how to shop for auto insurance

When listening to car insurance commercials, it’s not uncommon to hear talk about “lowering your car insurance rates.” But how do you do that? Can you just call up your current insurance company and ask for a lower rate? Actually, with some insurance companies you might be able to do just that. It’s definitely worth a shot! But in actuality, you will have to make a change to your policy or switch car insurance companies in order to get an auto insurance quote for a lower rate.

Changing your coverage type, and coverage limits, or adding or dropping a vehicle may change your auto insurance rates. But there may also be a solution without having to change the vehicles in your driveway and without having to lower your necessary coverage.

Shopping for car insurance quotes across multiple different companies is called a comparison shop. When comparing car insurance quotes you may find that you can get cheap car insurance simply by switching to a different company. Assessing your auto coverage and performing a comparison shop every year will ensure that you always take advantage of the lowest rate available to you.

Here are some steps to take on how to shop for auto insurance.

Gather Personal Information

In order to get an accurate insurance quote tailored to your needs you will have to give each company some information about yourself. To speed up this process and save yourself from having to dig around in stacks of papers or rack your brain for login info while in the middle of filling out forms, it is best to compile the information you need to have on hand ahead of time.

Some questions you may be asked involve what type of vehicles you need coverage for and how you use them along with vehicle identification numbers (VIN), all drivers on the policy, where your cars are parked, your education level, and insurance and accident histories.

Determine Coverage Needs

The quote you receive will be determined mostly by the coverage you need. Are you only looking for minimum liability coverage? This quote will be the cheapest option. Or do you need collision, comprehensive, and other coverages such as roadside assistance and underinsured motorist coverage? The type of vehicle you drive and the type of driving you do most often will determine the type of coverage you need.

If you don’t drive very often, have an older car that is paid off, and have significant savings to cover accidental damage or replacement, you may only need to carry the state minimum liability requirements. But if you have new cars, car loans, drive often in the city, and do not want to pay out of pocket for property damage and repairs, then carrying higher coverage is a wiser choice.

Ask About Discounts

Most insurance companies offer significant discounts for a variety of factors. Are you a teacher or a first responder? You might qualify for a discount based on your job. Are you a safe driver? Several insurance companies have monitoring apps or programs that monitor your driving record, speed, braking habits, and even your history of getting tickets. If you’re deemed a safe driver, you may see a lower insurance cost.

It’s important to note that it may not always be the best move to switch companies for a lower rate because some companies offer loyalty discounts for insuring multiple vehicles or bundling your home and auto insurance with the same company.

Organize and Compare Quotes

Gathering quotes to compare rates may take some time. You must fill out forms and wait for a response. You may complete it all in one sitting if you are dedicated, but it will likely take several days to gather all of the information when you do it by yourself, therefore having an organized system will help you in the long run.

Compiling all your quote information in the same place will help you stay organized. You may choose to input quotes and info into a spreadsheet online, print it out and place it in a file folder, or archive it in a folder in your inbox. With any choice, it’s wise to make sure that you gather the same info from each company to ensure that your quote comparison is accurate.
A few pieces of info to track are coverages, deductibles, limits, and customer satisfaction ratings.

Make Your Selection

Once you have gathered as many car insurance quotes as you need, and organized the information, the only steps left are to make your choice and sign up for coverage. Your choice may be based on the lowest rate available, the best coverage available, the best reviews, or any other metric that is important to you. Each person has different needs therefore it’s important to ensure that you make the decision based on what works best for you.

A very important factor to consider when choosing car insurance and making a switch is to ensure that you avoid a lapse in coverage if you do choose to switch your insurance carrier. To do this, ask clarifying questions and make clear notes of end and start dates to your policies to ensure that your cars remain covered through a switch. Getting caught driving without insurance for even one day can be detrimental to your budget if you are pulled over or get into a car accident without proper insurance coverage.

Work With an Insurance Group

Many insurance companies have comparison tools on their websites that allow you to complete a quick request for an insurance quote. These can be helpful when you are in a hurry or know exactly what you’re looking for but they’re not your best option when you have questions or have no idea which companies to even look at. To access these tools you really need to already know which companies you want to review and this may take some time to research.

When you choose to work with Gebhardt Insurance Group, our agents take the comparison shopping work off your plate. We have relationships with the top insurance carriers in Arizona and have special insight into the coverage options and cost of car insurance each company offers. When you choose us to help you run a comparison shop, obtaining information does not take as long as it would if you are comparing quotes by yourself and we can also answer all questions you have immediately. Additionally, we can help you sign up when you’ve made your choice and ensure that you don’t experience a lapse in coverage.

Let us help you find the most affordable auto insurance coverage for you. Call us today to get started.