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

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Compare car insurance quotes will help you find the best rate for coverage
  • Your driving history and other personal factors will play a role in your premium determination
  • Be sure you ask for discounts when looking into coverage options

There are some tips that will help you before you search for cheap can insurance quotes, and there are some tips that apply to the actual search.

You also want to make sure that you are following the best practices of finding auto insurance quotes!

Find cheap car insurance quotes easily and quickly when you insert your zip code right here in the FREE box!

How Not to Get Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes

Before you begin your search for cheap auto insurance quotes, you need to understand how not to get cheap auto insurance.

There are some methods that are undesirable because they are illegal or they put you at great financial risk.

You can certainly find many who will advise you to follow such methods, but they’re really not good ideas.

You might find advice that instructs you to lower your coverage to state minimums only. However, the minimum amounts of coverage in most states don’t usually offer you enough protection in the event of an accident.

If you don’t have enough coverage to pay for other drivers’ damages, then you will be financially responsible for whatever your insurance doesn’t pay.

Another method that you might be advised to follow is to basically lie on your application. Many people fudge the information that they put on a car insurance application, but such lies are considered fraud by car insurance providers and state law.

These lies put you at risk for losing your auto insurance or suffering prosecution under anti-fraud laws.

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Cheap Really Means Affordable

There is one other thing that you need to understand before you start your search for cheap quotes. What you are really searching for is affordable rates for thorough coverage.

You are not searching for car insurance that costs $39 a month, or $29 a month, or even nine dollars a month. Such coverage will not really be there for you in the event of an accident or loss.

An accident, theft or other loss is a stressful situation. You need an auto insurance company that will help you to recoup your losses and mend your injuries so that you can get back your life. A really cheap car insurance company won’t do that.

Improve Your Risk before You Search

Generally, your auto insurance quotes are based upon your risk, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That risk translates into how likely you are to put in a claim in the future.

In order to make money, auto insurers need to take in more money than they pay out.

To ensure that they will make a profit, they assess drivers with higher risk a higher premium.

When you apply for a quote for car insurance, auto insurance companies look at a number of different factors to assess your risk. They are essentially trying to predict your future behavior.

To do this, they look at your past behavior and certain behavior markers that indicate risk.

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Tips for Reducing Car Insurance Premiums

There are a few ways that you can improve your risk profile before you begin your search.

Lowering your risk in the eyes of the car insurance companies will lower your quotes.

There are few things that you can do to lower your risk in the short term.

  • You can take a defensive driving course that will remove points from your license.
  • You can lower the number of miles you drive every day
  • You can park your vehicle in a garage or monitored parking lot.
  • You can install anti-theft devices such as alarms and tracking devices, and get VIN etching done on your vehicle.

In the long term, you can reduce your risk a great deal. First and foremost, you need to improve your driving history if you have past accidents or tickets. The best fix for a poor driving history is to start driving in a safer manner.

Furthermore, you can also endeavor to drive a vehicle that is cheaper to insure. Obviously, most people can’t run out and buy a new vehicle just to get cheap car insurance quotes, but you should always be planning for your next vehicle.

Vehicles that are safer are always cheaper to insure, as are vehicles that are cheaper to fix.

On the same hand, those vehicles that are deemed less safe or are expensive to repair will cost more to insure. Also, some vehicles cost more to insure because they are at the top of the list of the most stolen vehicles.

Another way you can reduce your risk in the long term is to improve your credit score.

Auto insurance companies contend that there is a connection between your finances and your future driving behaviors. They claim that those with poor credit histories are more likely to be bad drivers.

Essentially, drivers with low credit scores will have higher car insurance premiums. Check out the Federal Reserve to find ways to improve your credit.

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Use the Same Coverage Amounts

When you search for car insurance quotes, you need to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Essentially, you are not really comparing the same thing when you get quotes for different amounts of coverage from different auto insurers.

When you search for cheap car insurance quotes to compare, you need to use the same amount of coverage for each quote. You need to know beforehand how much coverage you want and are required to have.

Every state has its own rules and regulations concerning auto insurance coverage, so your requirements might differ from other drivers. Search for your minimum amount of coverage using the map provided by the Insurance Information Institute.

Generally, each state requires that you buy coverage that will pay for damages and injuries that you cause. Some also require you to purchase coverage to pay for your injuries or to cover you if the other driver who caused an accident doesn’t have enough insurance.

Typically, required coverage includes:

  • Bodily Injury Liability  This pays for injuries to other drivers.
  • Property Damage Liability  This pays for damages to other vehicles and other property.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage  This pays for your injuries if an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance.
  • Personal Injury Protection, or PIP  This pays for your injuries when you are at fault.

Generally, optional coverage can include a deductible, which is an amount that is your responsibility to pay. Common types of optional car insurance coverage include:

  • Collision  This pays for damages to your vehicle regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive  This pays for theft and damages from non-accident events.
  • Towing/rental car reimbursement  covers the tow charges and the cost of a rental car.

Get All of Your Discounts

The NY Department of Financial Services, in its Consumer Guide to Automobile Insurance, advises that finding all of your discounts is one of the best ways to make sure that your car insurance quotes are cheap and affordable.

Every car insurance company will offer its own set of discounts, but there are a few that are pretty common among all insurers.

First, there are discounts for safety. You can get discounts for having multiple airbags and other safety devices, such as traction control. 

Another set of discounts is for devices that lower the likelihood of your car being stolen. Many vehicles have standard anti-theft devices, but there are some that you can add on yourself, such as an alarm system.

You might also be able to find discounts if you have multiple vehicles on the same policy, or if you bundle your car insurance policy with your home, business, or life insurance policy.

Furthermore, most car insurance companies also offer discounts if you are a student and you get good grades or if you take a driver safety course.

Use the Internet

Now that you know how much coverage you want and need and what discounts you can use, it is time to search for your cheap auto insurance quotes. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way is to use the Internet.

Using the Internet will allow you to get more quotes than you could get over the phone or by visiting an auto insurance company in the same amount of time.

First, you can go to each car insurer’s website and get a quote. All of the major car insurance providers host websites that are very user-friendly. Usually, you can get a quote and buy your policy right there from the website.

Another online option is to utilize car insurance quote comparison websites. These websites allow you to fill in your information just once and then get multiple quotes for your time and effort.

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation asserts that comparing quotes from multiple car insurance companies is the best way to find great rates.

The best quotes don’t always come from the biggest auto insurance companies that advertise the most. However, the only way to know how much any company will charge you is to get a quote!

Get car insurance quotes from companies big and small by placing your zip code into the free search box right here and right now!