One of the make-or-break decision-makers in selecting car insurance is a typically the price quote. But, with coverage options, the terminology used, and the number of possible companies you can choose from, shopping for and comparing quotes from different insurance providers can be daunting.
Comparing car insurance quotes involves more than simply sizing up rates. Each provider may offer slightly different deductibles or coverage options and limitations, so simply comparing rates may not result in the best policy. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by following a few simple steps that can make you a pro at comparing car insurance quotes and ensure you get exactly what you need. From understanding how to research to actually comparing quotes, here’s what you need to know to effectively compare apples-to-apples insurance quotes.
How to do a car insurance quote comparison
Step 1: Do your research. First, understand what a car insurance policy must include to meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements.
In addition, leased or financed vehicles often have minimum insurance specifications to satisfy contractual requirements.
Also, be sure you understand the basic terminology used in car insurance, such as what a deductible is and how it works.
Step 2: Know what you need and what your budget is. Once you know what your state’s minimum requirements are, such as limited liability and uninsured motorists, and determine what your personal wants might be.
Is a bare bones policy sufficient? Or, would you prefer the peace of mind that comprehensive policy can provide with additional medical coverage and other options?
Step 3: Be consistent. Use the same deductibles, limits, and coverage options from all providers when requesting quotes.
Step 4: Avoid comparison tools. Many car insurance companies provide comparison “shopping” features that include rates from other providers.
These tools can help speed up your insurance quote comparing process. But requesting a quote directly from each insurance provider ensures you receive their most current options and rates.
Step 5: Ask about discounts. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for safe drivers, students, military, use of security systems, and more.
Ask what discounts a provider offers that may lower your overall rate. Another such discount is accessed through “bundling” more than one policy, such as car insurance, with renters’ or homeowners’ policies.
Step 6: Compare results. Once you have your quotes, compare the options. A basic computer spreadsheet or hand-drawn table in a notebook can make quick work of an insurance quote comparison.
List each provider down the left side of the page. At the top of the page, list each requirement and option you needed as well as a column for rates.
Then, check off what each provider offers and input their annual and monthly rates. Once you have entered each provider into your spreadsheet, compare the results. You should be able to easily see who offers more coverage options and how each price differs between providers.
Remember, don’t just look at the final price. Ensure each policy offers what your state requires. If two policies offer everything you need but one is priced lower, look at any extra benefits each provider offers. A few dollars a month may be well worth roadside assistance or other add-ons included in your policy.