The best way to compare car insurance coverage is to get online quotes from multiple companies in order to determine which offers the cheapest premiums for your chosen coverage types and limits. Also, make sure to compare car insurance discounts and read reviews to get a feel for potential customer service issues.
All of that may be easier said than done, however. With that in mind, we’ll keep things as simple as possible below, as we guide you through the car insurance comparison process step by step.
Steps to Compare Car Insurance Coverage
Step One: Understand Your Options
Knowing what types of coverage exist and what your state requires drivers to carry is the first step to being able to confidently compare car insurance coverage. Pay attention to your state’s requirements for liability insurance and if they mandate additional coverage like personal injury protection (PIP).
The most common coverage options are:
Lenders may require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance even though they are not required by any state laws. Collision and comprehensive are also key components of full coverage insurance.
Step Two: Collect Your Information
In order to request quotes, you’ll need specific details about any drivers and vehicles you intend to have on the plan. This includes:
- Driver names, dates of birth, license numbers, and relevant driving history such as recent violations, claims, or accidents
- Vehicle identification numbers (VIN), makes, models and years of all vehicles
Step Three: Pick Companies to Compare
Start with the best or the cheapest insurers in your state. Not all types of coverage are offered by every insurer so be sure to check that they offer the types you’re considering buying.
Step Four: Get Quotes
Once you’ve found a few companies you might be interested in, determine whether to get quotes online, through a captive agent, or through an independent agent or broker. Don’t forget to also look into what discounts are offered by each company.
Using your driver and vehicle information, request quotes from different companies and see how their coverage options and costs compare. To better understand how coverage options and limits can affect premiums, you can also try requesting several quotes from the same company.
Captive agents work for one specific insurance company, but they can guide you through all the details of the coverage options for their company and get you quotes in person or over the phone. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about policy limits and deductibles to help you compare your options.
- Independent Agent or Broker
Since they don’t work for one specific company, independent agents and brokers can discuss coverage options from a variety of companies and give you quotes for each. Like a captive agent, they can answer any questions you may have about specific policy limits and deductible choices to help you compare your options.
Step Five: Consider Reviews
When choosing an insurer, it is important to read reviews from other consumers to understand whether or not the company has good customer service and claims processes. Even if a company has great rates and great coverage options, if they seem difficult to work with, the rates and coverage probably aren’t worth it.
It is generally best to purchase as much insurance as you can comfortably afford. That way, you know you’ll be financially covered in the event of an accident.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guides to getting car insurance and comparing car insurance rates.
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