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What Are the Best Ways to Compare Car Insurance Rates?

african american woman searching auto insurance on laptop

What if you were letting good money go to waste each month?

That’s what it’s like with auto insurance for many drivers. When they stick with the same company, it’s impossible to get a really low rate. If you want an easy way to get a lower cost, then you need to compare car insurance quotes to get the best possible package.

How can you make sure you get an accurate quote comparison? First, it’s a good idea to know the nationwide averages ($1,600 per year) so you are an informed consumer about average rates. Second, understand your state’s minimum coverage requirements. Third, follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be able to discover the best ways to compare car insurance rates among all the options available to you. Always give complete information to get the correct results.

1. Select the Same Liability Limits and Coverage

To get accurate online quotes, you need to make sure that all the policies are on the same playing field to compete for your money. The best way to do that is to settle on a specific liability limit, use the same basic information and plan to see what quotes you’ll be offered for the same limitations and protection.

When comparing insurers, you want to make sure you aren’t comparing apples to oranges. For example, you’ll always get quoted a lower price for very little protection compared to higher levels. It’s important to select the same limits and term types to make sure you are getting the most accurate car insurance quotes and comparisons. If you want to add something that will help pay medical bills, check into personal injury protection or medical payments. Not all states offer both personal injury protection and MedPay, but if it is offered in your state, it’s worth looking into – especially if you don’t have health insurance.

In other words, how much coverage you get is often the most important factor when it comes to how much you pay. By exploring different types of plans, you can get better deals on your policy.

Don’t Assume Cheapest is Best

Being clear can help you avoid making a mistake. When comparing plans, many people buy a lower-priced policy without realizing that it provides less protection or doesn’t provide enough liability compared to one that provides as much coverage for only a few dollars more. It is important to research these prices and additional details when they offer similar plans to ensure you are getting the best deal for your money without regret. Most basic liability coverage (minimum coverage requirements) offers a minimal amount of bodily injury and property damage protection.

2. Set Similar Deductibles

As with liability limits and plans, you must choose a similar deductible when comparing quotes. Comparehow much you’ll have to pay in premiums after the deductible. By settling on a price you are willing to pay out of pocket, you’ll be able to see how much you would have to pay in premiums while also seeing how high of a protection limit you’ll be offered. This can help you zero in on a policy that will give you the lowest price on a premium for the same amount of protection.

While comparing similar deductibles is the key to a good comparison, it’s a good idea to get car insurance quotes for different deductible amounts as well. For example, you may discover ways to get lower quotes than you are paying while still getting the policy you are looking for, by using a higher deductible. If you want lower rates, be flexible about the kind of plan you choose to protect yourself and your car. Remember, a higher deductible will get you a lower monthly sticker tag.

Is Less Coverage Right For You?

You want to get the best protection you can for yourself and your family. But you should be realistic, as well. If you are driving an older automobile, you don’t want to insure it for more than it’s worth. In other words, how much could you reasonably expect to sell it for? Make sure your premium isn’t more than that.

3. Best Ways to Compare Car Insurance Rates is by Getting Several Quotes

If you want to get the best, you need to comparison shop and take a look at the multiple options available to you. If you want to get an accurate comparison, you’ll need quotes from at least four to five different providers. This will show what prices are available to you and if there are any differences in coverage among the providers you have researched. Then choose the one that will fit your needs the best.

Getting multiple car insurance quotes can also help you weed out any disreputable providers. If you are comparing  average costs and see one that is much lower than the rest of the field, it is probably too good to be true. They could be excluding certain types of coverage or making inaccurate assumptions about your driving profile.

If you want to know more about an insurer’s reputation to protect yourself from being scammed, you can do some research through A.M. Best, an organization that objectively compares car insurance companies to protect customers.

Play the Field if You are a Young Driver

Getting different quotes from different insurers is important for young drivers in particular since their plans tends to be so expensive. This may help young people afford more than just the minimum coverage requirements. In addition, regardless of age, getting many quotes can help you get a comprehensive and collision coverage policy that you thought you couldn’t afford.

The best car insurance companies make it easy for you to get quotes. By getting multiple quotes from multiple sources, you can get the right coverage you need while still getting a great deal on your policy.

4. Look Closely at Policy Details, Exclusions and Additional Services

Okay, so you have looked through five or more quotes that offer the same liability limits, have similar plans, and are at the same deductible, but you still can’t make a decision. Now what? It’s time to do some extra digging.

Look closely at each insurance policy to pick out the finer details. It could be that some policies offer less or exclude certain protections compared to others. On the other hand, there could be policies that include certain extra benefits, such as covering towing costs or rental reimbursement. Little details like these can help you determine which insurer is the best for your needs and your wallet.

Ask for Advice from an Agent

One of the most important things you can do is speak to an agent and see if you can get either a better rate by making tweaks to your current policy. For example, it may be time to drop collision protection on that old vehicle. On the other hand, if you are worried about getting struck by other drivers who don’t have insurance, you may want to add uninsured motorist to your policy.

Your goal is to find the balance between the right policy for your situation and lower rates suitable to your personal budget.

Young Asian couple gives fist bumps after comparing car insurance rates

5. Know That Your Circumstances Could Influence Your Final Cost

Car insurance companies want to appeal to as many potential customers as they can, so you’ll likely find many great offers. However, the quotes they provide might not apply to you given certain circumstances.

For example, the zip code you live in could have an affect. If your zip code has people who file a lot of claims due to wrecks and criminal activity, like car theft, it may give you a higher price. And the neighboring zip code may be lower.

If you have significant factors, such as traffic citations, a previous at-fault accident, or a DUI on your driving record, you might get a higher cost on your actual policy versus the quote you originally received online. In most states, a poor credit score can also increase the final cost of your premium compared to having a good credit score. This is why you want to find a carrier with a high customer satisfaction rate: even if you have a history of traffic violations, they may be able to quote you lower premiums than you were expecting. In the worst-case scenario, they don’t and you can move on.

Did Someone Say Discounts?

Speaking to someone one-on-one also helps you learn more about potential discounts you may qualify for (such as discounts for having a safe driving history, for having good grades, for older drivers or even for driving a hybrid vehicle).

In addition to such good deals, other factors could make the quote you received even cheaper. The company you want may also offer discounts for bundling your insurance (such as with a life insurance policy), owning a home, passing an advanced driving course, installing anti-theft devices or safety features, or being a new customer. It’s important to know these details to gauge whether or not the rate you have been quoted will become higher or lower.

When you’re having trouble deciding between carriers that offer similar average pricing, it may come down to who offers the best discounts. If one agency offers better discounts than other major insurers, then you know you can rely on that company to help you achieve the best plan.

6. Do Your Homework about Prospective Carriers

Using the tips above, you should be able to narrow things down to a few different car insurance companies. How can you narrow things down? First, we recommend being a good student and doing your homework about prospective carriers.

For example, you can ask your best friend, family, and colleagues what they know about a particular company. They will be able to give you their honest, firsthand impressions. You should also check what the online reviews for the carrier are like. You should also see what people are saying about the carrier on social media.

If just a small handful of people seem unhappy with the carrier, that’s not a big deal, but if there seems to be a pattern of disappointed customers, then you may want to steer clear of that carrier and go with a different company altogether.

Using an independent agent can save you time and money. An independent agent is not locked into one carrier and can present you with multiple options. Be a little wary about sharing your contact information and phone number with just any company. Your personal contact information and phone number could get into the wrong hands.

Use the Star Rating System and Trustpilot

The star rating system allows customers and clients to rate a business from 1-5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. Trustpilot is another place customers can rate a business. These services – and others – are supposed to weed out fraudulent reviews, but as we stated before, learning about a company from a friend, neighbor, relative or colleague is always best. Using these methods can also help you avoid comprising your personal information, like your contact information and phone number.

7. Go with the Best Deal You Can Find

By now, you’ve put in the hard work to get a variety of different types of coverage. And you’ve even researched the different insurance companies. The only thing left to do is the fun part: getting the best value!

Sometimes, this is just a matter of comparing apples to apples. If you have compared similar plans and found multiple companies that look trustworthy, then you can just go with the best possible price.

Don’t Forget the “Extras”!

No matter how excited you are though, don’t forget to compare some of the “extras.” For example, if the quoted premiums are similar but one company offers better discounts, then you may be able to save more that way. Alternatively, if two companies are otherwise completely equal, nothing is wrong with going with the company that has better customer service or more products you may need (this will allow you to save more by bundling your policies).

The Best Ways to Compare Car Insurance Rates: Comparison Shopping

Knowing about these ways to compare costs can help you get better insurance products – and the best value – from your current carrier. While that’s a good starting point, you have a chance now to save even more by shopping around and comparing. Doing research and comparison shopping is ultimately one of the best ways to get better prices.

If you need help finding cheap auto insurance, Freeway Insurance will compare plans for you and present you with the best option based on your specific needs and budget. Get a fast and free car quote online, call (800) 777-5620 to speak with an agent to request a free quote, or stop by one of our locations and start saving money.

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