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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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If you do a standard Google search on the phrase “car insurance,” hoping to find some good informational websites at the top of the list, you may get lucky. Then again, you may not. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of pages available on the Internet today means you don’t always find the top sites to answer your questions about car insurance without a little bit of digging.
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At CheapCarInsuranceQuotes.com we pride ourselves in giving you the most complete and up-to-date information available to answer your questions about car insurance. But we’re not the only source. There is a variety of other websites you can use to glean the information you’re after. Some of them are government sites while others come from educational institutions, nonprofits, and car-related businesses.
If you’re looking for a simplified version of insurance regulations in your state, the best place to start looking for answers to your questions is your state insurance department or motor vehicle department website. Some states even post their entire code online, but the summarized version will probably be more to your liking. The summaries are usually in plain English and don’t bore you with information only a lawyer would love.
One example of this type of government site is the one provided by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Their site is a resource offering a lot of important information for drivers and vehicle owners. In addition to insurance regulations, you can also find out about vehicle registration, titling, applying for driver’s license, and so on.
Another state with an excellent website is Delaware. They are one of a handful of states that provides not only summarized information but also the option for online viewing of the Delaware Code. Being able to see the code is helpful if you have more detailed questions that can’t be answered using the summary.
There are a small handful of nonprofit organizations whose focus is on consumer advocacy. Some of them offer more practical advice regarding car insurance rather than specific details about state regulations. Nonetheless, if you’re unsure how car insurance works, how much coverage you really need, and the best way to shop for a good policy, these types of organizations can answer many of your questions. One example of such nonprofits is Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports is an advocacy group whose mission is to test various products and services in order to rate them as unbiased observers.
Some 20 years ago, the best way to get a hold of Consumer Reports test results was to purchase a subscription to their magazine.
Though the magazine is still in print today, most people access consumer reports through their website. In terms of car insurance, Consumer Reports provides a web-based guide to help consumers find the best policy.
Educational institutions like colleges and universities sometimes publish car insurance information for a couple of reasons. The first reason would be to inform employees who drive school-owned vehicles what their responsibilities are. The University of Louisville provides just such a guide on their website. It’s pretty straightforward and easy enough to understand.
The second reason you might find insurance information coming from educational institution is a situation in which the school specifically deals with law and economics, or you have a student who has researched the topic and has posted information online. Harvard is just one example of such a school.
The only downside to getting insurance information from educational institutions is that the process tends to be a bit more complicated than most of us are willing to deal with.
That’s especially true in cases like the Harvard website; the information provided there is written in technical legalese the average driver will never understand. Information from educational institutions is probably something you’d use as a last resort.
You can find a limited amount of insurance information on the websites of some car-related businesses. For example, Motor Trend Magazine is a mainstay in the automotive world for providing all sorts of car-related information. Like Consumer Reports, Motor Trend was available exclusively as a monthly periodical before the advent of the Internet. Today you can purchase the magazine at a local retailer or subscribe to it online.
Along those same lines, there are financial services websites that include all sorts of insurance and investments in their content. These types of websites will tend to be more product-specific, so you may not get unbiased information.
For example, the articles you find may have a few links to specific insurance companies those businesses are trying to promote. They are not necessarily a bad source of information; you just need to be aware that these sites are not completely neutral.
Though many of America’s drivers are not interested in diving too deep, those who are can find quite a few resources consisting of professional reviews and ratings. For example, J.D. Power & Associates is one of the world’s leading market research companies. When it comes to cars and insurance, their ratings are the most respected in the business.
J.D. Power & Associates ranks individual car insurance companies based on diligent research and customer feedback.
From a financial standpoint, you can find out about car insurance company stability by checking with organizations like A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s. All three organizations specialize in researching and rating companies involved in the financial sector. Since car insurance is but one small component of a larger financial industry, most car insurance companies will be routinely rated by one or more of these organizations.
Agencies and Car Insurance Companies
Lastly, if you still have questions after digging as deep as you can, you can always directly contact a few car insurance companies or independent agents. They’ll be more than happy to answer questions in most cases. However, be aware that they are going to try to sell you a policy if you’re not already a customer. If you are, they will probably try to up-sell you on new services or extra coverage.
Also, be aware that insurance companies are notorious for keeping the information on their websites pretty generic. They don’t delve into a lot of the more detailed questions because answers can be so different from one state to the next. They would rather speak to you in person to find out exactly how your questions pertain to your circumstances and state regulations. That way they can offer you reliable answers rather than just supposition.
When You’re Ready to Buy
We assume most car insurance questions will be asked when a consumer is getting ready to purchase a new policy. If that’s the case for you, there are a couple of things to consider before you buy. The first is the question of how much insurance you need according to the laws in your state. That’s where those individual state DMV websites are invaluable. They’ll tell you what you need for:
- Bodily injury liability insurance
- Property damage liability
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage
- Personal injury protection
The next thing to consider is whether you’ll need to carry collision and comprehensive coverage. This is a question usually left to your bank, but in all likelihood, you’ll be required to purchase this insurance as long as your car loan is still outstanding.
Third, you have to consider whether to raise liability amounts and add extra coverage like full glass and roadside assistance. An umbrella policy is another option if you have significant assets. These types of questions are usually best answered using the nonprofit websites and educational institutions.
Lastly, you need to consider a company’s reputation in terms of not only price, but also their claims service and overall customer satisfaction. It doesn’t do much good to get a great price if a company doesn’t know how to treat its customers. Websites that provide detailed ratings are your best choice for questions related to these topics. You can also check out independent review sites that allow customers to write their own reviews.
Compare and Decide
Getting prompt and accurate answers to your questions is important if you want to make wise decisions regarding your car insurance. They’re also important to your peace of mind. There’s nothing worse than purchasing an insurance policy not knowing whether you’ve done the right thing. So ask lots of questions and demand appropriate answers.
When you’re using the Internet as a research tool remember that you can’t necessarily believe everything you read.
It’s helpful to visit multiple websites so you can compare the answers given by each one. That makes it easier to weed out false information.
Also, remember that at the end of the day you are required to follow the law regardless of the information gleaned from the Internet. It’s best to have a thorough understanding of what your state requires whenever you purchase car insurance policy.
If you’re ready to find the best car insurance policy, get started right now by entering your ZIP code into our FREE search tool!