Auto Insurance Quotes Dos and Don’ts

by JT on October 30, 2008

Auto insurance quotes are no different from numerous other commodities for which you do online shopping. Astute consumers who spend the time performing their due diligence can save thousands of dollars on insurance premiums over the long term. So how about these few tips to make the shopping process easier?

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The Dos of Dealing With Auto Insurance Quotes

1) Try to secure at least 5 auto insurance quotes from various automobile insurance providers. If you don’t have an established relationship with an insurance company (or agent) whose recommendations you trust, then don’t commit to the first quotes that are offered to you. After all, you wouldn’t normally buy the first car that you see. Auto insurance premiums can be a big slice of your budget, so it’s in your best interest to shop around.

2) Supply accurate information concerning your driving history. To receive insurance quotes, you’ll be required to provide some background information, so make sure that the details you give are as precise and as comprehensive as possible. This data will be confirmed by the insurance company and your car insurance rates will ultimately reflect what’s been verified.

3) Confirm that the quotes you receive are meant for the same auto insurance coverage. You need to compare apples to apples.

4) Get quotes that represent various deductible amounts. This way, you’ll fine-tune your policy requirements and get the best value on your coverage. By increasing the deductibles on your policies, you’ll lower your car insurance rates and save a lot on your insurance premiums.

5) Do your homework before shopping for an auto insurance policy. Check the financial ratings of the insurance companies you are considering, and read their reviews from consumer reporting organizations before making any commitments.

The Don’ts of Dealing With Auto Insurance Quotes

1) Don’t assume that all insurance companies are the same. Different companies may offer different products and options. If you’re looking for quotes on your own, make sure that you’re able to get enough information to determine the policy that’s a best fit for your needs.

2) Don’t purchase redundant insurance features and coverage that you may already own through other avenues and services. These are some potential areas of redundancy:

  • Roadside Assistance: if you’re already paying for towing services elsewhere (such as AAA), you need not pay for special Roadside Assistance coverage as a feature of your policy.
  • Custom Parts and Equipment: if you’ve just tricked out your car with new parts, you may be able to get away with skipping out on the custom equipment coverage in the initial years of owning your car and policy.
  • Loan / Lease Payoff: Do you already have GAP coverage through your credit union or other financial company? Then you won’t need to sign up for loan/lease payoff protection.
  • Personal Injury Protection: You may already have this covered by your health insurance policy so this is something you can potentially skip to control your costs, unless your state laws say otherwise.

3) Don’t automatically fall for the cheapest quotes. The lowest quote may not reflect the best insurance policy for you. Sure, you may save some dollars by selecting an auto insurance company that offers you an attractive quote, but if they’ve got poor customer service or you sign up for inadequate coverage, your savings will instead be wasted on headache medication as you fight through red tape or work your way out of voice mail hell.

4) Don’t mistake auto insurance quotes for the actual rates you pay. Quotes are only estimates. Remember that they aren’t the actual auto insurance prices that you eventually have to pay; your final rates will be adjusted according to information that your insurance company gathers and subsequently confirms.

5) Don’t overlook the fine print that accompanies your quotes. Be aware of the important and relevant items that accompany your quote before you decide to buy your policy.

This post has been brought to you by JT, editor of The Smarter Wallet, and Sam, a member of the ampminsure community. AmPmInsure has a collection of insurance forums which has many industry professionals and experts available to address your insurance queries.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Check City October 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Knowing the ins and outs of auto insurance is very helpful. Thanks for your article and the information in it.

2 John October 30, 2008 at 4:24 pm

There are many ways for people to save on all sorts of bills and debts. Car insurance, just comparision shop, and check your price every year. Also, get help from for example the government is giving help with mortgages and utilities, companies help consoliade debts, save on property taxes, and many other. I found programs and tips here.

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