How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes
Comparing car insurance quotes can help you identify the right coverage to meet your needs. Look beyond price and seek an insurance company that will be there if an auto mishap or accident occurs, when it matters most.
Are you getting the protection you need at the price you can afford? Consider these tips as you compare your car insurance options:
Understand What Factors Into Your Car Insurance Quote
The first step is to understand what actually goes into an auto insurance rate – how insurance companies assess your risk and set your premium. Here are just a few of the factors that may influence how much you pay for car insurance:
- Your vehicle, including its make, model, age and more. Newer cars have newer technologies that aim to help make them safer, but the new technologies also may be more expensive to repair if you’re in an accident.
- The state where you live and where you park your vehicle. Your premium could be higher or lower, depending on your home state.
- Your driving record, including your claims history, traffic violations and how long you’ve been a licensed driver. If you’ve been involved in accidents over the last few years, it’s likely that your premium will be higher than someone who hasn’t had any accidents.
- The number of miles you drive annually and your driving behavior on the road.
Finally, the auto deductible you choose will also impact your premium. The lower the deductible, the less you’ll pay out of pocket if an accident occurs. On the other hand, selecting a higher deductible may lower your car insurance premium.
Before You Begin Your Research
Evaluate your insurance needs before you start comparing quotes. A good place to start is by finding out what the minimum financial responsibility limits are in your state. Selecting coverage amounts beyond the state minimums can provide you with more protection, and your insurance representative can help you get appropriate coverage for your needs.
How much additional liability coverage should you add? Do you also want comprehensive coverage and collision coverage? (This may be required if you’re leasing or financing your vehicle.) You should also think about add-ons you might need, like rental car coverage, roadside assistance and more.
Take your budget into account, too. What deductible can you afford?
Shopping for Car Insurance Quotes
Gather your current insurance policy documentation (for comparison’s sake), as well as all the personal information insurers will likely need.
You’ll likely need information about:
- The car insurance coverage you’re looking for.
- Your car’s mileage, vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year and security features.
- Your driver’s license number (and that of any other drivers in your household).
- Details on any accidents or moving violations that you or any household members had in the past few years. You may need to provide up to five years of accident and violation history.
Keep in mind that insurance can be complex, so talking with an independent agent or going directly through an insurer’s website can help you find the coverage solution that works for you.
Compare Level of Coverage and Cost
When evaluating your quotes, make sure you’re considering the information that suits your individual needs. Each quote should have the same deductible, limits and coverages, and you should view them all side by side for easiest comparison. One way to approach it is to review your auto insurance declarations page and use it as a reference to compare quotes. The declarations page typically includes key information such as the name of the person insured, address, policy period, policy limits, coverages and more.
As you consider what coverage you need, be sure to consider what other valuable benefits an insurance carrier offers in terms of good customer service and quality of their products.
Read the fine print, too. Look at the deductibles for comprehensive/collision portions of the policies (sometimes these differ) and be sure there aren’t any additional coverages or exclusions that set the quotes apart.
Most importantly, make sure each quote contains the coverages you’re looking for at a price you can afford.
Ways to Reduce Your Quoted Premiums
Not seeing quotes in your price range? There are several ways you can try to reduce those premiums and increase affordability.
Look into what car insurance discounts each insurer offers. Most insurance companies offer discounts for things like:
- Bundling your policy with other products (home insurance, for example)
- MultiCar policies
- Good student
- Safe driver
- “Pay How You Drive” telematics programs
Ask each carrier what discounts you may be eligible for, and factor these into your quotes.
Go Beyond the Premium
Money isn’t all that matters when insuring your vehicle. Beyond your quoted premiums, you should also consider a carrier’s customer service, its reputation, its ratings and more.
Consider checking in with your insurance representative once a year to make sure your coverage is up to date and that you are benefitting from all available auto insurance discounts.
Shopping Around for Your Car Insurance?
If you’re shopping around for your car insurance, we can help. To learn more about our car insurance products, reach out to a local independent agent or Travelers representative to get your personalized car insurance quote today.
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