How to Shop Around for the Lowest Auto Insurance Rate

One of the ways to save money in your budget is to shop around for the lowest auto insurance rate. When you get the best price on auto insurance coverage, you are able to save money every month, or every six months, depending on your policy. However, you need to make sure you are shopping effectively. Here are some things to keep in mind as you compare your auto insurance options:

Actual Coverage

Sometimes, you see that one company is offering a price quote that is much lower than another. Whether you are looking for an online insurance quote, or are calling around to different agents, you might find a startling difference in price. Before you get too excited about a low rate, you should be sure that you are comparing apples to apples.

Make sure you understand what is actually covered so you can compare policies that are truly similar. This means that they should have similar coverage amounts for the same items. You don’t want to compare a policy with comprehensive coverage to one that has liability coverage only if that is something you are looking for.

You should also look at the other items that might be covered, including windshield replacement, car rental and towing. Sometimes a policy seems cheaper because it doesn’t have these coverages, and you are comparing it a policy that does.

Discounts

Don’t forget to find out about discounts for things like having good grades (usually for teenagers and college students on your policy), having more than one vehicle and having other types of insurance, like homeowners/renters and life, with the same company. Ask about discounts for remaining claim-free, as well as discounts for having good credit.

Compare the possibilities between different policies. In some cases, a policy that looks slightly more expensive on the surface turns out to be less expensive, due to discounts or bonus programs. You can also look for companies that offer a partial premium refund when you are claim-free for a certain period of time.

Service

Of course, if you are not happy with the service provided by the insurance company, no amount of money saved might be worth it. You should do a little background research on the top companies you are interested in. Check the Better Business Bureau for unresolved complaints. Most insurance companies are going to have complaints against them, but you can find out a lot by the types of complaints there are. You can also tell something about a company by the help you receive as you shop around.

Look for a company that provides reasonably good customer service, as well. You want to find a company that offers a 24-hour claim line so that you can speak with someone anytime you need. You should also find out about the claims process so that you understand it. Even if you get quotes online, try to talk to an agent so that you can gauge how friendly and helpful the company is. If you are going to forge a long-term relationship, it might be worth it to pay a little bit more for superior service.