Tips for Shopping for Auto Insurance

Tips for Shopping for Auto Insurance

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Shopping for auto insurance and comparing quotes can be stressful. Sure, you’re aiming to save money—but you’ll also want to land on a reliable auto insurance provider. There’s much to decipher and sift through; plus, you’ll have to contend with a few other decisions and potential roadblocks. Namely, your credit score, types of coverage, and your driving record all play a role in what kind of insurance is available to you and at what cost.

While you’re comparing car insurance providers, refer to the seven tips below to determine an approach that’s right for you.

What You Need To Get an Auto Insurance Quote

To get an auto insurance quote, you’ll need the following information:

    • Date of birth for all drivers on the policy,
    • An address for where your vehicle is stored.
    • Driver’s license information for all drivers.
    • Driving records for all drivers on the policy.
    • Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) for each policy-covered automobile
  • Insurance history for each policy-covered driver

While compiling your quote, an insurance agent will pull an abstract of your driving record, called a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). They’ll require the information cited above to gain a full view of the driver they’ll be covering.

Find Out Your State’s Minimum Coverage Requirements

Keep in mind that most states’ mandatory minimum liability coverage isn’t substantial enough for reliable protection. So, you should also consider covering aspects such as liability limits for increased bodily injury and property damage. Furthermore, look into uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Lastly, wherever it’s available, investigate if you can find medical payment coverage.

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Gather Your Driving And Vehicle Information

Quotes are only given for a driver’s specific situation. With that said, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your car’s VIN number, year, make, and model.
  • How you use the car so the insurance company can adequately weigh risk:
    • This includes daily commute in miles, zip code, whether you store your car in a garage or on the street, and how many accidents you’ve had.
  • Some states weigh age and gender as factors.

Which Provider and Coverage Is Right For You?

Without considering quotes from at least three different auto insurance providers, you might overlook red flags that could cost you in the long run.  Some companies are more transparent, and will provide greater insight So, you’ll want, examine local policies and national policies because regional companies often provide better service. A plethora of auto insurance comparison tools exists to aid you in this process

Coverage Types

Comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and gap insurance are most frequently available for new cars. For older vehicles, the above three forms of coverage are regularly available—plus roadside assistance.

Deductible

The deductible is how much you’ll pay when filing a claim. Note that by choosing to pay a higher deductible, it could result in lower premiums. But an accident could cost you!

Coverage Limits

Some plans pay for certain kinds of damage and leave you with the bill for others. For instance, companies often won’t cover you if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Premium

Companies offering lower premiums might indicate that they aren’t providing ideal coverage.  After receiving quotes from all three insurance providers, compare them line by line to ensure everything is in good order, from premiums and deductibles to coverage types.

Dig for Auto Insurance Discounts

If you don’t ask for a discount, the answer is always no. Your provider is never going to give you a hard time simply for asking questions. Just don’t be rude and frame your question by asking about specific promotions and offers for customers.

Often, insurers offer discounts such as professionally-based deals (mention who you work for). Furthermore, bundle pricing options (eg combining auto and home insurance) and multi-car deals are regularly available.

Learn About Optional Coverage Options

Here are the most well-known and frequently offered coverage options:

  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Gap coverage
  • Roadside assistance

Understand what each of these coverage provisions offers to the finest detail. Some companies will have conflicting definitions of what these mean—so read the fine print. Deciding which coverage and to what extent you require it depends on how often and where you drive. Finally, increase your liability limits to the greatest amount within reason.

Choose Your Desired Deductible and Premium

As mentioned before, choosing a higher deductible likely means you’re paying a lower premium. Figure out the perfect balance. It’ll be nice to pay lower rates, but if you’re more likely to get in an accident, you might not have cash readily available to cover it. After all, that’s why you’re considering insurance!

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