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Auto Insurance Comparison Shopping Tips

Auto Insurance Comparison

Navigating the world of auto insurance is easier if you understand what kind of auto insurance best meets your needs.  Once you understand the coverage that you need, comparison-shopping is the smartest way to secure adequate protection at an affordable price. Here are some auto insurance comparison shopping tips that will help you keep the coverage you need all while lowering your auto insurance rates.

Compare Apples to Apples

Make sure that you understand as much as possible about types of coverage you may need before beginning to comparison shop.  When requesting quotes from different companies, keep types of coverage and limits the same to make cheap car insurance rates more accurate.  Ask for details about discounts such as safe driver, low mileage, multiple vehicles, good student, safety equipment, defensive driver and any others that may be available.  If the premium for your preferred company is more expensive sometimes it can be offset with multiple discounts and end up being cheaper.

Body Shop Recommendations

Another method when comparison shopping is to check with local body shops and dealerships to see which car insurance companies are recommended in the industry.  Although this method may be a bit more time intensive than online or phone research, it can be an effective way of finding companies that handle claims fairly.  Body shop managers can tell you which companies are more inclined to push the use of inferior aftermarket parts to cut their costs, a practice which should be avoided as it can end up costing you much more than you might save with a low premium.

Check the Ratings and Reviews

A good resource to use when comparison shopping is the auto insurance ratings by J.D. Power and Associates which can help you discover which insurance companies have a history of handling claims fairly and providing quality customer service.  Two of the top rates companies in the most recent study are Amica and Erie for example.  Erie is known for its independent agents who are extremely knowledgeable about available product, something that can be helpful if your insurance needs are more complex.  Both Amica and Erie are known for their handling of claims because unlike most of their competitors, they try to find a way to cover a claim rather than deny it.

Retain the Right to Sue

Once you’ve narrowed your choices of insurance companies to two or three that provide the coverages you need at an affordable price, there are two things to double check before you make a decision.  First, find out how claims are handled when you disagree with the insurance company.  If the fine print of an insurance company’s contract includes a clause indicating that you must waive your right to go to court and instead go into an arbitration process that can make it easier for the insurer to take advantage of you, it may be better in the long run to choose another company.

Take advantage of the resources available to research the history of the companies you are considering and always make apples to apples comparisons.  Choosing your cheap auto insurance quotes company should be based on the reliability of the company and the reasonableness of the premium costs.

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