How to shop for auto insurance

auto insurance

Automobile insurance is one of those costs that become a fixed item on the monthly budget. Even if you have a perfect driving record and never have an accident, you will have to keep on paying for insurance as long as you drive a car.

Since insurance premiums are a fact of life, you might as well shop for the best deal. Of course, all yellow pages insurance ads look alike and most insurance salespersons will tell you the same thing. Here are some tips for sorting things out and getting the best deal:

  1. Ask your insurance carrier about available discounts. Before looking elsewhere, check with your current provider. It may be that you have become eligible for a reduced rate. A milestone birthday like 25 or 30, getting married, or driving a car that has depreciated over the last year or two may signal the opportunity to pay a cheaper premium. If you are ineligible for a lower rate now, ask what you can do to earn a future discount.
  2. Check the yellow pages, but look for the features you want. For example, if you have a poor driving record and are considered a high-risk insurance candidate, search for ads that emphasize that feature. Or if you have an exemplary record, don’t smoke, and don’t drive that far or that often, keep an eye out for companies seeking to attract that type of client. Know what you can offer an insurer to get a lower rate.
  3. Invite several quotes from various insurers. Don’t accept the first quote you receive. Although your circumstances are such that all the quotes you receive may end up very similar, it never hurts to invite three or four for comparison before making a final decision. Compare deductibles, payout limits, and benefits for each plan that is offered to you. Ask about discounts that may pertain now or in the future for your lifestyle.
  4. Ask about insurance rates connected to places with whom you do business. For example, your credit union, a bank, a department store where you have a credit card, or another organization may offer automobile insurance at a reduced rate because of your customer record. Find out if this is the case with some of these entities in your life.
  5. Surf the Internet to get quick quotes and find out-of-the-way providers. You can do a Google search with terms like “auto insurance” to find sites that will process your information and have insurers email quotes to you. This approach allows you to cast a wider net in your quest for affordable car insurance. But the downside is that you will probably end up on several mailing lists of various insurance companies and financial institutions, so you could start receiving increased spam email.

Don’t settle for high car insurance premiums when a few phone calls or emails may save you hundreds of dollars each year. Get started on your quest to find a reputable insurer who can offer a reasonable policy at a good price.

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