When shopping for a new car insurance policy, there are many factors that should be considered before deciding on the plan, policy, and company that you choose to insure your automobile with. The first, and best piece of information that I can give you is to get out and shop around for insurance prior to choosing a new policy, don’t just go with the first one that you see – even if it does sound like a good deal.
When I shop for automobile insurance, the first place I start is with the company. I begin by choosing three to five companies who I would trust. If you are in a hurry to find car insurance and three to 5 companies is too much for you to research, make sure you find at least two or three to compare. Here are some questions that I ask myself when choosing a car insurance company:
- Is this company reputable?
- How long has the company been in business?
- Is the company financially stable?
- Do I trust this company to insure myself, my family and my property?
Once you’ve found three to five companies that you’ll consider doing business with, you’ll want to compare those companies against each other to see if any of them stand out among the rest as being much better or much worse.
Company History and Strength
Once you’ve selected a few companies, you want to learn as much about the company as possible to make sure that company will be there when you need them most – when you get into an accident, when your car is broken into or worse, stolen. Some questions that I ask when I am researching the history and strength of individual companies are:
How long has this company been in business? (Again)
How many employees does this company have?
How does the balance sheet for this company look?
When considering the above questions, compare the answers for each company against each of the others. If they’re better for any reason, you’ll probably want to consider using them more heavily, and likewise, if they’re worse for any reason, you may want to remove them from the list prior to moving to the next step.
Price, Premiums, and Deductibles
Once you’ve got a good idea of the reputability and reliability of your selected insurance companies, you’ll want to consider the price for the insurance premium at each of the different companies. To determine the price for your new policy, you’ll first want to determine the Car Insurance Coverage Options that you’ll need, such as coverage limits on bodily injury, property damage, and deductible amount. A standard place to start is $100K/$300K (bodily/property) and a $500 deductible. If you’re very accident prone, you may want to get quoted on a lower deductible or if you’re a very safe driver and have never had a problem you may want to consider a higher deductible like $1,000 as this will lower your monthly premium. Anyways, once you decide the coverage options that you want and need, call the insurance companies and ask for quotes directly – Do not call an insurance broker, as they act as a middleman and that will increase your price for car insurance. Compare all the prices that you are given and then make a knowledgeable decision based on everything that you’ve learned about each insurance company and the pricing that they offer you. Note: if two or more of the companies offer you pricing that is very close to the other, you may want to ask each about Car Insurance Discount and Incentive Plans that they may offer.