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Cheap auto insurance is not impossible to find but you do have to learn how auto insurance works and some tricks for comparing auto insurance companies. The cost of car insurance can vary greatly from one provider to the next and wanting to find the cheapest auto insurance rates is normal. However, while premiums may be the most visible way of comparing quotes the true value of insurance coverage is a combination of the cost, policy details and reputation of the provider.
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Before starting an auto insurance comparison search read below to learn some basic principles of auto insurance and ways to save money on premiums.
Why are auto insurance rates different between providers?
Auto insurance companies are private for-profit companies which means they have business plans around making money by selling insurance. Just like any competitive industry there are certain factors analyzed by service providers to define the cost of a product. In auto insurance many of these factors have to do with you. Some auto insurance companies prefer only low risk drivers while others specialize in non-standard or sub-standard coverage. Whatever the primary goal of an auto insurance company is they all have their own different formulas for calculating risk and the risk of you “filing a future claim” is how your auto insurance rates are assessed. Because of the unique internal formula for calculating risk it’s possible to receive auto insurance quotes that vary by up to $500 or more, even for good drivers.
When shopping for auto insurance you really need to understand the main factors auto insurance companies use to assess your risk as a policyholder. While some of these things can only be improved with time or out of your control, there are some which you can change to get cheaper auto insurance rates. Some of the most important variables in assessing the cost of auto insurance include:
- Your Age
- Your Gender
- Marital Status
- Where you live
- Your Driving Record
- The Type of Vehicle Insurance
- How much the vehicle will be used
- How the vehicle will be used
- Your Credit Score
- Number of drivers in the household
All of these factors, and more, play a big role in assessing your risk as a policyholder. While relocation to a cheaper state or getting married may not be an option just to save a few dollars on auto insurance it’s still possible to find cheap auto insurance by changing or improving some the items above, such as your credit score or opting for a used car.
What are the Types of Auto Insurance?
When searching for cheap auto insurance you really need to pay attention to details of any proposed policy and this means paying particular attention to the types of auto insurance included in the quote. Every auto insurance company offers liability insurance to comply with state requirements however most drivers also opt for supplemental insurance such as collision, comprehensive, GAP insurance and other types.
Sometimes you may find a vast different in the cost of auto insurance from one provider to another and while this can be due simply to different pricing formulas it can also be that one policy has a lot less coverage than another. Before selecting a policy it’s imperative to understand how the different types of auto insurance work and always compare policy quotes which have the same coverage included. The most common types of auto insurance are:
- Liability Insurance
- Comprehensive Car Insurance
- Collision Coverage
- Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist Coverage
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP)
- GAP Insurance
- Medical Payments
- Rental Car Reimbursement
You also want to pay attention to the amount of coverage an auto insurance company is proposing for each different type of insurance. There is no comparison between auto insurance quotes where one policy has $100,000 collision coverage and the other has $5,000 in coverage. Always make sure that both the types of coverage and the amount of coverage are equal otherwise you are not truly comparing the same quotes. Some auto insurance companies also have preferred lists of auto repair shops so it’s worth asking if you have your own choice of a mechanic or if you have to get your vehicle repaired by someone on an approved list.
What are some things I can do to save money and find the cheapest auto insurance rates?
Once you understand how auto insurance works then its time to start applying money saving tips. Almost all auto insurance companies offer discounts however these auto insurance discounts not only vary by provider but the amount of the discount also. A good driver discount can save 10% at one auto insurance company but may only save you 6% at another. This gets a little complicated as the premiums were never equal to begin with so your 10% discount might actually be less than the 6% discount. Confused?
Well, how to skip straight to the final numbers is essentially learn about all the common auto insurance discounts available in the marketplace. Each time you ask for an auto insurance quote go down the list of these discounts and ask about your eligibility for each one. Not all discounts are shown online nor do all agents offer every discount unless requested. The more knowledge you have about auto insurance discounts the greater chances you have of finding the cheapest auto insurance quotes. Some of the most common discounts include:
- Multi-Policy Discounts
- Multi-Vehicle Discount
- Good Driver Discount
- Good Grades Discount
- Low Mileage Discount
- Vehicle Safety Equipment discount
- Anti-Theft Deterrent system discount
- Military Discounts
- Affinity Group Discounts
- and more
Auto insurance comparison is a key factor in finding cheap auto insurance. You must compare at least 5 or more companies in order to understand the average rates based on your risk profile. While the first auto insurance quotes may be the cheapest how will you ever know if you don’t compare?
Many drivers even request multiple quotes from the same provider with different deductible options. Choosing a higher car insurance deductible will always reduce your auto insurance rates but you also must be prepared to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim. So, those 5 companies you are requesting quotes from, also ask for at least 3 different quotes from each company with policy deductibles of $250, $500 and $1,000. You know have 15 quotes to choose from.
Where do I start looking for cheap auto insurance?
Visiting a local agent can have many benefits but insurance agents often have some kind of financial incentive for selling you auto insurance from one company over another so the best place is to start online. You can always visit a local agent afterwards but there is a wealth of information about auto insurance online and within a few minutes you literally can have a list of all the auto insurance companies in your area. Take your time, weigh all your options and remember that auto insurance is more than just a bill – but a financial safety net in the event of a car accident, and accidents happen every day.
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