insurance company for years on end.
If you want to do this, you’re welcome to do it. You might be able to earn yourself a loyalty discount that will make staying with the same car insurance company worth it.
But generally speaking, most people would benefit from going rate shopping at least once every year. When your current car insurance policy needs to be extended, you should take that time to shop around to see if you can get a better deal on it.
If nothing else, this will put your car insurance company in a position where they’ll have to think about giving you a better rate than the one that you already have. You’ll appreciate being able to negotiate with them simply because you aren’t overlooking your ability to go rate shopping.
Going rate shopping is going to force you to spend time looking around for better car insurance rates. But the time that you spend doing it should pay off in the end.
Use These Rate Shopping Tips to Find the Perfect Auto Insurance Policy
Entirely too many people spend more money than they should have to on car insurance these days. You should avoid becoming one of them the next time you need to go rate shopping for an auto insurance policy.
You should use the rate shopping tips that we’ve listed here to hunt down the perfect car insurance policy. The tips should lead you in the right direction and shed some light on auto insurance policies that will save you a pretty penny.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have a great auto insurance policy that isn’t breaking the bank. You’ll also love knowing that your car insurance coverage is everything that you need it to be.
Want to get more tips on shopping for cheap insurance for your vehicle? Find them in some of the other articles that we’ve posted on our blog.