To get the best car insurance, you have to know your state minimums. Fortunately, when consumers buy protection online, companies automatically offer options that will fulfill your state’s requirements and laws, all the while giving you options for additional coverage in case you need to add comprehensive, full, roadside assistance, or uninsured motorist coverage. After you pick your policy, consumers can then compare prices and adjust coverage levels, remove unnecessary options, choose a payment plan, and apply for discounts, all to help you get the cheapest and best car insurance.
Factors That Affect Premiums
In order for you to find the best car insurance, consumers need to compare quotes and companies online. Below are some of the factors that will affect your rates.
- Gender - car insurance companies ask you for your gender because, statistically speaking, gender plays a role in determining your risk. This risk is in reference to the statistical chances you will file a claim for an accident or damage. For example, males typically drive more and more often, are more aggressive or reckless on the road, and more likely to have accidents or get traffic tickets. This holds especially true for young teenage male drivers.
- Age - the age of a driver relates to their experience on the road and how responsibly they drive. The younger, inexperienced drivers are deemed more of a risk, which is why young drivers or teenagers have the highest rates, while males and females between the ages of 30 and 50 have the cheapest, assuming they’ve maintained a clean driving history.
- Driving History - a good, clean driving record is one of the most important factors companies take into consideration when calculating pricing. Drivers with a driving history where there is no record of accidents, tickets, moving violations, or claims will get the cheapest pricing.
- Car Make and Model - the type of car you drive will also determine the premium rates you will pay. Carriers use actuarial tables to calculate car insurance quotes, and research shows that the type of car you drive correlates to the type of driver you are. If you drive a fast, high performance sports car, you are more likely to drive fast and be a risk. Furthermore, the type of car you drive also affects the amount your insurance claim could cost to repair damages. Sports, luxury, or expensive cars cost the most to insure.
- Mileage/Commute - driving more, more often, and putting miles on your vehicle increases the chances of a car accident. For this reason, insurers ask about your daily commute to work and how many miles you put on a car each year. However, companies do offer a “Low Mileage” Discount for drivers who don’t drive as much, helping you get discounts.
Type of Car Insurance
Most people already realize that the more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates, but it is also important to figure out what type of policy you are buying, and if it is the best for your needs.
- Liability - most state minimums requires that drivers purchase liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum amounts of coverage are determined by which state you live in, but it is highly recommended that car owners never buy just the minimum. Any damage, expenses, repairs, medical bills, or litigation above and beyond the minimum coverage could result in out-of-pocket expenses, which could end up being financially devastating for families.
- Comprehensive - comprehensive insurance provides coverage against losses due to fire, theft or natural disasters. Depending on where you live and the likelihood of such damage, you may need to buy comprehensive protection; however, normally, it is not mandatory and not recommended since it is coverage you will likely never use or need.
- Collision - collision insurance pays for damages to your own car after an accident, regardless of fault, in case the other driver does not have a policy or enough coverage to pay for claims, damages, and repairs.
- Optional Coverage - Do you need emergency roadside assistance in case you have a flat tire, your car breaks down or you have any problems on the road? Do you also want towing support as well? Unless you have an AAA membership, roadside assistance may be useful.
- GAP - GAP car insurance is especially necessary when buying auto insurance for new vehicles. GAP coverage pays the difference between the loan amount on your new car and the car’s current market value. Because financing or lending companies and banks require GAP for a new car, it is important to compare rates on this type of coverage.
How To Compare
With these factors in mind, drivers can easily compare auto insurance quotes online. Comparison sites simply ask you to enter your zip code and provide you a list of the best car insurance companies in your state. Then it is up to you to pick which carrier you want to get quotes from. The best way to find cheap policies is to compare several different policies, types of protection, rates, coverage options, payment plans, and discounts offered. You can begin doing this by:
- Choosing primary and secondary drivers for each car you own, selecting a type of car insurance coverage, and then looking at what the cost would be to cover that particular vehicle. For new cars, we recommend full car coverage with a $500 or $1,000 deductible, though the $1,000 deductible will get you the cheapest rates. For older cars with a salvage value under $3,000, experts recommend liability car insurance with a high deductible, possibly $1,000 or $1,500.
- Choosing a deductible has a huge effect on your auto insurance rates. You will quickly notice that drivers get the lowest premiums when they choose higher deductibles. A deductible is the amount a policyholder will have to pay out of pocket before the car insurance company will payout on a legitimate filed claim.
- After getting your quote from one company, we suggest drivers get at least two more from different companies. How else will you know you are getting the best car insurance if you don’t know what other carriers are offering in terms of rates, discounts, and protection?
- Once you have received multiple free quotes, you can then finally compare apples to apples. The idea is to compare the kinds of coverage you are buying against the prices of each company.
- Discount car insurance – Do not forget to include the discounts you are getting, especially since providers offer “Multi-Policy” discounts when families buy more than one type of policy from the same carrier. For example, policyholders who purchase auto and home insurance or auto and life from the same company will save 15% on each policy.
To help you get cheap car insurance, we have listed a few of the discounts you can apply or ask for when reviewing prices and deals.
- New Car Safety Features – if your car has an alarm system, an anti-theft device or safety features such as anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger side air bags, and traction control, insurance companies will offer your cheaper rates.
- Safe Neighborhoods and Low Crime – if you live in an environment that is safe and the vehicle is secure, especially at night, because it is parked in a garage, you will get discount car insurance.
- Driver’s Education or Defensive Classes – taking a safety driving course, drivers education, or defensive driving classes will help you get lower rates.
- Low-Mileage Discount – as we mentioned before, drivers who don’t drive far or often lower their risk of getting into a car accident.
- “Good Student” Discount – if your teen, young, or student driver has the highest premiums in the family, students with good grades and at least a “B” average in school qualify for a “Good Student” Discount. Finding cheap car insurance for teenagers, young drivers, and students may be the most important way to save money since these drivers are usually the most expensive.
- Credit Scores – a good or high credit score can be used to persuade your insurer that you are responsible and low risk.
- Multiple-Cars – though one company may offer affordable pricing for one of your vehicles, you will receive a “Multi-Car” Discount when you cover multiple vehicles from one carrier. As we mentioned before, the same goes for buying multiple types of policies.
Compare Insurance Quotes
When you request free, instant car insurance quotes online, you are able to get access to the best companies offering the cheapest rates. You can then review comparisons from each to find the best policy for you and your family. Just enter your zip code and see which carriers are looking to get new business in your state.
Because free car insurance quotes instantly provide you rate and coverage comparisons without dealing with agents, brokers, or customer representatives, online deals are easy and convenient. Start shopping around now and see how much you could be saving.