Making any major purchase responsibly means getting information from more than one source. This works the same for car insurance. Consumers can compare auto insurance rates from several different companies to find the best and most affordable quote, coverage, terms and premiums for their budget and individual needs. But first, drivers need to learn about the different types of policy options, how much coverage they need, how to get discounts, and asking the right questions before choosing a provider.
What Is Needed?
Just in case you’ve already done your research and your coverage will be expiring soon, here is a brief list of the things you will need access to in order to buy car insurance online quickly.
- Make and model of vehicle (including VIN number) – for each car if applying for a multi-car policy
- Required mileage (commute to and from work every day)
- The vehicle’s title or proof of financing
- Points on license – driving history or record
- Personal information – address, age, marital status, occupation, etc.
Know What You Need – State Laws
By getting an online quote comparison, drivers will be able to compare premiums in their area on a basic level, using the same protection options and policy information, to find the best company or carrier. However, more specific data is required to generate a truly accurate and personalized quote.
Drivers need to know how much coverage they need. Some states require only liability policies with minimums for property damage and bodily injury, while others have more extensive requirements such as uninsured motorist or PIP coverage.
The Coverage You Want
Most people want more coverage beyond the basic state requirements, so it is necessary to research the necessity of these options, such as comprehensive, full, personal injury protection, GAP insurance, etc., before you get in contact with a sales representative at an insurance company. The more you research and review different companies, the better chance you have at finding the best deals on these optional riders. If someone wants full coverage, which is liability plus collision and comprehensive, they must be prepared to pay higher premiums for greater protection.
Also, they must determine if they want items such as roadside and towing assistance, extra medical payment insurance, PIP insurance, rental car insurance and so forth. Keep in mind that sometimes the state minimums won’t cover the cost of an auto accident.
The Customer Service You Want
Customer service plays a big part in a consumer’s opinion, review or rating of a car insurance company. Before you begin negotiating with the best insurance companies in the U.S. to try to get lower rates from each of them, try to find the carriers with the best claims service, quick payouts, and 24 hour customer service. Be aware of how the insurer conducts its business, processes and pays out claims, and takes care of its customers because when you are in a stressful situation like an auto accident, the last thing you need is an unstable, unresponsive insurance company who won’t payout your claim and protect you.
If a company has poor customer service ratings and reviews, but has cheap auto insurance, it might not be the best “deal” because there is no guarantee they will come through in providing service after you are insured with them. Make certain the company you ultimately buy from has a good reputation for paying claims and is accessible 24/7 for claims service and payment issues.
Every car insurer offers discounts to its customers, but the applicant has to ask for them to receive them. If you have children of driving age who make good grades in school, you are frequently entitled to a “Good Grades” or “Good Student” discount.
If a driver has passed driving safety courses, is a member of the military, or a certain organization such as AAA and AARP, they will get up to 15% in discounts. One of the best ways to get cheap auto insurance is to bundle various policies from the same insurance company. By buying life, home, and auto insurance from one company, policyholders can expect huge discounts on every policy they purchase, resulting in much cheaper rates overall.
Afterwards, consider “Low Mileage” and “Safe Driver” discounts as well as paying your premiums annually instead of monthly – all of which should save you at least 20% on your initial quote.
Finally, check out usage-based discounts such as Progressive’s Snapshot, State Farm’s In-Drive, and Allstate’s Drivewise.
Ask The Right Questions
When comparing insurance policies, applicants must ask the right questions to get the information needed. For instance, what methods does the insurer use to calculate a car insurance quote? Do they pull a consumer credit report, and if so, do they share any information with other companies or organizations? Will they increase rates without notifying the customer first? Do they offer any kind of accident forgiveness? Are there reduced administrative or financing costs for paying the entire policy up front, or are there extra fees for making installment payments?
Insurance is like most other industries in that they develop new products and services to keep up with changing times. Several auto insurers have developed a new concept called “pay-as-you-drive” in an effort to meet the needs of drivers who only drive short distances annually. These kinds of drivers would find it useful to compare pricing from the carriers offering this service in their area.
Choose The Right Car – Make and Model
The type of car someone drives is also a large factor in how much they will pay for auto insurance. New cars which are being financed or leased must carry full coverage as required by the bank or lender, making it harder to find the cheapest rates. Older cars, conversely, should have lower amounts of coverage and higher deductibles to bring down premium costs. Vehicles with safety features and which perform well in industry tests will qualify for discounts.
When in the market for buying a new car, think about your insurance rates and how they will be affected with the purchase of a new car. Comparing car insurance quotes online for different make and models will help you determine the total cost of car ownership.