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Best Ways To Get Cheap Car Insurance – Compare Online Quotes

If you are in the market for cheap car insurance you probably know it can be a daunting task since there are so many companies to compare. I am going to provide a simplified list to follow to help you find cheap car insurance, what to look out for, and the some of the best ways to qualify a good insurance company.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

I know this is getting really old. Everybody says to comparison shop which is a great idea. You have to compare each insurance company. What I have found is most consumers are comparison shopping, but they are getting quotes with different coverages and you are wondering why the car insurance quote is so high.

Here is an example – If you get a quote from insurance company A and then another from B, company A may have this coverage for you:

Company A coverage – I am going to use this as an example:

  • Bodily Injury Liability @ 15/30 this means the cover is $15,000/$30,000

  • Property Damage Liability @ $5,000 minimum

  • Uninsured Motorist Protection @ 15/30 this means the cover is $15,000/$30,000

  • Uninsured Motorist Property Protection @ $4,000

  • Comprehensive and Collision @ $500 deductible

  • Rental Insurance @ set amount

  • Roadside Assistance @ set amount

  • Accidental Death Insurance @ set amount

Amount to insure for the year? Let’s use $1,500 for a 35 y/o male with noHow Much do I pay in Insurnace accidents, no major traffic violations, a history of good driving, and a Toyota Camry which is not leased or financed.

You may be asking yourself “What does this all mean”? I want affordable car insurance? Everyone does, but without going into the details each state has minimum coverage by law so you are legal to drive.

Now lets compare company B.

Company B coverage – Again this is only an example:

  • Bodily Injury Liability @ 15/30 this means the cover is $15,000/$30,000

  • Property Damage Liability @ $5,000 minimum

  • Uninsured Motorist Protection @ 15/30 this means the cover is $15,000/$30,000

  • Uninsured Motorist Property Protection @ $4,000

  • Comprehensive and Collision @ $500 deductible

  • Roadside Assistance @ set amount

With this example I am going to use the same 35 y/o male as mentioned above. What is the cost to insure? I am going to use $1,250 for the year.

Did you noticed a difference? I took out accidental death and rental insurance. I am not saying if you drop those coverages your insurance premium is going to drop. What I am attempting to relay is if you get a quote from Company A and then one from Company B one may have more or less auto insurance coverage. One the reasons you may be getting higher than normal auto insurance quotes. These are called car insurance add-ons and you want to be sure if they are necessary for your own personal situation.

what is the differenceFor example, a very reputable website called Investopedia.com has two articles one here and the other here talking about cheap auto insurance add-ons. In the first link from Investopedia the article mentions add-ons worth considering and one of them is PIP or Personal Injury Protection. The other link mentions add-ons not worth considering which is PIP. So which is it? It the add-on worth it or not?

Getting Cheap Car Insurance – Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

As a consumer looking for the best deal the first place to start is to find out what the state minimum coverage is. You can go to the homepage and click on your state and get the minimum requirements. I have checked it recently and it should be up to date, but if it is not let me know. I know I am not perfect.

I am going to use the same 35 y/o male with the Toyota Camry and after he clicked and found the state minimum coverage. The next step to arm yourself? Figure out how much coverage you need and if you really need the car insurance add-ons.

  • You know you need the state minimum coverage.

  • Consider comprehensive and collision.

  • Think hard about the car insurance add-ons.

Comprehensive Coverage – What are you really getting?

Comprehensive cover is not going to be required unless you have leased or financed your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is new or old. So what is comprehensive coverage? It is going to protect your vehicle from:

  • Falling objects

  • Broken windows

  • Vandalism and theft

  • Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes

You have to ask yourself this “How much coverage do I need if I live in Ohio?” Comprehensive cover is based on the deductible so if you have a $100 deductible you have to pay only $100 then the insurance company will pay out the rest of the damage. If you have a newer model vehicle comprehensive cover would really be worth it, but if you have an old beater worth $1,000 do you really need it? That is your call and something to think about. Personally, with the $1,000 vehicle I would forgo comprehensive cover.

If you have a new automobile you can raise your deductible to $1,000 and pay less in insurance. Just remember that is what you are going to pay first before the insurance firm pays out for damages. So, there again, you have to think what are the odds are your vehicle is going to be stolen? Or a tree falls on it?

Collision Coverage – How to save money

Collision cover is going to pay for damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident with another automobile or if you run into a tree or object like a big rock. This is the same as comprehensive and you will have a deductible amount of $0 to over $1000. You may want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How much do you drive?

  • Are you a safe driver?

  • Do you drive in the suburbs or do you drive on I-5 going 100 miles per hour?

  • Are you texting and driving all of the time?

  • Do you talk on the phone and drive? Even if you aren’t suppose to do that in some states.

If you are a risky driver you may want to get collision coverage since the odds ofTaking Insurance Risks getting into an accident are higher. On the other hand, if you are a safe driver, don’t drive far, and keep your eyes on the road (no texting and driving) then you could raise the deductible amount to save a little money on your auto insurance bill.

If you have the $1,000 vehicle then you may not need collision altogether since if the car gets damaged you may just take it to the junk yard and find another car. Or the car may still work and you don’t care about the damage. I have seen some cars put together with duct tape!

You have a general idea – Get cheap car insurance quotes

Now, the same 35 y/o male with a Toyota Camry knows he needs the state minimum coverage and since it is a 2006 he decided he is going to get comprehensive and collision coverage too. If it was me, and considering where I live, greater Cincinnati area, with my driving habits I would get $1,000 deductible for comprehensive and a $500 dollar deductible for collision. Thats me though and if you live in South Florida your circumstance may be different since there are a lot of hurricanes.

Policy Add-ons – Are they really worth it?

  • If you have life insurance then you are not going to need accidental death insurance.

  • If you have a credit card with rental insurance you may not need rental insurance on your policy. Also, check to see if your credit card has roadside assistance. If it does you may not need roadside assistance on your auto insurance policy to save more.

  • If you have health insurance and your passengers do too then you may want to forgo PIP or Personal Injury Protection. This could be state dependent.

find savingsYou want to carefully consider what auto insurance add-ons you may or may not need. There are others such as Gap insurance for those which have leased or financed their vehicle. If you owe only $500 dollars then you may not need it. If you owe $15,000 to the bank for your financed vehicle then you may want to consider Gap insurance.

On The Road To Savings – Get your discounts!

Here are the most commonly missed car insurance discounts and you want to be sure you can get them if you qualify:

  • Self-Employed/Work From Home – If you are working from home then you may have the opportunity to tell the insurer you use your vehicle for pleasure use only. Another great perk is low mileage too.

  • Your Occupation – Some insurance companies are going to assign discounts associated with the type of job you have depending on the state. Such occupations included Fire Fighters, Dentists, Doctors, Teachers, and more. You want to ask your insurance company about it when comparing quotes.

  • Low Mileage – This is commonly overlooked since many people have reduced the amount they drive with the cost of gasoline. If you have reduced your mileage then your car insurance rates could drop considerably.

  • Military – Commonly missed discounts could include students in ROTC programs and the National Guard.

  • Memberships – There are many insurance companies that have associations with universities, colleges, and other professional organizations. It never hurts to ask if you are working for Amazon.com to see if you qualify for a discount, as an example.

You want to realize discounts are going to vary from one insurance company to the next. And just to let you know I used the Amazon.com as an example. I really don’t know if there are available discounts for employees working for the company, but you never know?

The Dreaded Zip-Code and Determining Factors

Auto insurance companies use determining factors to determine your cheap car insurance quote. Here are the changeable determining factors:

  • Driving record

  • Where you live

  • Type of vehicle

  • Credit history or score

And the unchangeable factors:

  • Your age

  • Your gender

Since you can’t change your age or your gender, well, you can now, you want to concentrate on what you can change to get cheap car insurance. Since most are not willing to move for various reasons normally this is not much of an option. However, since auto insurance companies use your zip-code as a determining factor for your quote and you live in an area where guns are blazing or convenient stores are being robbed daily, you might want to move to a safer location.

Unfortunately, most auto insurance firms are going to use your credit score to determine your rate. If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the Cure.com doesn’t use your credit score to determine your rate.

If you have a habit of speeding you might want to ease off the gas pedal and go the speed limit. Once you have a clean driving record for three or more years you could see a considerable drop in auto insurance rates. Once the rates drop, it doesn’t mean you are back into action by drag racing all over town either.

As I mentioned above, the 35 y/o male with a clean driving record, a Toyota Camry, decided he didn’t want to move so the Zip-code is the same, but realized his credit score needed a little cleaning up when he was comparing auto insurance quotes.

Safety Features – Safe Vehicles Have Their Privileges

If your vehicle has safety features you want to be sure to tell the insurance company. Something as simple as an alarm or anti-theft device can reduce your auto insurance by as much as ten percent. Here is list of safety features:

  • Anti-lock brakes

  • Traction control

  • Automatic seat-belts

  • Lo-Jack

  • Airbags

It would be a great idea to make a list of safety features since the insurance company could miss then in a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) search or they may have never been applied to your policy or when you were shopping for auto insurance quotes. So, take the list and go down one by one. I don’t know about you, but I am not interested in giving money away and if one item can save me ten bucks a month then I am all for it.

Path to Affordable Car Insurance

If you are looking to save on auto insurance then you may have to do a little homework. Never assume you are getting the best deal. Don’t even assume that I am right. Five minutes of due diligence can mean savings. You want to be sure you get quotes from solid car insurance companies with a good reputation and good customer service.

To quickly recap go down this easy and simple check list:

  • Find out the state minimum coverage.

  • Determine the amount of comprehensive and collision coverage you may or may not need.

  • Consider dropping policy add-ons carefully.

  • Research out all discounts.

  • Understand determining factors, such as your age, location, and type of vehicle. Each insurer determines or weighs each differently.

  • Make sure the insurer knows about safety features your vehicle may have.

Lastly, cheap does not always mean cheap even though we are talking aboutcheap gas no price cheap car insurance. If the quote sounds to good to be true then it probably is. You have to be careful of marketing too, many companies are claiming $19.00 a month car insurance. If you read the fine print at the bottom of the web-page you will see it is for a picture perfect driver, age 51, female, and never had one accident. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ran across one person in my life with a perfect driving record.

Here is an excerpt from one such company to give you an example:

The rates in the advertising reflect the lowest possible premium which is paid annually for a 1983 Mercury Capri, driven for pleasure, less than 3000 miles driven annually, a 51 year old female, with a clean driving record, and with association membership, plus other discounts applied”.

When you are comparing cheap car insurance quotes be sure you get quotes from reputable companies licensed and regulated to do business in your state. Here are two great resources to find out about any insurance company:

  • AM Best

  • Moody’s

  • You can always check with your state, such as the State of Texas to be sure the company is legit.

Now you have a road-map to cheap car insurance and if the auto insurance quotes seem high then you want to check into the determining factors and ask yourself what is the reason for my car insurance to be so high?

If you don’t mind your privacy being invaded

Pay as you go insuranceIf you really want to lower your car insurance rates many companies, such as Progressive, Allstate, and Hartford, are offering “Pay-as-you-go” insurance. How this works is similar to your smart phone. You pay as you use your smart phone, it is the same with your car. You pay as you drive. The only downfall is you have to put a device in your vehicle so the insurance firm can monitor your driving habits. They will monitor things such as:

  • How far you drive

  • How hard you hit the brakes

  • When you drive

Sounds simple enough, but if you try and tell the insurance company you drove 43 miles when you actually drove 145 miles then it may not be a program for you. The good news is according to the Brookings Institute some drivers where able to save up to thirty (30) percent on their car insurance. So, if you don’t mind a little invasion of (driving) and you want to to save then this could be a viable option and a one way ticket to cheap car insurance.

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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