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Compare auto insurance prior to purchasing it, because prices can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. Know the mandatory auto insurance rules in your state. Understand the different types of car insurance available to you. Learn about what impacts your car insurance rates and the different ways to save on car insurance. By doing these things you will be a much wiser consumer.

Compare Auto Insurance: Mandatory Auto Insurance Regulations

Each state has its own mandatory auto insurance regulations which spell out the minimum levels of insurance coverage that are required by law in order to operate a vehicle. Most states require you to carry at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability. However uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection or PIP are also commonly required forms of coverage.

One thing that consumers should be aware of with mandatory levels of car insurance coverage is the fact that most required levels of coverage are very low. They are meant to be minimums and are not actual suggested levels of coverage. In fact, for liability coverage, most insurance specialists recommend:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability in total per accident
  • $100,000 property damage liability

These suggested limits are typically more than double, and even quadruple, the required limits in any given state.

Compare Auto Insurance Coverage Options

There is a wide variety of different types of auto insurance coverage available to protect you and your vehicle from risk. Understanding what each covers will help you choose which ones you need to carry.

  • Liability: Liability coverage has two different aspects and is usually required coverage. Bodily injury liability pays for the medical costs of other people who have been injured as a result of a car accident in which you were at fault. These costs can get very high and if you are uninsured or underinsured, the impact can be financially devastating. Property damage liability covers the repair or replacement of someone else’s personal property that was damaged through your use of a vehicle. Liability also provides for legal representation if you are sued over a car accident.
  • Collision: Collision coverage protects your investment in your vehicle. It will cover the cost of repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed in an at-fault accident.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from the unexpected. It provides for repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed due to something beyond your control, such as theft, vandalism, fire, wind storm, animal collision or other named perils.
  • Uninsured/underinsured Motorist: UM is required in certain states, but not all. It protects you if you are involved in an accident whereby the at-fault person is uninsured or underinsured. It also provides coverage in the case of hit and run.
  • Personal Injury Protection: PIP is the type of coverage that will cover the medical expenses and/or funeral expenses of you, a pedestrian you hit or passengers in your vehicle in the case of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. It will also provide for lost wages.

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What Impacts Your Auto Insurance Rates

There are a variety of things that affect your auto insurance rates. Some are things that you can improve while others are not. They include:

  • Your driving record
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Where you live
  • Your credit score
  • The make, model and year of the car you drive
  • How many miles you put on your car annually
  • If you’ve completed a driver training course
  • The coverage you choose to carry

Compare Auto Insurance to Save

Luckily there are a variety of ways to save on car insurance. The most significant way to save on the cost of auto insurance is to shop around and compare prices. Opting to change your coverage like dropping certain types of coverage or raising your deductible will also save you money. Discounts will also help you achieve major cost savings on your premium.

Always make sure you have all the discounts you are truly eligible for. Different insurance companies offer different types of discounts. Therefore you should be familiar with the different types of discounts that exist.

  • Multi-line discount: for having more than one type of insurance with the same insurance company
  • Multi-car discount: for insuring more than one vehicle on the same policy
  • Mature driver discount: for all drivers in the household being past a certain age
  • Good student discount: for young drivers who have shown responsibility by getting good grades
  • Payment discount: for paying your policy in full
  • Low mileage discount: for those who put a limited number of miles on their vehicle annually
  • Vehicle safety discount: for vehicles equipped with specific safety features

Compare Auto Insurance Now

In the search for car insurance, you need to compare quotes from a variety of companies to ensure that you have the best policy possible at the best price. Get as many quotes as you can. By using a free online quote tool, you can easily do so. You just need to enter your zip code to start and the tool will prompt you to answer relevant questions based on you, your car and other drivers who live in your home.

When you get the quotes you need, start by narrowing your choices down by price. Remember that the cheapest is rarely the best. In fact, if a quote is significantly lower than all the others, you have reason to be skeptical. Read all the fine print on that one especially, to be sure you are truly receiving a quote that is comparable to the others you are looking at.

Then you will need to do some detective work. You want to be sure that the company you are buying your policy from treats its customers well and is financially solid. You can learn about the customer service a company gives by checking with the state department of insurance. They keep records of complaints about all insurers operating under their jurisdiction. You can also learn what consumers are saying about an insurer by doing an online search for reviews on the company.

To learn about the financial strength of a company, you will need to get its rating from one of the independent insurance ratings firms. Some of the big name firms that assign such grades are Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and A.M. Best. Look for insurers who have A or better grades.

Comparing quotes is the key to getting a good deal on the coverage you need. Enter your zip code to get free online auto insurance quotes now!

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