Just like many other purchases you make, it’s important to see the prices of multiple options when you’re looking for car insurance to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you collect car insurance quotes to compare them to each other. Let’s talk about tips and tricks that you can use while you’re shopping for your next car insurance plan.
What Influences the Price of Your Insurance?
Before you start shopping around for your car insurance, it’s important to know that your unique situation plays a big role when insurance companies decide how much your quote is going to be. Keeping this in mind is especially important in the digital era when many people looking for new car insurance will likely start looking online.
Some of the factors that change the cost of your insurance include, but are not limited to:
- Your location
- Your driving history
- Your vehicle’s make and model
- Your current driving patterns
- Your marital status
- Your age
To make matters even more complicated, the importance of each of these factors varies from one insurer to the next. One company may quote you a higher insurance rate for a previous accident than another. That insurance company may charge still higher rates to people living in one state versus another. This makes it difficult to give insurance shoppers a straight answer when it comes to which insurance company is the best for their needs.
If you’re looking for a good deal on your car insurance (and who isn’t?), below are some of the insurance companies that offer the cheapest minimum-coverage policies according to ValuePenguin. The dollar amounts are the average annual rate.
- USAA: $432
- Farm Bureau: $472
- Auto-Owners: $484
- Erie: $503
- State Farm: $532
- American Family: $634
- GEICO: $667
- Progressive: $884
- Shelter: $885
- Allstate: $916
Types of Car Insurance
What type of car insurance you’re looking for will also dictate its price. There are three primary types of car insurance: liability, collision, and comprehensive. Let’s quickly touch on the differences between them just in case you’re new to the game.
Most states require that you have a minimum of liability insurance to legally operate a vehicle on the road. Liability insurance covers damages that your vehicle makes to another vehicle or another piece of personal property in the event of an accident. Liability insurance offers the policyholder protection from financial responsibility for any damage or injury they cause.
Collision insurance covers damages done to your own vehicle during an accident. This type of insurance also helps you pay for damages that occur while your vehicle is moving that are caused by potholes, guardrails, and so on. If you’re at fault in a car accident, collision insurance can help you pay to repair your vehicle or get compensated if it’s totaled.
If your vehicle is damaged from a situation other than a vehicular collision, your comprehensive insurance plan may cover it. This type of insurance plan helps you pay for damages from situations such as vandalism, hail, fire, animals damaging your vehicle (or your vehicle hitting an animal), falling branches, or other events.
If you have liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance, you have a full coverage insurance plan. Full coverage insurance isn’t necessarily a type of insurance plan, but rather a collection of smaller policies designed to financially protect you and your vehicle from a wider range of situations.
This is certainly not a complete list of the types of insurance, but these are the most common. Other types to note include uninsured motorist insurance and medical insurance. Think about what you’re looking for in your car insurance plan before you start shopping. You should also know your budget before you begin comparing car insurance rates so you can save yourself some time.
How To Compare Car Insurance Rates
In 2019, the average American paid $1,070.47 per year in car insurance. Louisiana had the highest average insurance bill in 2019 with $1,557.22. The lowest was in Maine, where residents spent an average of $696.37 on car insurance — less than half of what Louisiana paid on average. As we mentioned above, your location and many other factors greatly influence your potential insurance rates, so it’s important to go into your insurance shopping experience with an open mind.
Most insurance companies offer free quotes. As you do so, be sure you’re giving the same information to each company and asking for the same types of insurance so that you can make an accurate comparison of your options.
Just so you’re aware, getting a car insurance rate quote does not affect your credit score. You’re free to research until you’re content with your options. Insurers will take your credit score into account when calculating a car insurance rate for you, but they are performing soft credit checks that do not affect your score.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of filling out forms with multiple insurance companies to get quotes, you can take advantage of car insurance comparison websites to get an idea of what you’re working with. You should keep in mind that, without the necessary information about you, your vehicle, and your situation, these will be estimates of your potential rates and not full-fledged quotes. They can give you an idea of where to go next, but you may very well end up with a different number once you follow through with your quote request.
What Will I Need To Get a Quote?
You’ll need to provide information about you and your vehicle when you ask for a car insurance quote. Some personal information you’ll probably be asked for includes:
- Your date of birth
- Your marital status
- Your phone number and email address
- Your driver’s license number
- Your address
You’ll also have to provide a thorough description of your vehicle. Before you start applying, have this information ready to make the process smoother. Some of the vehicle information you’ll need includes:
- The make and model of your vehicle
- The year of your model
- The vehicle’s body style
- An average of how many miles you drive every week
- The vehicle’s ownership status and if you are still making payments
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
With this information on hand, a clear picture of the type of insurance you need in your mind, and a little patience, you should be ready to start comparing car insurance rates. You can keep exploring the world of car insurance by checking out other articles on the subject with our team at FIXD.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.