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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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After you have saved enough to buy a car or finally secured a loan to buy one, you have to get car insurance. Start today with our FREE ZIP code search tool! This is a step most new car owners consider with dread. They expect it to cost time and money to find an affordable car insurance quote.
What’s more, they need one fast because it is illegal to drive a car without adequate insurance. Find the coverage you need for FREE with our quote comparison tool!
How Not to Get an Insurance Quote
Due to the urgency to get one, many new car owners simply accept the first car insurance quote they can find.
Usually, they pick an insurance agency based on some superficial research like asking friends who they use, responding to an ad they saw in their mailbox, a flyer, or a tabloid, or taking action on something they heard on the radio or saw on television.
Stiff Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
This urgency is justifiable because they can’t use their car on a public road until it is insured. The consequences of driving without adequate car insurance ranges from harsh to alarming.
If you are pulled up by a police officer because of some problems with your car, like the turn signal is not working, or some traffic violation, like you failed to use the turn signal when turning on to another street, the first thing the police officer asks for is your driving license and proof of insurance.
Penalties for not having insurance include heavy fines, a court appearance, and suspension of your driving license. But that’s not the worst that could happen. Should you be involved in a car accident, you will have the cost of auto repairs.
If you have injured or killed someone, you may be sued and lose everything that you own.
While it is wonderful to have a car and be able to get around town, you also have to pay to protect your car from theft or accident.
Better Ways to Get Car Insurance Quotes
Instead of responding to information about car insurance companies that accidentally appears in your life, you should actively seek this information out.
This way, instead of responding to the quotation from the first provider you find, you can compare prices provided by several insurers.
When you do, you’ll have a broader sampling and be much more likely to find affordable insurance, one that gives you the best coverage for your money.
Three Ways to Get an Insurance Quote
- Calling insurance agencies. Go through the yellow pages of the phone book and call several insurance companies. You will speak to an insurance agent who will ask questions about your car, your driving history, and your driving habits (like, how many miles you drive a day). Based on this information, the agent is able to calculate the best premium and coverage for you.
- Visiting insurance agencies in person. When you sit down with an insurance agent, you can get a good idea about car insurance policies in general and which ones will work for you.
- Using the Internet. Using a major search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you can find websites that answer your search query about where you can find free affordable car insurance quotes. You can then decide whether to visit individual websites or visit a comparison website.
Out of these three methods, the fastest, most accurate way of getting a good quote car is to use the Internet.
How to Use the Internet to Get an Insurance Quote
If you have a few insurance companies in mind, you can go to their websites, fill in an online form and get an insurance quote. Usually, the quote will either appear on the website or through your email. Sometimes you may have to leave your number for someone to call you back with a quotation.
Using this method, you can get quotations from a number of companies. Using a sheet of paper for notes or a spreadsheet program, you can compare the prices and coverage alongside each other and make an informed decision.
If you don’t have a few car insurance companies in mind, you can simply go to a website that has collected information from a large number of reputable insurance companies. By filling in your personal information one time, you can get multiple insurance quotes.
Narrow Down Your Choices to Three Insurers
One way to make this comparison easier is to narrow your comparisons down to three insurance agencies and only compare a few things like premium cost and the coverage it buys. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming deciding between so many insurance companies, each offering a varied selection of extra services and sign-up incentives.
If you need more information than provided on the website, or believe you are eligible for certain discounts not mentioned on the website, you can always contact the insurance company by telephone.
Usually, they will have the number listed on their website. In addition, you can also directly purchase the insurance online. Generally, it will go into effect on the same day you purchase it.
What Information You Have to Analyze in a Quote
When you get an insurance quotation, you have to decide whether it is a reasonable quote. A low price by itself does not indicate affordability. You may not be getting adequate coverage for all your insurance needs.
In order to understand whether you are getting good value for your money or not, you have to learn how to read a quote.
Here is the information that is usually given in a quotation:
The liability coverage will vary from one state to another. The quote you get will reflect the liability coverage for the state you say your car is registered in. Usually liability coverage covers basic property and bodily injury as legally mandated by your state. Some states have personal injury protection rather than bodily injury liability.
The terms and conditions of the company offering the insurance will be stated. This must be read carefully to prevent unexpected surprises should you ever need to make a claim in the future. The conditions will state when you are eligible to make a claim.
Car Insurance Policy Details
If you fail to meet these requirements, your claim will be rejected as invalid because it violates the conditions that you agreed on. Sometimes the language used is legalistic and difficult to understand.
While some people gloss over this information because it is hard to understand, it is important that you know what you are agreeing on. If you find that you can’t understand some of the conditions, you can always call the company and talk to an insurance agent who will then explain the conditions in everyday language.
The rate of the premium will be stated on the quotation. Your premium is unique to you based on your driving history, the make, model, and year of your car, and the estimated miles you will put on the car in a year.
Usually driving misdemeanors will raise the price of premiums. In addition, you will pay a higher premium if you have a new or expensive car.
Finally, you will be quoted the limits of the coverage that you are buying. This will vary from one state to the next. You may be able to increase the amount of coverage by paying more.
Finding the Best Rates
These four items cover the basic information you will get from a quotation, with some companies having a few more items. Understanding this information will be the basis for your comparison. Price alone is not sufficient reason to judge whether an insurance policy is affordable.
While it’s important to get insurance fast when you have a new car, you should not snap up the first quote you get, picking an insurance company based on advertising you recently came across. Compare quotes today for FREE with our search tool!
Instead, in an hour or two online, you can get some affordable insurance quotes from reputable providers. Once you get a quote, go over the four elements that make up a quote to base you decision. Affordable insurance should have a low premium and great coverage. Start your FREE comparison today with our ZIP code search!