Shopping For And Purchasing Car Insurance: Maintaining a car insurance policy takes some know-how and staying on top of things, but shopping for the perfect car insurance takes even more intuitiveness. Navigating the car insurance market and picking out the best auto coverage providers is a game of research, comparison, and personal reflection on insurance needs. Car insurance is different for everyone, so having a personal approach truly helps. This post covers a variety of car insurance shopping tips and tricks in order to find the best auto policy that fits not just your budget but your lifestyle.
Main Steps of Shopping For Car Insurance
While the process of car insurance shopping can seem like a lot of what-ifs, it can be whittled down to no more than five simple steps:
- Select a car insurance shopping method – First thing is first –think about how you want to buy your car insurance. There are several ways a customer can buy car insurance. We’ll cover each of them in detail later on, but car insurance is typically bought from an insurance agent (independent or not), a provider’s website, or through general comparison.
- Make sure you have your paperwork – This can come first as well before deciding how you want to shop for car insurance. But before going out, you want to make sure that you have everything you need. This is personal and vehicle information along with past car insurance history. We’ll touch upon the specifics of what information is essential.
- Select your auto coverage amount – Every state has its own car insurance requirements –usually in the form of standard liability coverage. This is also important because you want to apply the same level of coverage to each car insurance provider you get a quote from. We will cover the different types of car insurance you can add to your policy.
- Compare quotes – This is one of the most important things you can do when shopping for car insurance. You should pull at least five quotes from different insurance providers –both local and national. Again, every car insurance provider prices their policies differently. They also handle discounts differently as well. We will discuss why quote variety matters so much when shopping for car insurance.
- Finalize purchase of car insurance – By now, you made your decision on which car insurance provider you will purchase a policy with. At this point, you know how much you will be paying along with any discounts that you qualified for. If you are moving from one car insurer to another, then you will have to cancel your old policy but not before finalizing your new one to avoid a lapse in coverage. Car insurance policies usually have a life of half a year and must be renewed accordingly. By paying your premiums on time and avoiding claims, you may be rewarded with discounts and held in high regard by your insurer.
Car Insurance Shopping Methods
With the process in mind, let’s now look at the options and paths you can take. With insurance brokers and agents in several sectors, the places where you can buy insurance are diverse. The good news is that there is no right answer. Here are the following ways you can shop and purchase car insurance:
- Agent of insurance company – Also known as a “captive” insurance agent, these agents work directly for an insurance provider. So, they are only able to offer the coverage of their company and not anything else. They are a good source of insurance wisdom as they can guide you through what you need and don’t need. However, they might be motivated by the commission they make to set you up with pricey car insurance.
- Independent insurance agent – Independent insurance agents branch out with more than one insurance company so they can offer more coverage from different sources that price it differently. While there are some broker fees that come with their services, independent insurance agents have much more expertise than a captive agent would. They can also help with quote comparisons.
- Insurance company’s website – Purchases are becoming digitized, and car insurance is no exception. In fact, you can do all your car insurance shopping online. All the resources you will need are often online. This is the ideal way to shop for cheap car insurance for people who are more familiar with what they are looking for and car insurance in general. The only catch is that you have to hop from website to website, gathering quotes.
- Online insurance comparison site – If you wish to compare several quotes from different insurers without the services of an agent who will charge you. There are specialized websites that compile quotes from different insurers in minutes. This is another option that is better suited for people more familiar with car insurance and the coverage they are looking for.
Information Needed For Car Insurance
In short, the personal information you provide will be your age, address, credit score (in some states), and past insurance history, including claims and accidents. Your driving record may also pique the interest of the insurance providers. Car information includes the VIN, make, model, mileage, age, and safety features. All this information isn’t just to put together a customer profile but also to estimate what you will be paying for car insurance, as these are all determining factors.
Different Types of Car Insurance to Shop For
Every car insurance shopper is looking to fulfill their state’s general auto insurance requirements. So, your car insurance quote will naturally include basic liability coverage. You can also add such coverages as comprehensive, collision, gap insurance, and roadside assistance to your quote submissions. Comprehensive helps protect your car when it is damaged when parked and not in use, while collision covers damage to your own car in an at-fault accident. Gap insurance is better applied to newer cars with a higher value that may be underinsured by standard insurance. Roadside assistance covers any towing or roadside services should your car break down.