Shop for Car Insurance
The best way to find affordable car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies. Auto rates change over time, and they can go up or down, even if you don’t make any claims.
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Common Questions About Shopping for Car Insurance
Here are some of the most common questions people ask when shopping for car insurance quotes. Click on each question to learn more about finding the best coverage for your needs.
How to Shop Car Insurance: Car Insurance Buying Guide
When it’s time to shop for car insurance, it can be overwhelming. That’s why MoneyGeek's compiled a thorough car insurance buying guide to help make the process easier. MoneyGeek's car buying guide can help you make the best decision on car insurance coverage, so you only pay for what you need.
Check Car Insurance Rates Frequently
If you’re like most, you’re living on a budget. Why pay more for car insurance when you don’t have to? To know you are getting the best deal on your car insurance, it’s a good idea to check rates frequently. Some people shop every time their car insurance renews, which is every six months or a year. If you don’t want to do it at each renewal, you should at least check every other year to compare car insurance quotes. Taking this step may save you some money.
When certain things happen in your life, use that as a reason to shop for car insurance:
- Adding a new driver
- An increase in premium (especially if you didn’t file a claim)
- Buying a new or used car
- Moving to a different city or state
- Combining households
- Getting a divorce
Some car insurance companies offer loyalty incentives for customers who keep their insurance with them year after year. However, just because you get a loyalty discount doesn’t mean you’re getting the best rate for your coverage. Each car insurance company offers its own set of discounts and incentives that could actually lower your rate, even if you get the same coverage limits.
For example, being a member of certain professional organizations or having affiliations could get you a discount.
If you have a student driver, they could be eligible for a good student discount, student away at school (if in college more than 100 miles away), driving safe discount programs and more.
When you shop for car insurance, make sure to ask about all available discounts to see which ones you are eligible for so you can get the best coverage at the cheapest rate.
Shop Top-Rated Car Insurers
While price is an important factor when shopping for car insurance, it’s not the only one to consider.
A company’s financial strength is also something to explore. If a company doesn’t have a strong financial portfolio, it may not be able to pay claims when the time arises. When you pay your premiums, you’re paying for a great claim experience, which includes fast and full payment when you have to submit a claim.
Other factors make some companies a better fit compared to others. You want to find the best car insurance that’s right for you and your individual circumstances.
Determine the Right Amount of Coverage for You
Almost every state has a minimum amount of liability coverage that you have to carry. The rest is on you to decide what you need, which can be overwhelming with the options available.
Here are some of the most common coverages a car insurance company offers and what they cover:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage will pay for your medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault. Personal Injury Protection is not available in all states.
- Medical payments: Similar to PIP, this coverage is also considered no-fault medical insurance to pay for medical costs incurred if you’re involved in an accident.
- Full Coverage Comprehensive and Collision: Comprehensive coverage is considered “other-than-collision” coverage for vandalism, theft, weather events, broken windows or windshields and if you hit an animal. Collision coverage is for your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or fixed object. Together, they are often known as full coverage.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM or UIM): This coverage pays to fix your car or cover your injuries if you are hit by someone who is not insured or doesn’t have enough car insurance coverage.
- Gap Insurance: Not all states may have this coverage. Gap insurance coverage will pay for the “gap” between your car’s value and the amount you owe on a loan or lease if it’s totaled in an accident.
- Roadside assistance: This provides coverage if your car breaks down, you need to tow your car, you run out of gas or you lock your keys in your car.
Find Ways to Save While Shopping for Car Insurance
Whether you’re looking to buy new car insurance or save with your current car insurance company, you can still create a savings budget. Before you shop, you may want to reach out to your current car insurance company to see if there are ways you can save money with your current policy.
You could make changes to your coverage or eliminate coverages that are no longer needed. Your insurer may offer discounts you weren’t aware of, or weren’t eligible for before becoming insured.
Even if your agent can save you money, it still can’t hurt to get some more quotes to compare your current policy for additional savings and reduce your car insurance costs. When you shop for car insurance, ask if you’re getting all the discounts you qualify for so you can get the cheapest rate for the best coverage.