Auto insurance is one of those expenses that we just pay each month and then forget about. Most of us just robotically write our insurance payment checks - or even have auto-deduction set up in our online banking services.
Regular, easy, automatic payments do have their advantages. However, sometimes we can forget that we do have a choice when it comes to our insurance. Unlike with mobile phone contracts, for example, we are not locked into staying with a particular auto insurance firm. Rather, at any given time we have a choice about with whom we contract for our auto insurance.
Why You Should Check Your Rates At Least Once Per Year
It is likely that you chose your current auto insurance provider after having called around to a couple of agencies. Or, maybe you got a recommendation from a friend or family member. Or, maybe you just liked their commercials!
At any rate, the last time you shopped for insurance, you probably made the best, most well-informed decision you could given the information you had. Still, if you want to really conduct an auto insurance rates comparison thoroughly, you are going to need to go about it the right way.
That starts with checking your rates at least once per year. You see, insurance rates are always shifting, and what was the cheapest option for you one or two years ago might not be anymore.
Know Your Minimum Required Coverage Amount
Before you pick up the phone or visit any websites, find out your state's minimum car insurance coverage amounts. It will usually be just liability insurance that is required, which means insurance covering the other party's medical and property damage expenses should you cause an accident.
Your state's department of motor vehicles website will have an insurance section that lists these minimums.
Auto Insurance Rates Comparison: 5 Tips
If you are about to conduct an auto insurance rates comparison, follow these 5 tips:
1. Have your desired coverage amount ready: In addition to your minimum required coverage, consider also getting comprehensive (for non-accident-related auto damages), collision (to cover your vehicle if it was your fault) and medical payments (to cover your party if it was your fault) coverage. Make sure you decide upon the coverage limits that are right for you, as well.
2. Research list of at least 5-10 auto insurance companies: Remember, more choices is better, so start with a large list of companies.
3. Call the first company to get quote: Go ahead and call one of the companies on your list and get a quote. During that time, the representative may convince you to shift your desired types of coverage, deductible amounts, etc.
4. Update your desired coverage list to match result of first call you made: Carefully record the new policy terms as per your first phone call that you made.
5. Continue calling to get total of 4 quotes: Now, go back and get at least 4 more quotes from other firms. Since you have done your homework properly, all of the quotes will be apples-to-apples, allowing you to make the right choice about the cheapest rates.
Follow these 5 tips to conduct a car insurance rate comparison for the cheapest rates.