Car insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make. It protects you from financial calamity in the event of an accident or other disaster, and it’s required by most states for anyone who wants to drive.
But picking the right car insurance is more than just finding a company with affordable rates. You also need to consider a provider’s reputation, including customer satisfaction ratings and financial stability.
1. Know Your Needs
It’s worth putting in the time to understand your options when selecting an auto policy. You may find insurance jargon confusing at first, but familiarizing yourself with it will help you make the best choice for your needs and goals. It’s also worth checking that prospective insurance providers are licensed in your state, as well as researching their customer satisfaction ratings and financial strength with third-party sources such as J.D. Power and AM Best.
You should also compare secondary features such as available discounts and digital tools, which can set insurers apart. Once you have a clear picture of your coverage needs, it’s time to shop around. You’ll be able to find the right policy at a price that fits your budget. Almost every state requires a minimum level of car insurance.
2. Get Quotes
Getting car insurance quotes from multiple providers is one of the most important steps in finding the right policy. You can do this in person by visiting independent or captive agents (who represent only one insurer) or online.
When requesting quotes, be sure to provide accurate information and make the process as quick and simple as possible. This includes providing your driver’s license numbers for yourself and any other drivers in your household as well as a full history of accidents and tickets, if applicable.
You should also be sure to compare policies with the same deductible, limits and coverages. This helps you accurately assess each option. In addition to rates, you should evaluate an insurer’s customer service and complaint record. You can do this by reading reviews on third-party sites and asking friends and family for recommendations.
3. Shop Around
In order to make sure that you are getting the best rates, it is important to shop around and compare policies. This is easier than ever with insurance websites such as Clovered that allow you to get quotes from multiple companies without the need for calling or submitting your information to each company.
Generally, shopping for car insurance should be done at least once a year. However, certain life changes may prompt you to reevaluate your options sooner.
For instance, if you had tickets on your record in the past that are now several years old, or if you recently got a work-from-home job and will be driving less, then your premium could likely be reduced. Also, if you find that your current company is raising its rates too high, then it is probably time to shop around.
4. Compare Policies
When it comes to car insurance, there are so many options out there that finding the right policy can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some ways to make it easier.
Start by comparing quotes from multiple insurers to find the best price. Next, look at each policy to see what coverages it includes. Make sure you’re comparing policies with the same levels of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection as well as the same deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage (if applicable).
Beyond price, it’s also worth considering an insurer’s reputation for attentive customer service and speedy claims processing. And finally, take a moment to double-check an insurer’s financial strength and stability with third-party rating agencies. Then, you’ll be ready to choose the best policy for your needs.
5. Make the Right Decision
Choosing the right car insurance comes down to many factors. Each driver has unique needs and a specific financial situation. Taking the time to evaluate your circumstances may help you find the right coverage at the best possible price.
For example, if you have a large emergency fund, you might be able to afford to pay for some damages out of pocket, which could lower your policy premium. You may also want to consider choosing a higher deductible, which will save you money on your premium.
In addition, some insurance companies offer different types of discounts and digital tools. Using verified third-party ratings can take the guesswork out of selecting the right carrier for your needs.