Should I compare car insurance before I purchase any?

You should compare car insurance before you purchase any because you can save a great deal of money with a few free auto insurance quotes. These quotes will give you an idea of what other drivers are paying for car insurance in your area before you enter a showroom or switch providers. Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes from local companies so you can compare auto insurance before you buy.

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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 a professional writer.

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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. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jun 4, 2021

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare cheap car insurance quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Drivers must handle many legal requirements following the purchase of an automobile. A great deal of money can be saved if the potential buyer conducts a detailed comparison of auto insurance policies to obtain some cheap car insurance quotes before entering the showroom. See if you can save money today with our FREE quote comparison search!

While most major car insurance companies are comparable, there are some differences that are designed to win customers from a vast marketplace of drivers.

The time required to conduct a realistic comparison of the available auto insurance coverage will pay enormous dividends in the months and years ahead. Save time and money with our FREE ZIP code search tool!

Insurance Company Comparison

All automobile insurance providers are not alike. Each insurance company has a different idea of the best approach to customer interaction. Following a major loss, the policyholder must be confident that the loss will be covered and that funds will be received in a timely manner.

All insurance companies are evaluated by the A.M. Best Company. A visit to their website provides valuable insight into every insurance company.

  • Reputation: Every state has an insurance commission that regulates the insurance companies that will underwrite auto insurance policies in the state. All complaints that are registered against an insurance company with the state insurance commission are visible on the state websites.
  • Claims record: Rapid payment of claims is essential to the policyholder. The A.M. Best Company website will have a page for insurance company. Each company is rated for their handling of auto insurance claims.
  • Customer service: Various business models have been devised to provide customer service to policyholders of auto insurance companies. Local agents provide the majority of customer service under one model while a centralized office of customer service representatives will address all customer contacts under the other model.

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Automobile Comparison

Insurance providers use actual accident and repair statistics to evaluate the rate of loss that has occurred since the vehicle make and model has been on the road. Perceived risk of loss will determine the rate that the insurance companies will charge for a certain vehicle.

  • Make and model: All auto insurance quotes will begin with the make and model of the vehicle. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, the driver can research the accident statistics through the Insurance Research Council’s website.
  • Safety features: Manufacturer-installed roll bars, airbags and anti-lock brakes have been proven to reduce the amount of damage the vehicle sustains in a collision while protecting the passengers inside the vehicle. Each safety feature will be rated by the insurance companies, and the presence of these features will lower the annual auto insurance premiums.
  • Security devices: Theft deterrent mechanisms, such as locked ignitions and GPS tracking devices, will reduce the rate of loss. Insurance companies encourage drivers to use these mechanisms in areas where crime rates are higher than average.

Coverage Comparison

Automobile insurance premiums are based on the amount of coverage provided by the policy. Each insurance company will price auto insurance policies differently, so accurate comparison is important.

Online quotes are based on general information, but the final premium will be determined through detailed information gathered from the potential policyholder.

  • Full coverage: Comprehensive and collision insurance components will cover the costs of damage sustained by the vehicle through storm damage, theft, vandalism and collisions. Policy comparisons must include the same coverage components to provide a clear picture of the premiums charge by each insurance company.
  • Liability only: Older vehicles might not be worth the premium amount that would be charged for comprehensive and collision insurance. All 50 states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability auto insurance coverage to pay for losses incurred by third parties. Insurance companies encourage drivers to carry sufficient liability insurance to pay litigation costs and legal settlements.
  • Payout limits: Meaningful quotes will contain the same payout limits for each coverage component on the auto insurance policy. Consistent comparison information must be used to gain insight into the costs of insuring the vehicle with each insurer.
  • Deductibles: Drivers that agree to pay a large sum of money when a claim is made will be rewarded with lower annual auto insurance premiums. Large deductibles can cause hardships for the policyholder that cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars following an accident. Quotes must contain the same deductible amount for a valid comparison.

Discount Comparison

Auto insurance providers offer significant discounts to drivers that practice safe driving habits because the risk of loss decreases. Each insurer emphasizes different discounts to win customers.

Efforts to compare discounts will require a significant time investment, but money saved on annual auto insurance premiums can be significant.

  • Credit history: Drivers with a high credit score and clean credit history should find an insurance company that offers a healthy discount. Auto insurance companies have studied statistics that prove the driver with a good credit history is more apt to use safe driving habits behind the wheel. Those with a poor credit history might find an insurer that does not emphasize this attribute in the driver’s profile.
  • Driving record: A clean driving record that does not have any moving violations or accidents for the previous three years will be rewarded by most insurance companies through a healthy premium discount. Drivers with accidents on their records are perceived to be at risk of making claims, so the insurance companies will charge these drivers higher premiums.
  • Good student: Young drivers are rewarded for their mature handling of their studies at school. Insurance companies have reviewed statistics that reveal the correlation between good students and safe driving practices behind the wheel.
  • Driver’s training: Defensive driving courses can lower the annual auto insurance premium by as much as 30 percent. Drivers of every age are rewarded by the insurance companies for completing these courses because the driving skills acquired will reduce the risk of loss.

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Cautionary Statements

Quote websites are valuable starting places for the auto insurance shopper. A few details input through a user-friendly form will start the comparison process. Major insurance companies participate in the quote process of many excellent auto insurance websites to find new customers.

All of the quotes returned must have identical dollar amounts for every policy component since premiums are calculated using the coverage amounts. Deductibles must match exactly on each quote to reveal the actual cost of the policy.

Some auto insurance quotes will be returned with introductory rates. This practice is very common with new insurance companies that are attempting to grow their customer base. The policyholder will pay average market rates after the introductory rates expire. Make sure you don’t overpay by comparing quotes for FREE with our search tool!

Extremely low quotes will be returned from insurance companies that want to find customers. Careful examination of these quotes will reveal that the coverage amounts are minimal, and the deductible has been set rather high. Wise shoppers will eliminate these quotes from consideration.

Drivers who take the time to compare auto insurance policies will not regret the time invested. Good recordkeeping is essential in the effort to find a match between the driver and the insurance company offering the best deal on auto insurance. Check all of  your options today with our FREE ZIP code search!

Compare Cheap Car Insurance Quotes

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

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