How Do I Compare Car Insurance Quotes?
When buying auto insurance, you should consider more than just the cost of your premium. Before purchasing a policy, make sure you’ve obtained and compared at least three quotes. Keep the following in mind as you request them:
- User Reviews: Focus on reviews from WalletHub users who had to submit claims, since this is when you most need your insurance provider to be responsive. In addition, you may also want to get a sense of the number of complaints filed against a given company by checking the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
- Quote Details & Amount: Once you have quotes, make sure you’re comparing similar levels of coverage. It’s easy for an insurance company to offer you a cheaper quote for an inferior amount of coverage. Understand, however, that a quote is simply an estimate and may differ from your actual premium once an insurance company does its final assessment of your driving, credit, and insurance claim history.
- Insurance Company’s Solvency: The mere existence of an insurance company says nothing about its financial soundness. And just how financially stable it is can predict how well it will handle a future claim — let alone if it’ll have the resources to pay out. Before you commit to a provider, you may also want to review its financial position. at websites such as A.M. Best.
What Are the Types of Car Insurance Coverage?
The most common types of car insurance coverage are briefly described below. Depending on your circumstances, some will be required and some will be optional. You can read more detailed descriptions by clicking on the link for each one.
Liability Car Insurance:
If you cause an accident, this type of insurance will pay for damage to the other person’s car and/or any injuries to others. It does not cover your own expenses unless you buy additional coverage. All drivers are required to have some level of liability coverage.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage:
These types of coverage are generally recommended if your vehicle is newer or more expensive. Collision coverage protects you if you are responsible for an accident with another car or hit an object such as a tree. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by other objects or acts of nature, such as a hailstorm. If you have a car loan or lease, you will be required to have this type of coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage:
If an uninsured driver, or a driver with insufficient coverage limits, damages your car or injures you in an accident, you can ensure you are covered by purchasing this type of insurance.
Medical Payments Coverage:
Regardless of who’s at fault in an accident, your insurer will help pay for medical, dental or funeral expenses for anyone in the car. Medical payments coverage can be beneficial to cover health insurance deductibles and co-pays.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
If you live in a state with “no-fault” insurance laws, PIP can cover you and your passengers for various expenses regardless of who caused the accident. Like medical payments coverage, PIP can cover medical bills for you and your passengers, but it will also cover other expenses you may incur as a result of being injured, such as lost wages, childcare, lawn maintenance, or house cleaning.
Other types of coverage options include gap insurance
, which—in the event your car is totaled while you are still paying it off—would make up any difference between the amount you owe and the car’s actual cash value; rental car reimbursement
, which provides you the use of a rental car while your car is being repaired; and emergency roadside assistance.
How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How much car insurance you need simply depends on your individual characteristics, lifestyle and financial situation. The good news is that coverage limits are customizable, so you can get adequate, quality insurance and afford the payments. Here’s what you need to consider:
- Your State’s Minimum Requirements: First, you need to know the minimum coverage limits required by your state. You can add as much additional coverage as you need when it’s time to buy your policy.
- Your Assets: When adding coverage, consider the value of your assets, including property and future earnings. In a lawsuit, juries can award damages way above the policyholder’s coverage limits. In such a case, you risk losing your assets to cover whatever portion of the remaining amount of damages the other party is owed.
- Your Driving and Car: If you drive more miles than average or have a newer car that would be more expensive to repair or replace, you may want more insurance coverage to be adequately protected.
- Your Peace of Mind: If you cause an accident, you want to make sure you are providing enough to compensate the injured party.
What Car Insurance Discounts are Available?
Based on your status in various categories, you can qualify for one or several of the discounts briefly described below.
- Vehicle Equipment Discounts: This applies if your car comes with safety features such as air bags, anti-theft alarm systems, etc.
- Driver’s Education Discount: This applies if you’ve successfully completed and passed a driver’s education course (in states where it isn’t mandated) or defensive driving training course.
- Good Driver Discount: This applies if you’ve maintained a clean driving record for several years.
- Driver’s Affiliation Discounts: This applies to members of different organizations, clubs or groups such as the military or alumni associations.
- Customer Loyalty/Multi-Vehicle/Family Legacy Discounts: This applies when a driver or vehicle is added to a policy that’s maintained with the same carrier for an extensive period of time.
- Policy Discounts: This applies when you pay your policy in full up-front or enroll in a pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) program as well as for early signing.
- Student Discounts: This applies to high-achieving students and students who move away for college without access to a vehicle except when they are home. Discounts include the good student discount and resident student discount.
- Teen Driver Discounts: This applies to drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. Incentives include the teen driver monitoring discount and parent-teen driving contract discount.
How Does the WalletHub Car Insurance Quote Generator Work?
Using our car insurance calculator is simple:
- You provide your information and select the coverage you want.
- Our proprietary software crunches the numbers on a real-time basis.
- We provide you the most accurate quote estimates based on your information and desired coverage.
You can review the quotes and compare them against one another to find the best coverage for the best price. This is a free service to you. We do not sell insurance policies or act on behalf of insurance providers. Our goal is simply to make the comparison-shopping process easier for consumers.
Before using the car insurance calculator, have your personal information
at hand. In order to obtain the most accurate quotes, make sure the information you input is accurate.