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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently...

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business...

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Reviewed byBrad Larsen
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Part of the thrill buying any product or service is finding the cheapest option however when it comes to car insurance you have to be careful when comparing car insurance quotes. Cheap car insurance may sound attractive but the value of a good auto insurance policy is in the details of coverage and this doesn’t always correspond with cost.

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If you were to compare policies of equal coverage from car companies of similar reputation then it’s only logical to choose the policy with the cheapest cost. However this is where many drivers fail in obtaining the cheapest car insurance and often wind up being uninsured or underinsured in a car accident. The cost of car insurance is just one factor and without comparing policies of equal value it’s like you are not even comparing at all. Before you start shopping for car insurance make sure to follow these steps:

Define how much car insurance you need

This will take a combination of understating how car insurance works and defining the levels of coverage sufficient for your unique needs. Once you know how much car insurance you need then you can request quotes based on this coverage, instead of letting car insurance companies propose what they think you need. Sometimes the cheapest car insurance quotes are not really cheap, but simply contain watered down versions of coverage. For example, let’s say you are comparing different quotes from 2 companies. Company A has a cost of $1,200 and Company B is only $550. There is no doubt Company B’s offer is tempting but is the amount of coverage the same? Will your car be insured in the event of an accident, or is this just liability insurance for damages to others? If you can’t answer these questions then you are not ready to buy car insurance.

Understand how deductibles work

Car insurance deductibles may seem like a minor part of insurance however they can certainly have a profound effect in the event of a car accident. A car insurance deductible is essentially how much you have to pay “out-of-pocket” before your coverage kicks. Many drivers have a $250 deductible which is affordable on a moment’s notice for almost anyone. However, some car insurance companies quote deductibles with $1,000 or $2,500 which means you really need to have some serious damage before filing a claim, and you need to have a nice chunk of change ready at any moment. Car insurance deductibles play a big role in the cost of your car insurance so it’s imperative when you are comparing car insurance quotes that the policy deductibles offered are the same. Sometimes the cheapest car insurance quotes are a direct result of nothing more than a higher policy deductible.

Shop Around

Never limit yourself to just the big brands. Although only about 10 car insurance companies hold close to 70% of the national market share there are still millions of drivers who are insured by local, regional and national providers who are not spending $500 million advertising. Ask friends and family for recommendations, read car insurance company reviews online and even call and speak with local agents asking for their opinion on the best insurance companies.

The short story for how to find cheap car insurance is to leave comparing the cost of car insurance until the final minute. You need to line up potential policies which offer the same types of insurance, levels of coverage and policy deductibles from providers of comparable reputations. While its easy to get side tracked by cheap car insurance quotes ultimately you will find the cheapest car insurance for your scenario, if you gather the quotes properly. Otherwise you may just be stuck with a policy that only has value to the people who cash your checks.

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