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 16, 2019

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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.

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For most drivers, auto insurance is a requirement. Auto insurance may be required by state law where you live, and your car loan company may require you to buy auto insurance too.

While it is required for most drivers, it also is beneficial to you. Coverage can decrease your out-of-pocket costs considerably when your vehicle is damaged, totaled, vandalized, robbed and more.

As important and beneficial as insurance is, you want to find coverage that is affordable to you as well. So how can you find the best auto insurance program that meets your coverage needs and that also is affordable?

Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool now!

Understanding Your Needs

If you are looking for the best auto insurance program, you may have three key criteria you want your policy to meet. These include:

  • Coverage that offers you full protection
  • Coverage that is affordable
  • Coverage that is offered by a dependable auto insurance company

While these criteria may guide you, you may also have certain requirements that you need your coverage to meet. To determine if you have any requirements that need to be met, consider:

  • Researching your state requirements regarding a minimum liability insurance policy
  • Contacting your auto loan company to determine if your loan terms require a collision policy

Before you can start shopping for coverage, you do have to determine what your minimum auto coverage requirements are. Many drivers decide to purchase additional coverage beyond what their state and their auto loan company require.

However, these requirements can serve as a minimum guideline for you to follow.

Defining Your Budget

Driving comes with many costs. You may have an auto loan payment, the cost of fuel when you fill up your tank regularly, regular maintenance like an oil change and the cost of auto insurance.

Many people who are shopping for auto insurance want to find a way to reduce the cost of their insurance.

Consider what your current auto insurance premium is. Then consider how much you would like to save by shopping for rates today. You may think that you have no control over your rates, so defining your auto insurance budget is pointless.

However, there are several different aspects of your auto policy that can be adjusted to provide you with savings. Defining your budget is a first step toward finding a policy that meets your budget.

Before You Shop for Rates

Before you shop for rates, you also want to gather together all information and paperwork necessary to get a full rate quote. This information may include:

  • A copy of your current auto insurance binder or policy
  • Vehicle information include your Vehicle Identification Number, the make and model, the year and the mileage
  • Details about traffic citations and accidents you were involved in over the last five to seven years, including dates, damage costs and at-fault information

Whether you obtain rate quotes over the phone or through an online rate request form, this information will be required.

Gathering it together before you start shopping can make the process of requesting full rate quotes easier and faster.

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Comparing Rate Quotes

You can jump right into the task of gathering full rate quotes. However, you really don’t know which company may offer you the lowest rates, so you are leaving it up to chance to find the lowest rates possible if you follow this strategy.

A better strategy involves using a FREE rate comparison tool online to compare rate estimates before requesting full insurance quotes from an auto insurance company.

These tools are fast and easy to use, requiring you to enter only your ZIP code into the form. Within minutes, you can compare rate estimates and can determine which auto insurance companies should be contacted for the most affordable rates.

Ensuring an Auto Insurance Company is Dependable

While finding an affordable policy is important, finding a reputable and dependable company is also important.

After all, if you are paying your premium regularly, you do want to pay your premium to a company that will pay out on a claim in a timely manner and without hassle.

Some auto insurance companies have developed a negative reputation with consumers for having a poor claims process or for otherwise being difficult to deal with.

When you take a few steps to review the consumer satisfaction rating and to read reviews about a company, you can ensure that the affordable coverage you have found is also coverage that you can depend on when you need to file a claim.

Looking Into the Future

One important thing to note before purchasing auto insurance is if the company offers the opportunity to reduce your insurance costs in the future.

Many auto insurance companies offer loyalty incentives to policy holders who renew their policy or who have maintained a good driving history.

These incentives can save you money in the years to come, so it is wise to look for a company that offers this programs.

Even if you do work with a company that offers a loyalty incentive, however, consider that auto insurance companies regularly adjust their rates. Because of this, you may benefit by shopping around for new rates at the time of your policy renewal.

After you have determined your coverage needs and your insurance budget, take time to shop for auto insurance rates.

You can most easily find cheap auto insurance coverage when you use a FREE rate comparison tool online.

These tools require you to only enter in your ZIP code to compare auto insurance rates. You can get started using this tool right now to find savings!

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