A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Determine whether you need liability or collision insurance
  • Determine your monthly budget for car insurance
  • Use a comparison tool to quickly find insurance policies that meet your needs
  • Choose a car insurance policy
  • Purchase your policy and print your temporary insurance card

Purchasing car insurance for the first time or after you have not had car insurance for a while can seem like an overwhelming task. What type of car insurance policy do you need? How much can you afford? What is the best insurance company? These may all be questions you are asking yourself. Thankfully, a comparison tool can simplify the process so that you can find an insurance policy that fits your needs and your budget. Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

Starting the Process of Finding a Car Insurance Policy

To start the process of finding a car insurance policy, you must determine your monthly budget for car insurance and your car insurance needs. If you drive a car that is relatively new or one that is not paid off, you may want to consider collision coverage, which covers the other driver and you if you get into an accident, and you are found to be the driver who caused the accident. If you drive a car that is older and paid off, you may want to consider a liability policy, which is cheaper per month than a comprehensive policy. If you are looking for a minimum coverage policy so that you can drive legally, you may want to consider a state minimum insurance policy, which is generally the least expensive policy available. To determine policy prices and coverage amounts, you can use a comparison tool to find and compare multiple auto insurance policies.

  • Determine your car insurance budget
  • Decide which type of insurance you need
  • Use a comparison tool to find an affordable policy

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State Minimum Car Insurance Explained

Every state requires a minimum amount of car insurance, and the amounts vary, depending on your state. In Indiana, drivers are required to maintain a liability insurance policy that includes bodily injury limits of $25,000 for a single individual and $50,000 for all individuals, $10,000 in property damage and $50,000 for under-insured motorists. In New York, drivers are required to carry the same coverage amounts in Indiana, except they must also carry $50,000 if they kill another person in an accident and $100, 000 to cover the deaths of multiple people.

It is important to understand that a state minimum insurance policy may not be enough insurance.

These policies do not cover the policy holder for damages to their vehicle or injuries, and the policy limits may not be enough to cover the other driver’s expenses, leaving driver who caused the accident open to a possible lawsuit.

  • Minimum amount of insurance required by law
  • Least expensive type of policy
  • May leave you underinsured

Liability Car Insurance Explained

Liability car insurance refers to a policy that covers the other driver in the event that you cause an auto accident. This type of policy does not pay for your medical expenses or car repairs. Instead, you must pay for your accident-related expenses from your own budget. If you are not getting state minimum car insurance, you can choose the coverage amounts to ensure you are adequately protected if you are involved in an auto accident.

  • More expensive than state minimum policies
  • You can choose your coverage amounts
  • Does not repair or replace your car

Collision Insurance Explained

Collision insurance includes liability coverage as well as insurance to repair or replace your car if you are in a car accident that you caused. If you have this type of policy, your car repairs and medical expenses will be paid by your car insurance company, minus your deductible, even if you are the driver that caused the accident.

For example, if you cause an accident which results in $2,000 worth of damage to your car, and you have a $1,000 deductible, you will pay $1,000 for your car repairs. Your insurance company will pay the remaining $1,000.

  • Most expensive type of policy
  • Requires a deductible
  • Pays for your accident-related expenses if you are determined to have caused the accident

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Comprehensive Car Insurance Explained

Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage that is not the result of a car accident. In many instances, your car is parked when the damage occurs. Different insurance companies cover different items, but in general, these policies cover fire, vandalism, theft and certain weather events.

  • Add-on insurance policy to cover items other than car accidents
  • Generally covers weather damage, fire, vandalism, and theft
  • Insurance policies that include comprehensive coverage can be found via a comparison tool

Making Your Car Insurance Affordable

In addition to choosing the right car insurance policy for your specific needs, you need to make sure that you are receiving all the discounts you deserve. Most car insurance carriers have discounts for drivers who meet certain benchmarks.

  • Purchasing several different policies with the same insurance carrier
  • Insuring more than one car or driver
  • Not getting traffic tickets or into car accidents
  • Owning a car with an alarm system or other safety features
  • Raising your deductible if you have collision insurance

Using a Comparison Tool to Shop for Car Insurance

Many states, like Massachusetts, offer tips and tricks to help you shop for car insurance. Common suggestions include getting multiple quotes in writing and researching the policies along with the specific insurance carriers. The fastest way to do this is with a comparison tool. These tools take your information and stated needs and compare them with the available policies. The car insurance policies that best match your search parameters are returned to you as results.

When you get your results, you should look at the individual prices of each policy, their coverage amounts and their exclusions.

When you find a policy that meets your needs, you can usually purchase that policy online.

  • Use a comparison tool to quickly research multiple policies
  • Look at the prices of each policy
  • Review the details
  • Choose your policy
  • Purchase your new policy online

To sign up for a new insurance policy, you should utilize a comparison tool so that you can quickly receive and review multiple insurance policies and prices. This will allow you to rapidly choose a policy that meets your needs. Once you have selected your policy, you can pay online and print your insurance cards from your home computer. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool to start comparing car insurance rates now!