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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Getting competitive quotes for car insurance is important if you want to drive at a low cost. Almost every state requires minimum auto insurance and usually minimum insurance is not nearly adequate to protect you financially if you are involved in an accident.
Try our FREE car insurance search tool by putting in your ZIP code! When you are looking for auto insurance, it is a good idea to get quotes from several companies before making a purchase choice.
Car Insurance Choices
Before you begin to shop for car insurance, you should know what kind of insurance you need and the level of coverage you need. When looking at car insurance premium rates, it is important to make sure you are receiving quotes for the same kind of insurance, coverage levels and deductible amounts so that you are accurately comparing rates.
Most states require that you carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance. However, you may want to increase the level of coverage for liability insurance, since you will be responsible for any expenses that go beyond the limits of your insurance coverage.
Liability car insurance covers bodily injury expenses and property damage to the other driver’s vehicle if you are found responsible for the accident.
Collision auto insurance provides coverage for damages to your car if you hit another car or if you hit a stationary object with your car. For example, if you hit a guard rail, fence or building it will be covered by collision coverage.
Comprehensive auto insurance coverage pays for expenses related to other types of damage to your car. Examples of damage covered by comprehensive insurance include hail damage, flood, fire or vandalism damage.
When you are considering what kind of coverage you need for auto insurance, there are also other considerations. If you have an older car, you may not want or need a high level of collision or comprehensive coverage for your car.
If your car is damaged and a total loss, you will only be paid for the current value of the car at the time of the loss. Many people assume this amount will be the current Blue Book value of the car, but in many cases it is a significantly lower amount of money.
It may be a smarter financial move to avoid paying higher premiums in collision and comprehensive insurance and set aside that money to purchase another car if necessary.
Another factor to consider when deciding what level of car insurance you need is the deductible amount. If you choose a higher deductible amount, your premium rates should be lower. You can take the amount of money you would pay in higher premiums and place it in a bank account to use if you have an accident.
One of the fastest ways to get basic quotes for auto insurance is through car insurance websites. There are numerous websites available online that allow you to enter your information one time and get auto insurance quote information.
Keep in mind, however, that most often, the quote that you receive online will only be a basic quote, based on the information you provide.
Your insurance premium rates may change if you have tickets, accidents or other information on your driving record that you do not report or forgot about. It is also common for inaccurate information to be on your driving record.
Another factor that can change your auto insurance premium quote is your credit record. Today, most insurance companies use your credit report as a factor in determining premium rates. If you have poor credit, expect that your rate will be higher than it would be if you had good or excellent credit.
When you are given a premium quote from an insurance comparison website, it is often with the caveat that it may change once all of your application information is submitted to the insurance provider.
Independent Insurance Agent/Brokers
Independent insurance agents and brokers are also a good source for getting fast auto insurance quotes. If you already have an insurance agent, it can be a matter of simply picking up the telephone and asking for a quote. Since they already have your information available, they can usually get a quote very quickly.
Independent insurance agents have the ability to offer quotes from multiple insurance companies. They keep the client information in confidential electronic database management systems that allow them to access all of your information quickly and easily.
They can also quickly comparison price car insurance policy rates electronically. Another benefit to working directly with an independent insurance broker is that they often can help identify discounts that may lower your rates.
Usually, the speed at which they can provide you with a quote depends on exactly what you are asking. For example, it may take longer to provide you with a quote for an entirely new policy, including new rates of coverage, a new vehicle and a new driver.
Simply adding a new vehicle to an existing policy usually takes much less time and a policy rate can be provided to you over the telephone within a matter of minutes in most cases.
Auto Insurance Company Websites
Another source for quick car insurance policy rate quotes is insurance company websites. Insurance company websites are an excellent source of information about the company and what products they offer.
Most larger insurance companies offer insurance products other than auto insurance and you may find it beneficial to investigate these other products.
Most auto insurance websites offer you the ability to request a policy premium quote. The website quote request form will ask where you live and information about your vehicles. It will also ask you about what kind of insurance you want, the level of coverage and deductible amounts.
Some car insurance companies also offer a “ballpark” estimate quote for auto insurance premium rates. For example, the Allstate company website offers a “Ballpark Estimator Tool” to help you have an idea of how much your auto insurance may cost without any commitment on your part.
You are not required to provide any contact information, unlike other quote requests from car insurance companies.
Another aspect to consider is what else you are getting with your auto insurance coverage. Common additional benefits include roadside assistance, travel concierge services, transportation if you are involved in an accident and assistance with arranging rental car services if you have an accident.
Getting fast auto insurance premium rate quotes is an easy process once you know what kind of car insurance you need and what level of coverage you desire. However, keep in mind that often premium rates initially quoted may change based on additional information that can impact your rates, such as your driving record or credit rate. Check out what your insurance will be by using our FREE search tool!
When comparison shopping, make sure you compare the same level of coverage and type of coverage from one company to another in order to have an accurate picture of cost differences. Comparison shopping is made easy by putting in your ZIP code below to get FREE car insurance quotes!