Whether you’ve been insured for years or you’re looking for affordable auto insurance for the first time, it pays to shop around. Because auto insurance rates can vary somewhat from one company to the next, the wiser you are…the better your chance of finding the best deal out there.
Shopping for auto insurance isn’t rocket science, however, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing before you start out, you can easily fall prey to offers that look good – only to find out later on you’ve got more coverage than you need or worse…you don’t have enough. The following 7 tips are designed to help you in your search and save you money:
1. Be decisive – Decide before you set out shopping what coverages you actually need.
2. Consider deductibles – You do have a choice, depending on your financial situation. Lower deductibles can have you paying higher rates. On the other hand, higher deductibles work in the opposite direction as they’ll lower your premium, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if you have a claim.
3. Get several price quotes – Don’t settle for the first quote you get. Competition is hot and heavy. Get at least three quotes. Also, when comparing, be sure you’re talking about the same coverage with each company.
4. Be truthful – Answer all questions truthfully. Deliberately lying to an insurer will not only get you an inaccurate quote for your needs, but it could lead to you being denied coverage or having your policy cancelled.
5. Find out about discounts – Discounts are a great way to save money on your car insurance. The more you qualify for – the more you can lower your rates. Keep in mind that discounts also vary by company. In the list below you’ll find some of the more common ones:
• Defensive driving course
• Driver education for young drivers
• Student driver maintaining good grades
• Low mileage driving
• More than one vehicle on your policy
• Good driver – clean driving record and no claims
• Homeowners insurance with the same company as auto
Other discounts your vehicle might qualify you for:
• Airbags/automatic seat belts
• Daytime running lights
• Anti-lock brakes
• Anti-theft protection
6. Consider all factors – Always consider more than price. Make sure the company has been around for a while and that their financial strength and stability aren’t in question. Check into the insurer’s complaint index as an indication of the quality of their customer service. It’s against the law to sell insurance in Texas without a license. Only purchase your policy from a reputable agent or company.
7. Review your credit score – You’ll find out as you search for car insurance that some companies will often use this when determining what to charge you for coverage. Look at your credit score ahead of time so you won’t be caught by surprise if it’s chock full of errors as this can undermine your chances of getting the cheapest auto insurance available.
Remember – it’s your time and money – and, how you spend them can make a big difference when shopping for auto insurance. Don’t hesitate to learn more about a potential insurer, including its license status, complaint history, financial stability, and their reputation in working with customers who have claims.
Do you cover all your bases when shopping for car insurance? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.