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: Oct 8, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Car insurance comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top car insurance companies. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Insurance products are rated between 1 and 5 stars, with 1-star rating referring to basic products and 5-star car insurance meaning a high-level of comprehensive coverage
  • 5-star car insurance does not always mean the best, and the best way to find the right policy for you is to comparison shop online
  • A big part of your car insurance is determined by what type of vehicle you drive and where you live

When looking to buy car insurance you want the best that money can buy. After all, if you have a family, all that matters in this whole world may be entrusted to your vehicle, and your insurance.

That’s a huge responsibility and you need a car insurance company that lives up to that role.

While you would be willing to pay almost anything to protect your family, you probably want to shop around and not spend your money unwisely.

Start comparing car insurance rates with our FREE tool above! Enter your zip code to get started!

Table of Contents

Making a Great Insurance Policy

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Yes, you are lumped in with everyone else who shares similar driving habits and history, as well as the same driving region.

The question then becomes how can you make the best policy with the right insurance company for you.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Quality of customer service
  • See what other customers are saying about the approachability, friendliness, effectiveness, and responsiveness of the people they speak to at their car insurance carriers.
  • Look for efficient and quick payment on valid claims.
  • Find the best prices on the best carriers by getting multiple estimates in an online quote system.
  • Check Consumer Reports because they give background info on cars and insurance products on the market to help you make an informed buying decision.

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Evaluate Your Driving Habits and Vehicles

A big part of your car insurance is determined by what type of vehicle you drive, how far, and how you drive.

  • Driving far distances annually increases costs.
  • Parking on the street hikes rates because it raises the likelihood of claims for theft, burglary, and body damage.
  • Having many traffic tickets, moving violations, and accidents substantially increase insurance rates.
  • Living in a densely populated city typically costs more insurance-wise over living in the country.
  • Neighborhoods that are prone to break-ins of vehicles or even street racing bring residents less desirable insurance costs.

Decide Car Insurance Needs

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When you are in the market for car insurance, it is important to decide what you need.

If you have vehicles and other drivers in your household, they also need to be on your insurance.

Beyond the state minimums, you have a lot of decisions about how much insurance to buy and what types of deductibles you want to pay before a claim would pay out.

Here are your two choices:

If you are not at fault for an accident, you will not have to pay a deductible on your collision.

Additional areas of protection you may be required to purchase depending on the state you live in:

  • Bodily Injury Liability/Property Damage Liability in at-fault states, such as Georgia
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for no-fault states, such as Michigan

Savvy Insurance Buying Tips

Once you have decided how much insurance you want then you can decide how you want to spend your money.

Would you rather have low deductibles and pay higher premiums, or do you want higher deductibles and lower premiums?

Keep in mind that deductibles on car insurance are required every single time you file a claim.

If your deductible is 2,000 dollars, and you have three separate incidents all requiring you pay the deductible in one six-month period, you will have to pay 6,000 dollars in total.

If you do have to file a claim, it will increase rates for a few years after the fact, unless you have a policy that gives some sort of forgiveness.

When purchasing a new car, research the safety factors because it will drive the costs of ownership for years.

The insurance costs are tied to safety rating of the vehicle.

Other ways to lower your insurance costs:

  • Insure multiple vehicles on the same auto insurance policy
  • Take a safe driving class online for a discount
  • Buy all of your insurance policies with the same insurance company for increased savings
  • Look for savings for teen drivers who get good grades and are hitting the road, and your insurance policy as a driver

Make sure before you agree to purchase an insurance policy that you check for the credit rating of the carrier with A.M. Best.

The creditworthiness alerts you about the ability of an insurer to pay its claims.

Buying insurance is a responsibility that most drivers face twice every year. Managing the process makes you more aware of what you are buying and how it can help you.

Be sure to update your policy whenever you face changes, such as moving to a new area, or when you buy a home and have a garage, or retire from driving into the city every day.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

References:

  1. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/car.html
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/understanding-minimum-car-insurance-requirements-2645473
  3. http://www.21st.com/auto-insurance-information/understanding-car-insurance-deductibles.htm
  4. http://www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings
  5. http://www.aarpdriversafety.org/