Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Find an insurance company
  • Research policies
  • Choose a policy that matches your driving habits
  • Purchase the policy
  • A comparison quote tool can simplify the process

If you’ve never had car insurance or you need car insurance for a car you just purchased, you may feel overwhelmed. There are numerous insurance agencies and numerous policies available to drivers, and the costs can vary greatly between companies and policy types. In order to get car insurance, you must find an insurance agency, choose a policy and purchase that policy. An easy way to search for insurance policies is by using a comparison tool. An insurance quote comparison tool will help you quickly sort through several insurance companies and policies so that you can find the right car insurance at the right price. Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

Different Types of Insurance Policies

  • State Minimum
  • Liability
  • Full Coverage – Comprehensive and Collision

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State Minimum

Each state has their own rules and regulations regarding minimum car insurance requirements. In general, state minimum car insurance protects the driver that did not cause the accident. In this scenario, if you had state minimum insurance and got into an accident that was determined to be your fault, your insurance would pay for the other driver’s injuries and car repairs up to your policy’s maximum.

Since state minimum insurance is the least expensive car insurance policy available, the coverage amounts may not pay for all of the other driver’s medical expenses and car repairs. This could leave you open to being sued for the remainder of the driver’s expenses.

  • Least expensive car insurance policy available
  • Does not cover you if you are the at-fault driver
  • May still leave you open to being sued for the car accident

Liability

Liability coverage is slightly better than state minimum. It can have higher coverage amounts so that you are not left potentially paying part of the other driver’s expenses. However, liability coverage still does not cover you if you are deemed to be the driver that caused the accident.

  • Offers better protection than state minimum car insurance
  • Does not cover you if you caused the accident
  • Slightly more expensive than state minimum

Full Coverage

Full coverage auto insurance refers to a policy that includes provisions for liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision covers and pays for the repairs to your vehicle and your medical bills if you are in an accident that is determined to be your fault.

This means that if you run a red light and hit another driver, your liability insurance will pay the other driver’s expenses, and your collision insurance will pay for your expenses.

Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your car that is not the result of a car accident. Commonly covered items include vandalism to your car, theft of your car and certain types of weather damage.

  • Best coverage you can have for your car
  • Most expensive type of policy
  • To find a full coverage auto insurance plan, use a comparison tool to quickly search through policies

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Insurance Add-ons

Depending on your needs, you may want to add features to your insurance policy. One of the most common add-ons is underinsured/uninsured. This protects you if a driver with low coverage amounts or no insurance hits your car. In this instance, your insurance policy would cover the difference between the driver’s insurance coverage and the actual amount to fix your car, or your uninsured/underinsured policy would pay your car accident expenses entirely if the driver is uninsured.

You may also want to consider adding roadside assistance to your policy, which protects you in the event that your car breaks down on the side of the road. In this instance, you would call the number provided by your insurance company, and the person on the other end of the phone would send a tow truck to your location.

Rental car reimbursement reimburses you for the cost of a rental car after your accident. This allows you to still get to work and run errands while your car is being fixed.

Factors that Determine the Cost of Your Premium

The cost of your premium is calculated using several different benchmarks, including your age, gender and marital status. In general, females can expect lower insurance premiums than their male counterparts. As you get older and pass certain age benchmarks, you should see a decrease in the amount of insurance you pay, and married individuals tend to have lower car insurance premiums than singles.

Additional Factors

  • How many miles you drive each year
  • Your location
  • Previous insurance claims history

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Making Your Policy Affordable

There are certain things you can do to make your car insurance policy more affordable. Two of the easiest remedies include raising your deductible and switching from full coverage to liability car insurance.

If you have tried everything to lower your car insurance premium and you still cannot afford it, you may want to try a comparison tool, which can help you locate a better policy and a better price.

You can also check with your insurance agent to make sure you are getting all the insurance discounts that are available to you. Insurance carriers typically offer vehicle discounts, policy discounts and driver discounts.

  • Discounts for certain safety features – passenger side air bags, rear view cameras
  • Policy discounts – multi-line, renewal discounts
  • Driver discounts – student driver, good grades, safe driver, low mileage driver, senior driver

Choosing and Purchasing a Policy

Once you have determined the amount of insurance you require, you need to research policies and choose the car insurance policy that best meets your needs. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by using a car insurance comparison tool. A comparison tool will let you input certain parameters for your vehicle and driving habits. Once you hit enter, you will receive information about several different policies from multiple car insurance carriers. This will allow you to quickly review your options and choose the best option for your monthly budget and driving habits. If the initial information isn’t to your liking, you can always change things like your preferred deductible amount and insurance coverage. Once you’ve chosen your policy, you can pay online and print off your temporary insurance cards. Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!