Looking for car insurance is a bit of a hassle but it can save you a great deal of money. It is best to compare insurance rates at least once a year to see the most benefit. Getting great car insurance is a complicated process involving comparing a variety of factors including premiums, quality of coverage, and best business practices. Start your shopping process early on and gather as much information as possible. Play with your various coverage options to see what best suits your lifestyle and finances. Check out our provided methods below and it will really help you.
Starting the Shopping Process
Know when to compare quotes. Look for a new quote if your financial or personal profile has changed in a significant way. When you get a policy renewal notice take that as a sign that you should investigate your options. Or, if you have put it off, make sure that you compare prices every two years or so.
A life-changing event could be a change in your driving record due to an accident or ticket, getting married, adding a new driver, etc.
If you decide to create a new budget, don’t forget to include insurance costs. Looking around for a better deal should be part of the process.
Investigating every few years at a minimum will allow you to see what new companies have to offer. It may also get you an additional age discount.
Gather the necessary information. Most insurance companies will require certain documents testifying to your personal and financial status. You will likely need to provide your social security number, birth date, driver’s license number, all vehicle information, all driving record information, information as to your driving habits, and proof of current insurance coverage.
You will need to provide this information for all drivers who will be covered and for all cars on the policy as well.
Some auto insurance companies have more lenient documentation requirements. If you are uncomfortable providing some of this information an agent may be able to present you with more options.
Understand car insurance terminology.
Get familiar with the major terms by researching online and by talking with folks in the insurance industry, such as agents. Don’t worry-you will not need to know everything, but getting a handle on the lingo will help you to truly understand the quotes that you will get.
Liability insurance protects you in case someone outside of your covered household is injured or damaged as the result of a collision or accident. It will cover the necessary payments to them. This is a minimum level of coverage. Comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle from more extensive damage. Collision insurance covers your vehicle in the event of a collision.
Your deductible is the out-of-pocket amount that you will owe your insurance if you file a claim. As deductibles go higher, premiums usually drop.
Visit a comparison website.
There are many website available that will allow you to enter in your information and receive instant quotes. Some sites make it possible for you to instantly comparison shop by placing quotes and companies side-by-side. This is a good option if you want a quick way to see if you should conduct a more in-depth rate search.
Be aware of the transparency of auto comparison sites and how they make their money.
Some sites may steer you toward certain options (not always the cheapest ones) or they may omit certain companies form the overall comparison.
Talk to an agent directly.
Go to one of the comparison sites and type in your information to have an agent contact you. Look up your local agent on an insurance company website. Call one of the insurance agents listed in the phone book. Be prepared to spend a little bit of time talking with them about your options.
Tell the agent the kind of coverage that you are interested in and how much you’ve been quoted before. You might say, “Right now I have a quote for $420 a year, do you think you can beat that? Even with the same level of coverage?”
If you go to your state’s insurance page you might also see an ‘agent finder’ program that you can use. 
Use the insurance report from a state agency. Many states gather information regarding premiums and coverage. They post this information on a searchable website along with some general tips. This is another good place to start if you want more information about minimum requirements in particular.
Deciding on the Type and Level of Coverage
Be familiar with your state’s requirements.
Go to the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to find out about the minimum level of required coverage for your state. Most states requires that you have liability coverage that includes both property damage and bodily injury. The coverage amounts vary depending on your state.
Many insurance industry professionals suggest getting the standard “100/300/100” liability coverage package, at minimum. This gives you bodily injury coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. It also covers property damage up to $100,000.
You can reduce your premiums by lowering your liability coverage right up the state limit, but remember that it can backfire if you get into an accident and the costs exceed your coverage. Find the best deal by looking at the liability coverage cost alongside the cost of a year or six-month of premiums.
Decide on a deductible.
Your premium will go up if you choose a lower deductible or down if you choose a higher deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay before your insurance company will take action on a claim. So, if you go up, you want to make sure that you have that cash on-hand in the event of an accident.
Try different deductible numbers to see how they impact your overall premium costs. This is especially easy to do if you are working with a website first.
If you know a particular deductible is just too high for you, make a goal to save up some money in an emergency account and then re-shop for insurance at a later date.
Consider comprehensive or collision coverage. These are extra layers of protection that you may or may not want. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from a variety of means. Collision coverage protects your vehicle cost in the event of a collision. You will want to compare how these features impact your premiums and what individual deductibles they carry as well.
Be aware that if you are currently paying off a loan or leasing a vehicle your lender will probably require that you have comprehensive and collision coverage. Talk to your lender to see what exact levels of coverage that they require.
Since these are extra coverages you can lessen the impact on your premiums by raising your deductible up higher. For example, a $1,000 deductible will cover you in the case of a significant accident.
It is generally a good idea to get rid of these extra coverages on older vehicles. If the annual cost of your premiums for a certain car exceeds 10% of that car’s value, then consider removal. The Kelley Blue Book is a good source for car value estimates.
Evaluate possible coverage add-ons.
There are a number of additional coverages that you can add to your policy or even just to the policy for a particular car. Each of these add-ons will, however, raise your premiums so you must counterbalance cost versus potential reward in the event of damage.
Rental reimbursement coverage partially, or totally, pays for a rental car while yours is in the shop. If you have another vehicle you could use instead, save the money by skipping this. Ditto with roadside assistance coverage. If you are already covered via AAA, etc., then don’t consider it here.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection is often a good investment. It is estimated that one out of every eight drivers is not covered by insurance. Add this to your policy at the same levels as your liability coverage.
Hope this is helpful?