One of the most crucial stages of car insurance is shopping for coverage. Every car insurance provider prices their policies differently, and shopping is how you can get a feel for each one. What’s more, some insurers may specialize in insurance for specific groups like families, high-risk drivers, or elderly drivers. That’s why you should pull different car insurance providers the same way you pull quotes. This post serves as your guide on how to compare car insurance in order to find the perfect auto policy.
The Key Things to Know When Comparing Car Insurance
Before diving into the specifics, let’s cover the general know-how of comparing car insurance and what to do when looking at your options. Naturally, you are going to consult multiple insurers. They can be big national, local, or even specialized ones.
But while you’re looking at your options, these practices can also help you compare insurers:
- Look at the insurance companies’ service quality - Research how the insurance providers handle claims. Note their process, service, and especially customer reviews.
- Keep your preferred coverage limits in mind with each insurer - This allows you to see how each insurance company will charge you for the coverage you want. Even though you enter the same coverage limits, your quote may differ with each insurer.
- Always inquire about discounts - In order to get the best price for your car insurance, always ask the insurance agent about discounts they offer. There may be some you qualify for and not even know it.
- Know exactly how much coverage you need - This is so you don’t buy too much coverage and avoid being underinsured. At the same time, you should also look at optional car insurance types to see if one may do you good.
Compare Auto Insurance Companies’ Customer Record And Complaints
Every state insurance commission keeps a buyer’s guide of insurance and how to obtain it in that particular state. This can also include performance reviews and what is known as complaint ratios. Your state’s department of insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) website should show these as well.
Complaint ratios are the insurance company’s market share of resolved complaints to their market share of premiums. There’s a national median listed on the NAIC website along with the option to view a complaint trend report which shows whether complaints have become more or less frequent. An insurance company’s complaint ratio and financial ratings are the most important aspects you should look at. Ask yourself if the good financial rating is truly worth the sub-par complaint ratio.
Compare Car Insurance With Your Desired Coverage Amount in Mind
While you’re shopping for car insurance, you have a certain amount of coverage in mind. You base it on your car and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re unsure of how much coverage you should carry, consult an online auto insurance calculator.
Here are the auto coverages you have and can add to your auto policy:
- Liability coverage - This is often referred to as basic car insurance since it is required in 49 out of 50 states. This insurance covers damage and injuries you cause to another driver and their car. There are two types of liability coverage -bodily injury and property. Your state has requirements on how much you need to carry.
- Comprehensive and collision coverage - While these aren’t required, they can be added to your liability coverage to create a full car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage insures your car against damage when it isn’t being used. This can be due to weather or crime. Collision insurance covers damage to your car in an accident regardless of fault.
- Uninsured motorist coverage - This coverage can come in handy because you never know when you’ll get into an accident with a driver that lacks car insurance. Since they won’t be able to pay for the damage or injuries they caused, you have your own insurance to fall back on.
- Personal injury protection - Also called PIP, this coverage helps you pay your medical expenses after an accident regardless of fault. Lost wages and funeral expenses are also included in PIP. This is also an optional coverage.
Always Inquire About Car Insurance Discounts
There are several ways to earn a discount from a car insurance provider. It never hurts to ask an agent which ones you qualify for.
Here are some discounts that you can take advantage of for lower car insurance premiums:
- Safe driving discount - People with clean driving records can earn up to a 27% discount. Typically, safe drivers are violation-free within a three to five-year period.
- Bundling discount - You can get a 25% discount if you decide to bundle your insurance with a certain provider. Having a homeowner policy with the same company that provides your auto, for example, can see a reduction in premiums.
- Multiple vehicle discount - You can insure two or more vehicles from one insurer for a discount of up to 25%.
- New car discount - Buying a new car (less than three years old) can result in a 5% or 10% discount.
- Defensive driving course discount - For older drivers (at least 50 years old), there are defensive driving classes they can take that will save them up to 10% on their premiums.
- Anti-theft/security device discount - Car insurers are known to lower premiums based on a car’s safety features since it lessens the chances of it getting stolen and a claim being filed. Having both custom and factory security devices on your car can earn you a discount of up to 30%.
Knowing How to Compare Car Insurance Without Over or Under Buying
You now know all the different types of coverage you can add to your car insurance policy, but how do you know which ones you need and don’t need? An example of this is if you have an old car, perhaps full coverage with collision and comprehensive insurance won’t be worth it.
In addition to the insurance you know you’re going to buy, like liability insurance, remember to compare the costs of optional insurance like PIP and uninsured motorists coverage. One insurance company may offer it for significantly less than another. One last piece of advice is to consult at least three insurance providers on your search. You’ll see how differently each insurer prices their policies.
Regardless of your driving history, Insurance Navy is here to help. We provide drivers with coverage no matter what level of risk they have. Get a free SR-22 quote with us today. Quotes are available online via our website and mobile app. You can also give us a call at 888-949-6289.