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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Many Americans find the task of looking for a new car insurance provider overwhelming. In fact, it can be hard to know exactly how to go about getting finding the right fit for a car insurance policy. However, if you focus on research, reviews, and comparisons, it’s hard to go wrong finding a low cost car insurance quote that fits your needs.
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In this article, we’ll show you how research, reviews, and comparisons can be your three secret weapons for finding low cost car insurance quotes. Never pay too much for auto insurance again!
Research: Identify Your Car Insurance Needs
It may sound simple, but it’s amazing how many consumers go out and start looking for car insurance without really understanding what they need in a policy. This can be a recipe for disaster, as you may find out the hard way that your policy doesn’t provide important features or coverage that you need.
The very first step is to identify the minimum amount of insurance coverage that you need. This is generally mandated by your state. Check online or with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to learn the minimum coverage amounts for drivers.
However, most people will find that they want quite a bit more than the minimum coverage. You can figure out your optimal coverage amount by determining how much you are willing to spend on car insurance and how much risk you are comfortable taking on.
For example, if you have an accident where damage exceeds your coverage amount, you should be able to come to a general figure of the right amount of coverage for you. If you are unsure what this should be, the Insurance Information Institute provides great resources for consumers to learn about insurance policy features and needs.
Finally, take into consideration any special factors that you want to include in your coverage, and do some online research into what is available and what the average cost is. Will you be sharing your vehicle with a teen driver, renting vehicles frequently, or using your vehicle to transport goods or cargo? These are all extenuating circumstances that may necessitate different or additional coverage.
Research: Find Potential Car Insurance Companies
Once you fully understand your coverage needs, it’s time to start looking at the right car insurance companies that can offer you an appropriate and low cost policy. Many consumers make the mistake of only looking into one or two insurers to get an auto insurance quote. This could lead to you paying a lot more than you need to for auto insurance!
An Internet search is a good place to start to find potential insurers. You can narrow the pool of possible insurers by filtering them to include only those that offer the specific policy features that you identified in the policy research phase. Alternatively, you could start with Forbes’ list of car insurance companies with the most satisfied customers.
Another common mistake is to look only at nationally known and recognized providers. While these companies may be a sound bet, you should also be sure not to overlook smaller local and regional insurers. These companies may have great deals and could also have better customer service than their larger counterparts. A local independent insurance agent may be able to help you find rates from smaller, regional car insurance companies.
Reviews: Find Out What Consumers Are Saying About Car Insurance Companies
Once you have identified your potential list of auto insurers, the first way to narrow the field is to get solid and unbiased consumer information to evaluate what kind of a company they are. Remember, it won’t matter how good of a deal you got on your insurance premium if the company won’t process your claim or customer service refuses to return your calls! It is important to understand a company’s strengths and weaknesses to determine if it is a good fit for your needs.
There are several ways to find quality reviews about car insurance companies. The first is to look at ratings and reviews provided by independent consumer review boards, such as J.D. Power and Associates and A.M. Best.
These companies provide annual rankings of car insurance companies based on several factors, including price, service, quality, and overall satisfaction. Because companies cannot pay for inclusion or positive rankings, you can trust the quality of information provided by these resources. These firms will offer rankings of many large car insurance companies, but they do not include every possible insurer.
A second method for finding car insurance reviews is to look for the individual experiences and feedback of consumers like you. This can come from talking to friends, family, and colleagues, or doing an Internet search. Remember that the more reviews you evaluate, the more likely you are to get a complete picture of what the company is like.
Finally, consider running your list of potential insurers through the Better Business Bureau. This can help you find out if there have been any consumer complaints or claims filed against the company. The BBB also assigns a rating that can give you a general impression of customer satisfaction with the company.
Reviews: Learn About Plans and Discounts That Can Save You Money
Reviews are helpful not just for evaluating companies, but also for evaluating policies, features, and discounts. Many insurance companies offer special features or attractive discounts to lure in customers. While a lot of these are valid and can offer you savings some of them might not be what they seem. You don’t want to be swayed to try a plan because of a flashy offer or a discount that turns out to be too good to be true.
If you are leaning towards a particular plan type or a special feature offered by a specific company, be sure to investigate what others are saying about it.
Carefully read consumer reviews that describe customer experiences with the specific discount or offering that you are interested in. If you personally know anybody that is participating in a similar plan, be sure to ask him or her lots of questions!
Comparison: Find the Lowest Rate on Auto Insurance
Once you’ve completed your research and analyzed reviews about potential car insurance options, it’s time to start comparing rates. Because you’ve identified exactly what you’re looking for in an auto insurance plan, it should be easy to get comparable rates right away.
You can receive auto insurance rates on the Internet, over the phone, or from an independent insurance agent. If you use more than one method to solicit quotes, be sure that your inputs are consistent, such as your desired coverage level and personal information. This way you are receiving quotes that are easy to compare.
When you compare rates, be sure to consider all costs associated with the plan. You will want to look at the annual premium, the payment structure, and the deductible levels to see if the plan is right for you. How you want to pay your premium, either up front or over time and how large of a deductible you are comfortable with are personal decisions that are based on individual factors.
When you’ve gathered the quotes from your desired companies, you may be able to eliminate several right away simply based on high cost. However, there is often still a decision to be made between several companies with comparable costs.
Remember that while low cost is certainly very important in choosing an auto insurance policy, it is not the only factor to consider.
Comparison: Get the Policy with the Most Features That Match Your Needs
It is easy to make your final decision on the best car insurance policy for your needs by comparing the features and benefits offered by the comparably priced insurers that you have investigated. Look for special features, discounts, or savings that are unique to your needs and situation.
For example, if you are concerned with high out of pocket costs in the event of an accident, you may want to consider a plan that offers a low deductible or deductible reduction over time. If you are in the market for more than one insurance product, look for a company that will offer you a discount if you bundle your services, such as combining your home and automobile insurance policies. This will help you get the right insurance policy that is not only a great price, but tailored to your individual requirements.
If you follow the above basic principles of research, reviews, and comparisons, you should be well on your way to identifying the car insurance quote that can meet your needs. By following these three simple tips, you can be confident that you’ll score the auto insurance policy that is just right for your needs!
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