Car insurance is an important protection that everyone needs, but for many people affordability is of prime concern in choosing the right policy.
Finding good auto insurance that provides all the coverage you desire at an affordable rate can take a bit of time and effort. In some cases, you may have to sacrifice a little on coverage in order to find an affordable policy. Fortunately, the advent of the internet has made it much easier to shop around for and compare a large number of policy offers from sources in your area.
Using the internet to shop and compare Insurance Quotes
Many websites are designed to allow you to compare different auto insurance plans side-by-side. At most of these sites, you enter different criteria into a search engine to return a list of possible options. Generally, you will be able to sort this list using criteria such as price or types of coverage.
Other comparison sites provide lists of quotes based on your location, type of car, and other criteria. A quote will generally include the amount of savings that the policy offers along with other advantages and incentives offered by the insurance company. For example, some may offer 24 hour claim service or special limited time discounts.
To get an exact quote on your car, you will need to enter information on the year, make, model and style of the vehicle. All this information is entered into or selected from an online form used for web-based quotes. Other information that may be required can include the primary use of the vehicle. For example, is the car used for commuting, for work, or for driving kids around to different activities? You may also be asked whether the auto is paid for, financed or leased.
How to find car insurance comparison websites
The best way to find auto insurance comparison sites is use major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Simply search for appropriate keywords like “car insurance quotes” or “auto insurance comparison.” Search engines return two different lists of results – one that is sponsored by paid advertisers and one based entirely on relevance and site ranking. Either set of results can be useful when shopping for car insurance.
Web directories like the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project also provide lists of auto insurance comparison sites. Major directories screen all entries before including them in their listings, so at times this leads to better results than what is available using the search engines. However, directories often require more time browsing through the directory hierarchy than is needed when using search engines.
Read the fine print and ask questions about your policy
When scanning through the various quotes and policies, whether searching online or offline, make sure to find out exactly what you will be getting for the quoted price.
Often, great sounding deals turn out offering less than deals that looked much less attractive. Do not accept the flashy list of benefits displayed in listings or ads without researching the matter for more specific details. Here are some important things to look for when considering a car insurance offer:
• What types of coverage are included in the quoted price. Each state has a minimum amount of insurance coverage required by law. However, any policy can offer extra types of coverage beyond the minimum requirements. See what types of coverage are offered and decide on what you need for your own situation. For example, some policies may offer towing and repair services in case your vehicle breaks down on the road. If this is important to you, then you will need to check that it is included.
• Find out what limitations and exceptions apply to the policy. For example, how much coverage, in dollar amount, is offered in coverage in case of an accident that results in injury of others due to your own fault? In some states, you may be sued for damages that are not covered by your insurance. You should also pay close attention to any exceptions included in the policy. For example, does the policy cover drivers other than you? Some policies may not cover your vehicle if does not meet a certain maintenance standard. All of this information is important in making an informed decision on any policy.
Ask for recommendations for car insurance
Another way to compare different car insurance companies is to get recommendations from people you trust like friends, family and co-workers. Often these trusted sources will provide insight that is not available, or is difficult to find, using other sources.
After you have done the necessary research, you will be able to compare different quotes and policies knowing precisely what you are getting in each case. You should then be able to find an insurance policy that is both affordable and that meets your coverage requirements.