Most car insurance companies offer an assortment of policy options, making it hard to compare policies and figure out what is the best car insurance. If you’re searching for lowest prices, there are some guidelines worth looking into as you do your research.

Here are things you can do to ensure that you’re getting the best coverage and the best rate.

 Don’t assume any car insurance company is the best

Companies spend a lot of money on commercials. Trying to convince you they offer the cheapest car insurance plans. Truth is prices individuals pay for the same coverage at the same company varies. No single company can claim to have the lowest price. An insurance company that’s cheapest for one person in one place might be the most expensive for a driver somewhere else. Some major insurance companies have developed complex predictive models. These models can charge you higher rates if determined you are unlikely to change providers. This practice, called “price optimization,” is banned in 16 states. The only way to ensure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around.

Don’t overlook local or regional insurance companies

Four major companies control half the nation’s car insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. Smaller regional insurers, like Auto Owners Insurance or Erie Insurance, tend to have higher customer satisfaction ratings and sometimes lower rates. 

Research insurance costs before buying a car

Most already pay attention to fuel efficiency and repair costs when deciding to buy a car. But also consider insurance premiums, which vary between popular models.

Forget collision and comprehensive coverage for old reliable

Collision coverage pays to repair damage to your vehicle  in an accident involving another car or an inanimate object. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair vehicle damage caused by weather, animals, vandalism, or reimburses you for your car if its stolen. But both only pay the value of your car. If your car is older and has a low value, it does not make sense to pay for the two policies.

Search around for deals

Insurers provide all sorts of discounts, including deals for customers who:

  • Combine car insurance policies, with other policies like homeowners insurance
  • Insure multiple cars with one policy
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Pay their entire premium at once
  • Enroll in paperless transactions
  • Own a vehicle with anti-theft or safety features
  • Be a members of a professional organization or affiliate group

Savings vary by company and region. Check insurance company websites or speak with an agent to find out which ones can work for you.

Pay your bills on time — your credit plays a factor

Credit is a significant factor in the car insurance quotes you receive.  Except in the states of California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, who don’t allow insurers to use it. Insurance companies argue a customers’ credit has a correlation with their risk of filing a claim. Improve your credit and lower your premiums, by paying your bills on time. Track your progress by checking your credit report at least once per year.

If possible raise your deductible

If you have to carry comprehensive and collision coverage — because your car is a later model or your bank requires it — you can save a ton of money by raising your deductibles. Be mindful that you’ll pay more out of pocket if you have to make a claim.

Research a usage-based plans, if you’re not a frequent driver

If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t drive many miles, consider a usage-based insurance program, like Allstate’s Drivewise, Progressive’s Snapshot or State Farm’s Drive Safe. These programs allow your insurer to track your driving habits electronically in exchange for possible discounts. If you drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year, you might be eligable to save with a mileage-based insurance program, such as Metromile or Esurance Pay Per Mile. Metromile is currently available in seven states, while Esurance Pay Per Mile is only available in Oregon.

Those were a few ways to cut down on your auto insurance costs. Take heed and save some money!


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