Read these 19 Car Insurance Comparisons Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Car Insurance tips and hundreds of other topics.
A.M. Best is a worldwide insurance-rating and information agency that was founded in 1899. It is the largest company devoted to rating insurance organizations and has offices located in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. When you are comparing car insurance companies, you can use the A.M. Best score to determine the right company for your needs. Best's Insurance Reports is available as a searchable database on CD-Rom, or in print with slightly condensed versions of the reports. You can also see the 10 Best's Company Reports on A.M. Best's website and access BestDirect which is a real-time company tracking service.
A lot of people focus on price alone when they are comparing car insurance policies. We are a nation of bargain-seekers so it is only natural that the average consumer looks to get the best deal on their auto insurance policy. However, to truly understand the value of a car insurance policy you must look beyond price. You want to look for the most comprehensive coverage for the best price. While most states require minimum liability coverage, it is in your best interest to obtain coverage for collision, property damage and bodily injury. When you are comparing the prices of auto insurance policies make sure to compare similar policies with similar features to find the most affordable plan for your needs.
The theft of mobile electronics and other auto accessories is one of the most common forms of car-related crime. However, insurance covering this type of damage is not typically included in standard policies. There are few affordable auto insurance companies that provide additional comprehensive coverage that will cover auto accessories. Some companies have comprehensive plans that can be included for a small additional fee on the policy. Others automatically include it for no additional charge. In order to find the most affordable coverage for your accessories, shop around at different car insurance companies and make sure to ask about the limits of their comprehensive coverage.
Information on car insurance companies relative financial strength, operating performance, and customer service history can be found online.
* A.M. Best compares car insurance companies based on operating performance and financial strength.
* J.D. Powers & Associates maintains a database of the historical performance of car insurance customer service.
* Weiss Ratings, Inc. provides a list of financial services in the U.S., ranked from weakest to strongest.
These three sources can help you make an informed choice when you purchase car insurance online.
Weiss Ratings is a division of the Weiss Group Inc., a consumer advocate agency. The company provides ratings on a variety of consumer products, including auto insurance, to allow people to make informed financial decisions. You can use the Weiss rating to guide you to the best car insurance companies. While the company offers in-depth analysis of auto insurers for a price, they also have listed on their website the top ten and bottom ten auto insurance companies. Weiss Ratings ranks auto insurance companies on a scale from A to E, with A+ being the highest ranking. Keep in mind that the Weiss Rating only reflects the fiscal stability of an insurance company and does not reflect customer service quality.
It is said that the best advertising is word of mouth, and the saying is true for auto insurance companies. When someone is happy with the level of service that they have received, they will tell their family and friends. On the other hand, if they have had a bad experience with filing a claim they will speak negatively about the company. Ask your friends and family about their experiences with their own car insurance company. You will be able to gauge how certain car insurance companies operate in your state by the experience of your friends and family. Your auto insurance rate will be different based on your personal history, but you can use the advice of others as a good rule of thumb.
J.D. Power and Associates is a marketing information firm that is nearly 30 years old. The company evaluates customer satisfaction with companies by taking consumer surveys and releasing the results to the general public. The information that J.D. Power and Associates provides is completely based on customer feedback and is not influenced by the businesses themselves. When you are searching for auto insurance, the J.D. Power and Associates rating can help determine the customer service quality of the car insurance company. The J.D. Power and Associates Consumer Center is available on their website to provide resources for consumer to make informed decisions.
When shopping for auto insurance, you want the best coverage for the least cost. One tip for getting the right auto insurance for you is to shop around, get some auto insurance quotes. Compare them to each other and see which one is giving you the best value for your money.
Get what you need, and avoid extras that you won't use. If you already have road side assistance, make sure you're not paying an extra monthly fee on your insurance policy for the insurance companies towing. When adding it on to your policy, it is more expensive than it would be to just call one of the AARP or AAA and buying through them. If you have an extra car, don't pay extra for rental service on your policy, use your other car and save yourself some money each month.
Take advantage of discounts and savings. Did you take a safe driving course? Does your teen get great grades? Do you get a discount on your car insurance if you buy from the same company that you have your homeowners insurance with? Have you moved recently? I know someone who saved $25.00 a month just from updating her address.
Do your homework before buying auto insurance, it will save you some money.
By doing a car insurance comparison before you purchase a vehicle you will have a better understanding of what you may be able to afford. Many people will visit a car lot, pick out a vehicle, take it for a test drive and rush back to complete the paperwork before they drive it home without ever checking to see what the monthly payment is going to be for their vehicle insurance. If you are someone that has too much money and you just do not know what to do with it all that is fine you may do this if you feel it is right but in most cases many people are shocked to find out the amount of their vehicle insurance and by that time it is too late.
Most insurance companies can offer you a quote for a variety of year vehicle that you are considering for purchase, for example, if you are considering a 2010 Dodge Stratus but may consider an older one simply check with your insurance agent to see what the different is for a 2010, 2009, 2008 and even a 2007 model. You may be surprised at the amount of the actual policy when the vehicle is a new one compared to one that is just a couple of years old.
When someone is getting car insurance for the first time it is important for them to take into consideration that not all insurance companies charge the same rate. Each insurance company offers their own policies with their own rates. It is important to get a car insurance comparison between the different companies to make sure that you are getting the best rate possible.
It is essential to sit down and read through exactly what each policy covers. You want to make sure that you are not paying for something that you do not need. There are some insurance companies that will provide discounts. Students who make good grades will often get a discount on their insurance costs. If you are a good driver there is a possibility that you could get a price break too.
Getting a car insurance comparison will help you to ensure that your policy is a perfect fit for you. Many insurance agents will be able to supply information you need to make the most informed decision possible. There are insurance companies that will do the auto insurance comparison for you. They will provide the results of the comparison even if they do not have the lowest car insurance rate.
The easiest way to do auto insurance comparisons is to get out your policy and see what it says. If you do not have a current copy you can get a copy of your policy faxed, mailed, or even sent to you via email. Once you have this, you can use it to fill in the blanks when comparing insurance quotes. Making sure your current coverages are the ones you get pricing on when you are working on a car insurance price comparison is that the coverages are what you pay for. If you have a medium level of coverage and get prices for small or large amounts of coverage, the prices will be smaller or larger than your medium coverage because of what you are purchasing, not because the company is more or less expensive.
An accurate comparison of auto insurance policies is crucial to keeping your insurance prices low and making sure you are with the best company for your circumstances. If you have additional coverages like rental coverage or roadside assistance coverage, make sure those are added to your quote as well. When you are at the end of your comparison of auto insurance quotes, you should have the price for a policy exactly like the one you currently have. That way you can make an informed decision on which one is less expensive for you.
When you are looking for the best car insurance comparison, make sure you are comparing everything equally. If you only have the state minimum for coverage, but are thinking about increasing your coverage for more protection, do not run your quote with the higher limits or you will find that every auto insurance rate comparison you receive is more expensive than what you already have. That's because you're taking your cheap policy with low limits and comparing it to a policy with higher limits that would cost more. First compare the exact coverages you have on your current policy with another company, that way you are looking at policies that cover the same thing for the same amount. When you do this you can see in your comparison of auto insurance quotes which policy is really less expensive.
Once you find the least expensive policy, you know that they will still be the best value once you raise those coverages, even if it is more expensive than your original policy. If you really want to do your auto insurance comparison with the higher rates, call your current company and get a quote for the higher rates and then use that number as your baseline for comparison of auto insurance quotes.
When you begin your initial research to start a car insurance comparison, your state's board of insurance website can be a valuable resource. Not only does your state board of insurance provide reviews of car insurance companies but they also provide comparison surveys. These surveys profile the average rate, policy terms and general information of various car insurance companies. Looking at the surveys will allow you to gather initial information on car insurance companies without having to submit personal information and get a quote. Keep in mind that the rates shown on the state board of insurance's website it just an average. Your actual car insurance cost may be higher or lower. However, this is a quick and easy way to begin your car insurance comparison process
Body shops are a local resource that many people may over look when shopping for auto insurance and comparing auto insurance companies. Body shop owners can give you recommendations on which companies have hassle-free claims processes. They can also offer insight on which companies offer the best deals on replacement parts. Many auto insurance companies will only pay for replacement parts that are “aftermarket.” These parts are inferior to original equipment manufacturer parts. Ideally, you want an auto insurance company that will insist on original equipment manufacturer parts if you need replacements on your car. Interviewing body shop owners is more consuming than searching for the lowest quote online. But the process will save you money and time in the long run if you need to file a claim and get your car repaired.
A car insurance estimator is normally a third party website that provides detailed information on car insurance companies and their rates. While a car insurance estimator cannot provide completely accurate quotes for your car insurance policy and your needs, it can be a good way to gauge rates from different companies. Using a car insurance estimator will allow you to quickly see which companies offer consistently lower rates. From there, you can obtain more individualized quotes from a select group of companies. This can save you time and you can avoid the hassle of wading through dozens of different car insurance companies.
It may not seem fair, but car insurance rates can be vastly different for different types of cars. Some cars are considered more risky (such as sports cars) and may cost more to insure. If you are in the market for a new car, and have not decided what type of car you want to purchase, it would behoove you to do some car insurance rate comparisons. Even if two cars cost the same amount of money, their car insurance rates may be vastly different. You can save yourself money in the long run if you opt for a less risky type of car.
There are many steps involved in completing a thorough evaluation of your auto insurance rate options. You must first decide what types of coverage are necessary for you and your family. Then you must find reputable car insurance companies and get quotes to compare prices and policy features. It's no wonder that many people simply get a quote from one insurance company and then call it a day. However, it is vital to conduct adequate car insurance research before you sign a policy. If you do the research and find the best rate for your circumstances, you can end up savings yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.
Standard & Poor's is a credit rating agency for companies that can help you determine the financial standing of a car insurance company. This can help when you compare auto insurance options. The companies receive ratings between AAA (the highest) to CC. The letter grades are sometimes modified by a + or – mark. When you use Standard & Poor's rating to compare auto insurance companies choose a company with at least a BBB or better rating. Sometimes auto insurance companies will post their Standard & Poor's ratings directly on their website. If this rating is missing, you can go directly to Standard & Poor's website to research your potential auto insurance provider.
When comparing car insurance companies, there are three important factors to consider.
* First, view the financial strength of the auto insurance company relative to other companies in the same industry.
* Secondly, consider their operating performance -- how well do they carry out the functions that they guarantee their customers?
* Last but certainly not least, review the car insurance company's history of customer service.
Examining all three factors, plus word-of-mouth from friends' and family members' experience with the car insurance company itself, is a solid foundation for making a informed decision.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|