Shopping for car insurance is a rather uniform process that is assisted by competition among auto insurers, and large amounts of information regarding auto insurance regulations, requirements, features etc. When shopping for car insurance your safety, financial security, and the protection of others on the road are primary concerns.
To shop for car insurance it’s good to know about these things in addition to your vehicle, driving history, coverage types and insurers because car insurance is based on all these things. Doing this can be done in a step by step manner for the purpose of understanding what rates you qualify for, if you’re being overcharged, and if you have enough car insurance.
• Consult state department of insurance
A good place to start looking for car insurance is at your state department of insurance. These are state run agencies that inform insurers, businesses and consumers about important insurance laws, registrations, processes and notices. For consumers, state departments of insurance provide a number of useful data such as comprehensive lists of car insurers for the state. The California Department of Insurance is even required by law to provide a price comparison of auto insurance.
• Research insurers
After getting an idea of what companies are available and which one’s are cheapest, you then having something to negotiate with if you are given a higher quote. Keep in mind not all states require insurance insurer costs to be public so getting quotes from insurers in these states may require a few phone calls, or more personal information. Also, some insurers also charge surcharge fees in addition to insurance costs. These fees are related to providing a physical agent with which you can consult.
• Obtain vehicle data
Another useful resource when shopping for car insurance is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This non-profit organization collects data pertaining to vehicle safety, laws and regulations, and consumer brochures which can help you become aware of how your car ranks and what features insurers will look at. In some cases, installed car equipment such as alarms and other anti-theft devices that is installed in the vehicle may lower the overall cost of insurance over time.
• Create risk profile
Several historical factors are unavoidable when shopping for car insurance, however, knowing what these are and how they factor into your auto insurance cost can help you get a fair price, negotiate a price if necessary and take steps to lower future insurance costs. These attributes can also help you determine your risk profile which is used by auto insurers. For example, auto insurers may assess risk based insurance premium using payment history. By paying your bills on time and creating a payment history with the insurer, the price may come down over time.
• Assess insurers
In addition to all the steps that can be taken to lower the cost of insurance i.e. driving courses, deductible amount, car type, good student programs, safety equipment, driving record etc. the car insurers themselves might be best reviewed. In other words, just because an auto insurer has a low premium doesn’t mean their claims support and claims adjustment process is actually fair and reasonable. This would be similar to having a low front end cost and a high back end cost if you actually get into an accident and need the insurance. Checking out consumer reports on company reliability, reimbursement formulas, service performance, rates, financial solvency and history is a good way to determine if any one particular car insurer is the right one for you.
1. http://bit.ly/aRaVsI (California Department of Insurance)
2. http://bit.ly/cM0Pe1 (Free Insurance Quotes)
3. http://www.iihs.org/ (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)