Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Believe it or not, competitive auto insurance plans are out there; you just need to do your homework and shop around for the best deals.

You can take precautions and monitor your existing insurance policy to save each month, but by far the best and most reliable route to take is to compare prices and ask questions.

You can even find incredibly reasonable, competitive auto insurance quotes quickly if you enter your ZIP code. It’s simple, easy, and FREE – and a great way to get started!

It may seem that you are at the mercy of insurance companies, but your rate really depends on the risk you represent to the company. The less risk, the lower your rates will be.

Keeping costs down is up to you, so be sure to make smart decisions. Shopping around will help you find the best, and most competitive, insurance plans available for your needs.

You’re in Control of Your Rates

If you own a vehicle then you must have insurance, so as long as you meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements, it is up to you whether you have liability, full coverage, or a combination of plans.

Collision and comprehensive insurance may not be necessary, but that’s your decision.

If you worry about your car being stolen or damaged, full coverage might be needed. You can raise the deductible to lower your rates, but do not forget that if anything happens, you might need to foot the bill for a larger amount of money.

If you are very worried about your monthly insurance payments, you might need to get just the most basic plan. This plan wouldn’t cover everything, but it will save you money each month.

Each state has a different minimum coverage requirement for auto insurance, so make certain to double-check what your state requires of drivers before making that final decision and commitment.

You can find this information by clicking on the state map on the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and finding your state’s insurance department contact information. That minimum requirement will be the most reasonable rate you can get.

It is also the policy that gives you the least amount of coverage and the most amount of responsibility, so choose wisely.

You want to make sure that, in the case that something does happen to you, you do not find yourself dealing with a litigious person. If so, you might end up owing money far beyond what your policy will provide.

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Stay Safe

Remember the lessons you learned when you first got your license and memorized the rules of the road. Being cautious and safe, and cultivating your defensive driving skills, can make a huge difference to your bank account when it comes to auto insurance and coverage.

You can take a refresher course in driving to help bring your rates down and, if you have not been driving long, this could be even more beneficial in that it will show that you are responsible and up to date on the rules of the road.

Try to drive safely so you do not accumulate a driving record full of tickets and accidents, be they collisions or minor bumper kisses. It all adds up.

If you do find yourself with a ticket, most states will allow you the option of taking a driver’s course or traffic school so you can keep the incident off of your record and also keep your insurance rates at the dirt cheap level you worked so hard to find.

There are also lifestyle decisions that could affect your auto insurance rates.

Deciding to live in a city or a more rural town or area has an impact on how much you pay. Rural areas tend to have lower rates since the rate of accidents tend to be less than in overly crowded areas, for example.

When you are shopping for a car, you can also double-check what the basic rates will be for different makes, models, and years. This is a smart thing to do before you even decide on a vehicle.

If you fall in love with two cars, wouldn’t it be nice to have the information that allows you to choose wisely and smartly?

If it comes down to the rates, check before you buy, and choose the vehicle that will give you a better choice of competitive insurance rates.

You can also choose a car with extra safety features, which may lower your insurance rates even more since safety measures in place already lead to basic discounts.

Some of these features include anti-lock brakes, traction control, seatbelts, all-wheel drive, airbags, and anti-theft devices.

Be Careful Choosing Cheap Rates

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to cheap auto coverage. It may seem wonderful at first, but that cheap rate might come with a whole host of problems. You may not be as protected as you believe you are, or you may be missing crucial coverage.

Be smart and make sure to double- and triple-check the policy and the quotes and all that they entail.

For more information on the different types of coverage, check the website of the Insurance Information Institute for more information.

An educated shopper is more likely to know if auto insurance quotes are truly competitive and are for insurance that fits their needs.

You can also look at companies that independently rate insurance companies in order to get an idea about good, competitive insurance providers. The rating should really be an “A” or a “B” and anything less than that should be cause for alarm.

Ratings of “B-” or worse may point to a company’s poor track record. It is helpful to have these rating companies as you are making your decisions so that you steer clear of potential problems down the road.

Weiss Ratings or A.M. Best are two good rating providers for the car insurance industry.

You can also ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers for their opinions, but it is still smart and advisable to check with a ratings company and compare prices and reputations when looking for competitive auto insurance plans.

Who knows, you could even help save a friend or relative from unnecessarily high rates as you are doing your own research!

Keep in mind that cut-rate prices do not always mean that policy is the best policy. You will only be getting the lowest, most basic coverage that your individual state requires of its drivers, so make a checklist and imagine some worst-case scenarios to ensure yourself that you are making safe, smart decisions when it comes to this.

Some states may require that you have PIP (personal injury protection) and uninsured motorist coverage in addition to your basic coverage. If you do not have any insurance at all and law enforcement finds out, you will have to face the consequences.

You could face several penalties, depending on your state and your past violations. These include a suspended license, getting your car impounded, severe fines, and prison (and who wants that!).

Comb through the details of what the insurance company is offering you. Do not be afraid to ask questions and look around, and challenge them if need be – you are the one who needs to protect themselves, so do not let yourself be swayed.

Get all of the details and make sure you know what you are getting. Make sure to check if any exclusions are on the policy you are being offered, and what the duration of the policy is exactly. These details matter.

If you find yourself in an accident, you might be a responsible party so make sure that your policy offers will protect you, and that it is a very reputable, stable company.

Talk to Someone

Besides all of the research, sifting through different rates and companies, and consulting and comparing prices, once you have decided on one or two companies it is advisable to get on the phone with them.

Speaking to someone at the company gives you that last proof of trustworthiness and dependability you seek.

If they are rude or do not know how to fully answer your questions or address your concerns – pay attention.

What seems great on paper might not be so great when you make that call or get into that office.

Make sure to ask the agent if you have gotten every single discount you possibly can. The online quote might have missed some crucial and money-saving discounts that the agent can spot in no time.

If you just ask simple questions, you might be happily surprised to find you can actually get an even more competitive rate than you originally thought possible!

Be sure to take all of these steps and precautions, and finding your best auto insurance at a competitive rate will be much easier.

A little preparation and research is the best way to ensure a stress-free, satisfying experience finding the rate that works for you, your family, and your lifestyle. It does not have to be tedious or frustrating!

Don’t wait – get started now with your individualized automobile insurance rate quote by plugging your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool here!