Comparing auto insurance premiums is a lot easier than it used to be, thanks to all the online services. But it can still be a bit frustrating. Depending on where you look, you might end up with different quotes, different rates and different types of coverage.
To get an accurate quote, you’ll need to start with the basics.
Write down information about the car or cars that you intend to insure: the make, model, year, trim line, and the vehicle identification number (VIN). How your vehicle holds up in a crash is very important to auto insurance companies. This should be a concern of your when you pick your car.
Modern cars usually have a lot of safety features. Make sure you know them. Installing extra safety and security devices on your vehicle is also something that can pay off. Be ready to ask your insurance company what kind of discount they are willing to offer you for things like anti-theft devices.
You’ll also need to give the age, sex, and recent driving record of all potential drivers.
Knowing how many miles you actually drive each year is also helpful. If you drive less than you think you do, it may help getting a better rate.
Where you live and where you normally park your car, is also something that many insurance companies will look at. Maybe, your current parking habits are something you can improve?
Finally, make up your mind about how much coverage you actually need.
With the facts at hand, you are ready to go shopping. An average consumer compares 3 rate quotes before choosing, you should probably ask for at least a handful of quotes. As long as they are free, you got nothing to lose.
Start by visiting The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, look up your state and find your way to the local Department of Insurance. In most states, you will find a consumer buying guide that compares insurance premiums across a range of companies. Sample rates provided by the insurance companies will also give you a good idea about where to get the best deals.
Next, search for internet sites that let you get free quotes from different companies. Or look up the insurance company directly. Another option is, of course, to call the insurer and create a personal contact. You should, however, not go with your first offer, even if it sounds good.
The price might not be everything. Customer service can vary significantly between insurance companies. Proven track record in claims is probably something you also want to look at. Read reviews and talk to an agent. How does the billing and payment process work? Policy renewal and the claim-filing process? It is important that you choose a company that suits your personal needs.
As an example, you don’t see Amica very often on TV. In large surveys, however, its customers say Amica Mutual is terrific in many ways: low prices, helpful customer service and no hassles over claims.
So keep shopping!