Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • There is a long list of different coverages available from your auto insurance provider, but auto liability is what is required by your state law
  • Certain types of cars are more expensive to insure than others
  • In addition to looking around for different car insurance rates, you can also qualify for various discounts by modifying your driving habits or asking your auto insurance agent which ones could apply to you
  • It is easier to switch to a different auto insurance provider than you might think
  • Having your auto insurance policy and home owner’s insurance with the same company can get you a bundling discount on your auto insurance premium

It will be worth your while to be a savvy customer when it comes to selecting the right car insurance coverage for you and the best provider that you should work with.

Car insurance premiums can be a significant cost of driving a car, which means that you should do whatever you can to keep the cost of your premium low.

The important thing to keep in mind in the process is that you should not prioritize getting the cheapest price over choosing the best coverages for your needs or working with an auto insurance provider that you can trust.

Compare car insurance premiums side-by-side. Enter your zip code above to begin.

Your Choices that Influence Your Car Insurance Premium

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Did you know that the car that you drive can affect the price that you pay for auto insurance coverage?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety along with the Highway Loss Data Institute provide data on the safest cars and trucks available on the road. If your vehicle ranks high on safety ratings, then you are more likely to get a low rate on auto insurance coverage.

Cars that are designed to be sport or performance vehicles are considered a bigger risk to insure because they are more likely to be involved in an accident and cost more to repair.

If you are still convinced that you want to buy a sports car, then you will have to prepare to shop around for a choice of rates.

Even though data is collected by major institutes on crash and safety ratings, each auto insurance company has its own set of data on the claims paid out for each of its insureds. So, you may get a lower rate on auto insurance for your sports car from one company than another.

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Your Personal Information Determines Your Auto Insurance Rate

There are some things that are completely out of your control that influence the rate you will pay for auto insurance coverage.

For example, if you are a teen driver or an unmarried young man, then you can expect to pay more for auto insurance coverage because insurance companies have determined that it is more likely that you will cause damage in an auto accident.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, car crashes are the top cause of death among young people between the ages of 16 and 20.

While you may not be able to change the fact that you are a young male driver, there are things that you can do to make sure you are not paying more than you have to.

  • Maintaining a clean driving record and obeying all traffic laws is the best way to avoid paying ridiculously high rates on your auto insurance.
  • Teen drivers can remain on their parents’ existing car insurance policies for as long as the auto insurance provider will allow. When it becomes cheaper for you to get your own auto insurance policy, you can also remove yourself from your parents’ auto insurance policy at that point.

Deciding on the Proper Amount of Car Insurance Coverage for You

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Every state has a minimum amount of auto liability coverage that you are required to carry no matter what. The minimum is not necessarily a guideline, however, for the amount of coverage that you actually need in your circumstances.

It would be a mistake to rely on the state minimum coverage amount as a way to ensure that you are protected in an accident.

In general, if you have more financial assets, you have more to lose if you are responsible for a car accident.

The auto insurance company will only pay up to your policy limits if you are responsible for causing damage in an auto accident. You are on your own to pay for the rest of the damage.

The injured driver in a car accident may sue you personally in order to recover the rest of the damages.

If you think that you need to take an extra step to protect your assets in the event of a serious auto accident, then you should look into an umbrella excess liability policy. For only a slight increase in your premium over the year, you can gain an extra million dollars in coverage.

If you have teen drivers listed on your auto insurance policy or many different drivers named, then this is a good idea because the probability of one of your named drivers getting into an accident is much higher.

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Choosing Between the Different Types of Coverage

The standard auto liability coverage that is required by the state really only protects you if you cause damage to another person or vehicle.

It will pay for the damage you cause, but you will not be able to get reimbursed for any repair costs for your own vehicle. Most drivers choose to have additional coverages and are able to rest assured that the damage they cause to their own vehicle may be covered by their auto insurance policy.

If you have a new car, it is a good idea to get collision and comprehensive coverage. If you damage your own car in an accident that is your fault, collision coverage can help take care of repairing your car.

If your car is damaged by a vandal or from severe weather, comprehensive coverage can take care of the claim.

A deductible is required for both of these coverages, which means you are responsible for paying some upfront cost before the auto insurance company takes care of reimbursing the rest of the repair costs.

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How to Choose an Auto Insurance Company

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The final decision of choosing which auto insurance provider is right for you should take much more than the price you are quoted into account.

You must also look into the reputation of that auto insurance provider and make sure that the company seems stable enough that it will still be in business if you have to file a claim down the line.

Not all insurance companies are created equal, which is why it is best to keep in mind that the price you are quoted is simply a starting point for comparison.

If you have family members or friends who live in the same area as you, you should ask them which insurance company they would recommend. Not every insurance company is up and running in every state, which is why your location matters in terms of selecting an auto insurance provider.

You want to be confident that a claim you file will be taken care of quickly and responsibly by the auto insurance provider that you choose.

If you are unhappy with your current car insurance company or find a much better auto insurance rate by shopping around online, then you can easily switch companies.

dYou will need to alert your previous provider that you no longer need coverage and make sure that your new auto insurance coverage will start as soon as you cancel your previous policy.

If you have paid part of your car insurance premium in advance, you will be able to get the unused portion refunded to you, which you can use to pay the premium for your new auto insurance company. Make sure you keep a record of when your new policy starts.

Recap on Top Tips for Car Insurance

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It pays to invest some time in getting the best rate for your auto insurance policy because you may just be able to get better coverage for you and your family for less money.

The best starting point to make sure that you are not paying more than you should for coverage is to shop around for the range of car insurance rates that are applicable to you.

Once you find a rate that seems reasonable to you, you should then look into discounts that could work to get your rate even lower.

Because discounts are applied differently according to which auto insurance provider you choose, you will need to spend some time asking about the options available to you before making a final decision.

If you already have auto insurance, it does not take much time or effort to switch to a new company upon finding a better rate or more comprehensive coverage.

Compare rates today and see how much you could save on car insurance.