Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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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: Sep 9, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Most car insurance companies have a wealth of information online including information about the particular types of coverage they offer and sometimes even a beginners guide to learn about car insurance discounts
  • Make sure you compare rates to get the best coverage for an affordable price
  • If you are getting quoted rates higher than expected it very well maybe something to do with your driving record which you may or may not be aware of
  • Many car insurance companies offer a fair discount simply for paying your 6-month or annual premiums ahead of time

There are a number of ways to find low car insurance rates but you need to understand the rules of car insurance comparison.

Much like comparing hotel rates for your dream vacation it takes time and knowledge to secure the best car insurance rates,  however, the process is not as time-consuming as you may think.

Many consumers start car insurance comparison online and for good reason.

Most car insurance companies have a wealth of information online including information the particular types of coverage they offer (car, motorcycle, motor home etc..) and sometimes even a beginners guide to learn about car insurance discounts.

The key to success though is to never choose a provider simply based on a fancy website.

Many things should enter your decision-making process when choosing a car insurance company including rates, customer services, hours of operation, the claims process and more.

Below are 10 key tips to help you navigate the jungle of finding affordable car insurance coverage from a reliable provider.

Table of Contents

Compare, Compare, Compare

Car insurance rates can vary greatly from one car insurance company to another , sometimes without obvious reason. You need at least 3-5 quotes to gauge an industry range for your particular needs.

All insurance companies base premiums on an internal formula of risk so your risk level can (and probably will) change each time you make a call but after speaking with a few providers you should get a good feel for an expected range

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Always get a Quote BEFORE Buying a car

The type of vehicle behind insured is a large portion of the premium calculation. Many drivers simply assume purchasing a similar car will have similar insurance rates but this is not true.

Sometimes even a different model of the same car can raise your car insurance rates over $1,000 annually. Attach the same logic as buying a car to purchasing car insurance. Understand the cost before you enter the dealership.

Maintain Good Credit

While a few states (such as California) ban the use of your credit score in calculating car insurance premiums many do not.

An individual with a lower credit score is seen as a higher risk.

Well, at least that’s what the auto insurance companies want you to believe, so maintaining a good credit score will certainly help get you closer to the best available rates.

Use the Internet

There are 100’s of car insurance providers and many understand the long-term benefits of acquiring a customer through the internet.

No commission to agents, little acquisition cost and more. Some of these savings are passed on in the form of internet rates which allow you to save a little more simply by going directly to the source.

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Calculate Your Annual Mileage before Speaking with anyone

The amount of mileage/use a vehicle is estimated to have represented another large portion of your car insurance premiums.

Should you work from home and only step out every now and then for some social activity do you really need to use the same estimated mileage as those people who commute daily?

You may be surprised how much a low mileage vehicle can save so have a fair estimate of your annual mileage before chatting with anyone.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

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Check your Driving Record

Most states have online sites where you can request a copy of your driving history. Much like credit reports driving records sometimes have old or incorrect information.

If you are getting quoted rates higher than expected it very well maybe something to do with your driving record which you may or may not be aware of.

Double check and make sure any car insurance company is assessing your driver’s record with the right information.

Limit Your Claims

Car insurance companies are in the business of making money and that’s fine so you simply need to know how to play the game.

If you have a car accident where there is $700 damage and you have a $500 deductible do you really want to make a claim for the $200 you are entitled to?

Sure, its money you are owed however as soon as you submit a claim many car insurance companies will increase your premiums at the first change in policy so the $200 check may not be worth the extra premiums down the road.

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Understand the Value of your Car and GET full coverage

If you own an old junker then replacement value is probably not high on the list for you; however, should you finance a new car with less than 20 percent down you need GAP car insurance.

If you risk owing to the bank more money than an insurance claim will provide should an accident occur within the first year or two.

Pay Your Premiums in Full

Many car insurance companies offer a fair discount simply for paying your 6-month or annual premiums ahead of time.

Learn about Car Insurance Discounts

There is no limit on the amount of questions you can ask a potential car insurance company so learn all about common car insurance discounts offered throughout the industry and interrogate the agents you speak with about getting these discounts.

The really good thing about car insurance comparison is you will learn lots of valuable information that can be quickly applied in the unfortunate event of a car accident.

Ready to use our car insurance tips? Use our free quote tool below now just by entering your ZIP code!

References:

  1. https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/best-auto-insurance-companies/
  2. https://www.moneycrashers.com/factors-affect-car-insurance-rates/
  3. https://www.creditkarma.com/auto/i/insurance-scores-affect-car-insurance-rates/
  4. https://wallethub.com/edu/car-insurance-by-credit-score-report/4343/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAP_insurance
  6. https://www.iii.org/article/nine-ways-to-lower-your-auto-insurance-costs