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 13, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Most states’ minimum liability coverage requirements are not that high
  • Most car insurance companies offer various additional coverages for an extra cost
  • Consider the perks that are offered by the insurance company

Buying new car insurance is like any other major purchase. Car owners want to make sure they get the best deal possible, but the choices can appear overwhelming at first glance.

With a basic understanding of what choices are available and a little bit of time spent comparing the offers from different companies, car owners can get the car insurance policy that fits their needs.

The best way to get new car insurance quotes is comparison shopping. Enter your zip code above to get started for FREE!

Table of Contents

What kind of insurance is required?

The first question car owners should consider what kind of insurance they need.

Most insurance companies offer the following policies:

  • Liability – Almost every state requires liability insurance on all drivers. The purpose of liability insurance is to make sure you can cover some or all of the cost of accidents where you are at fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured – Not every state requires uninsured or underinsured coverage. Uninsured motorist auto insurance coverage covers an insured driver who is in an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Collision – In most states, collision insurance is optional. It is intended to cover the damage to the policy owner’s car in case of an accident. Even if the driver is at fault, collision insurance will cover the driver’s car.
  • Comprehensive – Another type of insurance that isn’t required by the state but is usually required by the lien holder is full car insurance. Comprehensive coverage covers any damage to the car that isn’t a result of a collision.

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How much coverage do I need?

Some car owners will merely purchase the minimum amount of coverage required and leave it at that. Others will look for the smallest deductible without considering the coverage offered in the rest of the policy.

Most states’ minimum liability coverage requirements are not that high, leaving an at-fault driver responsible for any costs over and above the amount paid by insurance.

In general, car owners should consider their assets when deciding how much insurance coverage to purchase.

If their assets are more significant than the state minimum insurance coverage, it is probably a good idea to get more coverage.

Coverage for other people in the accident should also be considered.

Many people who are looking at a car insurance policy look at the total liability coverage without considering the coverage per person.

Many car insurance professionals recommend the following:

  • $100,000 per injured person
  • $300,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $100,000 for property damage

People looking for car insurance will have to decide on the correct amount of protection for their needs.

It is important to make this decision in an informed manner rather than just accepting the state minimum with no further thought.

What kind of additional coverage could I use?

Most car insurance companies offer various additional coverages for an extra cost.

Some examples include:

  • Personal injury protection  PIP insurance covers the driver regardless of whether he or she is at fault.
  • Rentals – Some insurance companies offer rental cars if the policy owner’s car is being repaired after an accident. This can be a useful addition to a policy if the policy owner only has one car available to them.
  • Roadside assistance – In the case of a flat, dead battery or other car trouble, a roadside assistance plan will send a tow truck to the rescue.

What discounts or perks does the insurance company offer?

When comparing insurance companies, the first thing to look at is the price of similar policies. A comparison shouldn’t end there, however.

Car Insurance discounts offered by the insurance company can bring down car insurance costs significantly.

Most companies have some discount for having a clean driving record.

Other common cuts include:

  • Multi-car policy discounts – Households with more than one vehicle can often get a discount when they get all the vehicles insured under the same policy.
  • Multiple policy discounts – Many insurance companies cover homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, life insurance and sometimes more. In many cases, the insurance company will offer a discount to anyone who purchases multiple policies from their company.
  • Safety feature discounts – Vehicles with airbags, daytime running lights or anti-theft devices such as alarms can often get discounts.
  • Good grade discounts – Teen drivers’ insurance is usually expensive, but there can be a hefty discount when the teen gets high grades. This is often referred to an excellent student car insurance discount.

Another consideration is the perks offered by the insurance company. Deductibles that go down each year without an accident, for example, can lead to savings in the long run.

When car owners take the time to make an informed decision about the amount of coverage needed, they can be sure to get the coverage required for the best price available.

Enter your zip code below now to get car insurance quotes for FREE!

References:

  1. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/liability-car-insurance-cover.aspx
  2. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/myth-rental-car-coverage-is-always-necessary
  3. https://midatlantic.aaa.com/MemberNonMemberLanding
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/how-do-i-get-a-multi-car-discount-527538