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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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The average driver in the United States pays about $1,600 per year for car insurance. Finding cheap car insurance depends a lot on your driving history. This cost, however, can vary widely. In some states, the average cost of insurance is well over $2,000 per year.
State insurance requirements coupled with a driver’s age, gender, driving history and more can all affect the cost of car insurance a specific driver pays. You can enter your ZIP code into the FREE rate comparison tool above to very quickly compare rate quotes. However, to get the best deal on your car insurance, you may want to follow a few additional steps.
The Benefits of a Rate Comparison Tool
Using a rate comparison tool today is one of the best steps you can take to keep insurance costs low. These tools are designed to take up very little of your valuable time. With just a few minutes of effort, you can easily generate a list of insurance companies that offer the lowest rates for drivers in your area.
Car insurance companies base insurance rates in part on the zip code where drivers live. Demographics for that zip code are used to determine factors such as the crime rate for vehicles in the area, the average age of drivers in the zip code and more. This basic step can help you to identify which car insurance companies may offer lower rates for drivers in your zip code.
Taking the Next Step
After you use a rate comparison tool, you will have a list of car insurance companies that offer affordable rates for drivers in your area. However, there are a host of other factors that also can affect your premium cost. These factors may include
- your age and gender
- your driving history
- the vehicle you drive
- the coverage you want to purchase
- the deductible you want on your policy
While you can do little to change the first three factors listed above in the immediate time frame, you do have flexibility to adjust your coverage and deductible amounts.
Your Current Coverage Vs Your Needs
Coverage needs can vary with time, so it makes sense to review your current insurance policy’s coverages to determine if they meet your needs. Some types of coverage that you purchased a year or two ago, like gap insurance and comprehensive coverage, may not be needed or beneficial now.
For example, gap insurance is designed to reduce your risk of loss if you get into an accident in a car that you are “upside down” with in financing. You can reduce your unnecessary coverages now to save money on the cost of your car insurance.
How to Use Your Deductible to Your Advantage
Many drivers are aware that they are required to pay their deductible every time they file a claim. The concern about having to pay hundreds of dollars for a deductible out of your pocket at a moment’s notice to repair your vehicle after an accident is a reasonable concern. However, you should consider that you may rarely file an insurance claim.
It is common for many years to pass between the time a driver files insurance claims.
This is time when you could be saving money on your premium by raising your deductible. To account for your concern about having to may a large sum of money out of your own pocket when you do need to file a claim, simply use some of your premium savings to fund an emergency savings account.
Which Insurance Companies to Contact
After you have used a rate comparison tool online to generate a list of companies with affordable rates and determined your coverage and deductible needs, you can then consider contacting insurance companies directly for full rate quotes. The question, however, is which insurance companies you should contact.
The rate comparison website you used provides you with a wonderful list of places to start looking. However, you may still have quite a few choices to choose from. So which of these insurance companies should you contact? Consider a few points.
Which insurance companies offer you a greater number of discounts you may qualify for? Consider discounts for low mileage drivers, student drivers, multi vehicle policies, bundling your homeowner’s and car insurance policies and more.
Which insurance companies offer you loyalty benefits if you choose to renew your policy next year?
Which insurance companies are highly rated with consumers?
The Easiest Way to Get Full Quotes
After considering these points, you may have narrowed down your list of insurance companies you want to contact to just a couple of choices. The next step to finding the best rates on car insurance is to get full quotes from each of these companies. The easiest way to get full quotes is to complete the online rate request form on these companies’ websites.
You will need to enter a significant amount of information into the forms including details about your vehicle, your driving history, how many miles you drive per year and more. After submitting your online request form, either an agent from the company will call you for a quote or they may email you with a quote.
When the company contacts you, be sure to ask about additional discounts you may qualify for. You may also request different rate quotes based on adjustments to your coverages or deductible amount.
Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for car insurance, but few drivers want to contend with the risks associated with being under-insured or working with an insurance company that is unwilling to pay out on a claim.
You can easily shop for rate quotes today and find the coverage you need from a reliable insurance company. You simply have to enter your ZIP code into the FREE rate comparison tool above to get the ball rolling. Then, follow the other steps described here to find affordable rates on protective coverage that you need.