- Coverage desired
- Basics about automobile insurance
- Details about automobiles you have
- Details about drivers driving your vehicles
- Information about insurance companies
These quotes do not cost anything, but you should be prepared to receive phone calls, e-mail, as well as mail from the insurance companies you approach.
Some research on insurance is necessary to be sure that your coverage is indeed what you need.
Use our FREE quote comparison tool above to find the best car insurance for your needs.
Finding Laws About Car Insurance in Your State
The state rather than the federal government controls car insurance liability laws and insurance laws.
For that reason, you should check with your state’s insurance website to determine the limits of liability necessary for legal compliance with state laws.
Personal Details that You Need to Furnish for Quotes
Be prepared to furnish the following personal information about your life, driving habits, and automobile usage:
- Names, dates of birth, drivers license number, for all drivers in your household – your Social Security Number and Phone Numbers will be requested
- Expiration date for your current policy and how long you have been with that insurance company.
- Educational history – Degrees attained, certificates, as well as current occupation for all drivers
- Grade Point Averages, Certificates of Completion for Driver’s Education, Certificates of Completion for Defensive Driving Courses.
- If one or more of the drivers is not related, an explanation about how they fit into your family will be needed.
Choosing Insurance Companies
Be cautious about choosing insurance companies because the financial status of insurance companies as well as collected complaints from customers. This information can be obtained from:
- State department of insurance – for licensing and complaint information
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for ratings and complaints
- A.M. Best Ratings
- Standard and Poor’s Ratings
Liability Insurance Coverage Recommended for Automobile Insurance Policies
Subject to state regulations, the following coverage is recommended. Amend it as necessary to fit your needs, but be certain to ask for the same coverage from all the companies you approach:
- Bodily Injury liability – your legal responsibility for injury to others – $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident
- Property Damage liability – your legal responsibility for others property damage – $50,000 per accident
- Medical Payments coverage – at least $5,000 to help defray the costs of emergency medical care for you and your family in the event of an accident
- Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage – $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident bodily injury if you are struck by a driver without insurance
Physical Damage Insurance on Your Car(s)
Liability coverage does not pay for damage to your own vehicles, so it is necessary to purchase physical damage coverage to pay for damage to your own cars. Two types of coverage protect your car:
- Comprehensive coverage – pays for wind, hail, theft, vandalism, fire, and animal damage to your vehicle
- Collision coverage – pays if you run into another vehicle, a fence, telephone pole, or other object.
Deductibles do not apply to liability, but are required for physical damage. A $500 deductible is recommended, but higher deductibles may reduce your premiums.
Saving Money on Car Insurance
When obtaining quotations online without the help of an individual agent, you need to ask a few more questions about reductions in premium as well as coverage provided.
Be aware of the following ways of saving money:
- Keep a good driving record – company underwriters look favorably on this and may give a good driver discount
- Comparison shop for premium, service, and reliability
- Make sure your information is accurate and complete
- Pay insurance premiums on a yearly basis rather than an installment basis to save the money you spend on installment fees.
- Ask about available discounts:
- -Multiple cars on a policy
- -Mature driver – between 50 and 65 years old
- -Airbags, anti-lock brakes, and other safety equipment
- -Anti-theft devices
- -Purchase both auto and home insurance from the same company
How Insurance Companies Determine Rates
Knowing how insurance companies compute rates will help you control premiums. They determine rates by:
- Vehicle make and model
- Credit history
- Driving record
- Age and gender
- Marital status
- Annual mileage and mileage to work
- Claim history
- Geographic features – rural areas tend to pay less in car premiums than those in cities
Assessing the Quotations You Receive
You should receive at least three quotes for auto insurance with different premiums.
Carefully examine the quotes you receive by aligning premiums and coverage, double-checking the premiums you receive, and the ratings of the insurance companies.
Purchasing Insurance Online
The intent to purchase insurance is signified by paying money for the insurance. The insurance company will then e-mail, fax, or mail you intent to sell insurance to you, based upon the information you have provided.
It is best to begin the process of purchasing insurance a while before your current policy expires. The insurance company will conduct checks on the information you have provided and, if they find problems with the information may refuse to sell you insurance.
After you receive your insurance policy, you should verify the policy.
Be aware that online companies may ask permission to furnish you a policy by e-mail, but you can insist upon a paper copy if you wish. Verify the following information in particular:
- Correct mailing address and home address
- Proper classification of automobiles to reflect premiums
- You should have received all the credits you agreed upon
- Vehicles, make, and model is accurate – double-check the VIN number
- Correct drivers as well as birth dates and ages are listed.
The insurance company will e-mail you identification cards to keep in your vehicle.
A trend is burgeoning in which insurance information is available electronically on your smart-phone.
Some states are allowing their police officers to accept this form of identification as proof of insurance.
Ask your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles if this is true in your state.
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