Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Before you sign up for a new car insurance policy, it is important to do your research on the types of coverage that you think you will need and the best insurance companies in your area
  • It is easy to get car insurance quotes online to find out how much you can expect to pay for car insurance from many different companies
  • You will be asked for basic personal information, as well as information about your vehicle and driving record
  • It is a good idea to have your driver’s license accessible because many insurance companies will either ask for a copy of it or the driver’s license number
  • If you are having difficulty finding a car insurance company in your state that will agree to provide you coverage, you can check with the state department of insurance about options for high-risk drivers in your area

Auto insurance is not optional if you plan to drive a car. Since you are required to get auto insurance, it is best to make sure that you pay as little as you have to for the coverage that you need.

While there are some things that are out of your control in terms of how much you pay for car insurance, some steps can be taken to make sure that you minimize the cost of having coverage.

A good first step is to understand the different types of insurance that are available, and then you can focus on how to pay the lowest rate possible.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies at once!

Basic Information You Provide When You Get Auto Insurance


When you go to get estimates from different companies for car insurance, almost every company will ask you for the same general information.

They will ask about your driving record and credit scores, which you can get copies of before you even apply for insurance.

You will also be asked about where you live, you age, the type of car you drive, how many miles you typically drive, who else lives with you, your marital status, your monthly income and whether you currently have auto insurance for your vehicle.

The underwriting process is how the insurance company checks up on this information and makes sure that you are honest on your insurance application.

These are all things that directly influence the rate you pay for insurance. Each insurance company is different in terms of how they calculate your rate. This means that you should never rely on a single quote when choosing the right insurance coverage.

Multiple quotes mean more options for you and peace of mind that you are not missing out on getting a good rate.

Also, if you find that you are getting very high quotes for insurance because you have a few accidents on your driving record or your credit score is not great, you can reapply for quotes when you have taken steps to improve these factors.

Ask your insurance company about what discount you could expect from completing a road safety course.

There are also probably discounts for you from using the same company for all types of insurance, including your renter’s or home owner’s insurance, boat insurance, car insurance, life insurance and business owner’s insurance policy. This is known as bundling your policies.

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Important Factors to Consider When Selecting an Auto Insurance Company

Along with the price you pay for insurance, you need to have a general understanding of the coverage types and amounts that are available to you.

There are legal minimum requirements, but you need to give serious thought to having coverage above these amounts. In a single accident, you could cause or sustain multiple times the amount that would be covered by the state minimum.

With your liability policy, you are getting coverage for damages that you cause in an accident. This includes damage to another car and any injuries to the other driver.

To protect yourself and your own vehicle, you would need personal injury protection (PIP) and collision coverage. Although you will have a certain deductible for claims under a collision policy, you will be covered for damage to your car in any type of accident, even if you were responsible for the damage.

Comprehensive coverage is another useful policy to maintain because it makes sure that you are covered for incidents that do not involve a collision.

This type of coverage would be used for a claim involving damage to your car from severe storms or if your car was stolen altogether. Again, there is a certain deductible for this type of policy, but the coverage it provides is well worth the addition to your total coverage.

Another important consideration is what would happen if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance.

In this case, you could depend on underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage to help with the damages. This will come at an additional cost for your premium, but it saves you from having to sue another driver without insurance to have your car fixed after an accident.

In addition to knowing what types of coverage are right for you, you need to be clear on the terms of your own policy. Each policy is different and requires that you read it thoroughly before signing off on it.

What to Do if You Cannot Find Auto Insurance


There are options for drivers who are unable to get insurance through the major private car insurance companies.

The department of insurance of each state has resources for these drivers in the form of a risk-pool.

Some states also have state-sponsored insurance programs. In other states, the major insurance companies insure the higher risk drivers through a risk-pool.

Before you resort to these options, make sure that you have called around for plenty of quotes. This type of insurance often comes at a much higher price than traditional policies.

Wrap Up on How You Get Auto Insurance

Getting car insurance has become a fairly easy process because of how quick and easy it is to get quotes from different car insurance companies online. After supplying some basic information, you can get an idea of what rate you will pay.

Before you just accept the lowest rate available, it is important to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for your needs and are working with a credible insurance company.

Never simply accept an insurance policy without understanding what it means for you and how you would be covered if you had to make a claim.

Enter your zip to see what the best rates for auto insurance are in your area!