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Checklist For When You Compare Car Insurance Rates

If you're looking for car insurance, perhaps the best way to compare car insurance is online. There are several factors you should consider before you buy car insurance.

Type of policy

When you compare car insurance, consider the type of policy you're looking for. Are you going to want comprehensive coverage, collision, or just liability? In general, if your car is more than 10 years old and you have it paid off, you should only opt for liability coverage. Liability coverage is mandatory in most states regardless of the car you drive. You must have this type of insurance in the event you're involved in an accident and are found at fault. Liability insurance covers both personal injury and property damage for the other party, as in up to $50,000 in property damage and $25,000 per person for personal injury. The amount of coverage you need varies by state. Check to see how much you need where you live.

Two other types of insurance coverage are collision and comprehensive. Liability coverage does not cover anything about you personally, or your car. That type of insurance is only to cover the other party for personal injury or property damage if you are at fault. This is where collision and comprehensive coverage may be needed. Both collision and comprehensive insurance protect your car in the event of an accident or other damage, regardless of who may be at fault. Collision insurance covers car accident damage specifically, while comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your car that may have happened because of vandalism or theft, for example. Again, you generally only need either of these types of coverage if your car is under 10 years old or hasn't been fully paid off. You will pay more for this type of car insurance than you will for just liability, though, if you need it.

Your driving record and credit score

When you compare car insurance, of course your driving record is going to come to mind. If you've had a lot of speeding tickets or several accidents, it's going to be tougher to get inexpensive insurance and you probably know this. However, you may be surprised to know that your credit score matters, too. This is because insurance companies look at your level of responsibility in a holistic manner, in that they look at your "whole life" as much as they can. Your credit score tells them whether or not you're responsible in general; if your credit score is poor, it's going to affect the amount of insurance premiums you'll have to pay, and you'll likely have to pay more for the same coverage than someone who is more responsible than you are. Some insurance companies may not cover you at all. If your credit score is poor, spend some time to get it cleaned up as much as possible before you start getting car insurance rate quotes.

Having more than one policy with the same company

When you compare car insurance, a good place to start is with the same company that carries your homeowners or renters insurance. This is because the same company will often give you a break on automobile insurance if you carry more than one type of insurance with them. However, you shouldn't stop there.

Shop online

The best way to compare car insurance quotes between insurance companies is to shop online. Again, although you're going to want to start with the same company that provides your homeowners or renters insurance, you shouldn't stop there. You may still get a better deal from someone else. The Internet has made it very easy these days to comparison shop between companies, and you can often get an instant quote online based upon information you provide to a specific company. This should help you find the best car insurance rate possible.

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Compare Car Insurance Companies Before You Commit

If you want to save money on your car insurance, compare insurance companies before you sign up for an annual premium. Car insurance premiums can differ as much as 300% between carriers for the same coverage. Comparing quotes is the only way to find the best deal. Fortunately, online insurance sites have made this easy.

Compare the Same Service

Insurance companies may shout that they have the lowest prices, but that may only apply for “no accident” drivers with high deductibles. To have a realistic idea about prices, compare the same deductible and coverage amount with several different insurance companies. Free online insurance sites can easily do this for you with side by side comparisons.

Supply Your Personal Information

Giving information about your marital status, zip code, and driving history can be intimidating, but they are all factors that influence insurance rates. It is best to give out this information to make sure you get each discount that you qualify for.

Read the Details

A car insurance company with the lowest price may not be the best value. Read the details to see what coverage is included. Determine if they require you to use their shops for repairs or if you can request a shop you trust. Also, check to see if your rates will jump up if you are in an accident. The details can cost you quality and money in the long run.

Ask about Discounts

Not all car insurance companies offer the same discounts, so it is best to ask. Discounts for safety features such as automatic seatbelts, airbags, and daytime running headlights are common. Less common discounts are deductions for kids at college over a 100 miles away from home or taking a certified defensive driving class.

Check Rates Yearly

Once you sign up with a car insurance company, you don’t have to stay with them forever. Make it a practice to compare insurance rates annually before signing up for another yearlong premium. This is also a good opportunity to update changes in your personal status and vehicle information which could result in lower insurance costs.