What Are the Best Tips for Choosing Car Insurance?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Choosing car insurance involves the selection of the insurance itself as well as a provider. Some shoppers may prefer to determine which products they need first and then to compare prices between providers. Others might want to rank providers and look at their product offerings to find one that meets their needs. Some research resources can include insurance agents or brokers, insurance company ratings from consumer advocacy groups, and local mechanics.

Drivers have different types of car insurance to choose from.
Drivers have different types of car insurance to choose from.

Insurance products for cars are quite varied, to cover an assortment of potential circumstances. In many regions, the law mandates minimum insurance coverage for all drivers, and this may be the baseline product on offer from insurance companies. Drivers can add extra coverage like comprehensive insurance that offers more protection in the event of problems with the car, something else to consider when choosing car insurance. Special insurance can also be available for collectible cars and other kinds of unique or unusual vehicles.

Choosing the cheapest car insurance isn't always a good idea, as many people learn after an accident.
Choosing the cheapest car insurance isn't always a good idea, as many people learn after an accident.

Consumers in the process of choosing car insurance may want to start by outlining what they need to meet any minimum requirements. In addition to legal insurance coverage stipulations, people with car loans may need to carry insurance on behalf of the lender. If the car is destroyed, the policy pays out to the lender to cover the cost of the loan. It can help to think about how, where, and when the car will be driven, as this may have an impact on the policy. For example, many lenders require a special rider for cars driven internationally.

To find a good car insurance provider, one good resource is word of mouth referrals. Mechanics and body shops may have recommendations based on their experiences, as can friends. Insurance companies are also regulated by the government, and it's possible to access consumer complaint statistics to get more information about the quality of service at a company. While choosing car insurance providers, customers may want to consider other insurance products they might need or want, as it might be possible to get a discount on a package through some providers.

With a list of necessary services and providers in hand, consumers can request rate information and quotes from insurance agents to assist them in choosing car insurance. These are provided free of charge with no obligation, although they may expire if the client doesn't sign up within a set period. Some things to think about include what's covered in the overall cost compared to other providers, and what kinds of deductible options are available. A high deductible can radically lower the cost of a policy, but may also be difficult to pay in the event of a claim.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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