Shopping for car insurance probably isn’t on your top ten list of fun ways to spend your afternoon. However, nearly every state in American requires you to maintain a minimal level of coverage. Driving uninsured really isn’t a choice, because you’ll have no protection against the legal action that will result should you cause an accident.
Your county clerk’s office–that’s where you register your vehicle–can tell you everything you need to know about state minimum automobile insurance. Most states require all drivers to carry some level of liability insurance. With this type of insurance, drivers are protected against the negligence of others on the road. As far as the specific amount of insurance coverage required, each state sets different levels.
The first step in selecting the right car insurance company is to do some basic Internet research. Some insurance companies offer quote comparison services, but don’t put too much faith into these numbers. Instead, get a quote from each company individually. Also, see if there are potential discounts in consolidating all of your insurance coverage under a single policy.
Talking with local insurance representatives may give you a better feel for what these companies have to offer. Local reps may even be able to offer you a better deal than a phone salesperson. Together with a knowledgeable local rep, you can determine what sort of coverage is best for your situation. With newer vehicles, more comprehensive coverage is probably a good idea. On the other hand, liability should be more than enough for an old clunker.
Most car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts for both safe driving habits and vehicle safety devices. Investigate these potential discounts and make sure you’re getting the best possible rate for your situation. Devices like air bags and anti-lock breaks will both reduce your premium amounts. Some insurance companies may even offer a discount if you complete a driver safety course.
Positive word of mouth can be a fair way to gauge a car insurance company’s likelihood to meet your needs. Ask your good friends and neighbors about their auto insurance policies and get some recommendations. If you notice a pattern of horror stories about the same company, then you’ll know to steer clear. Car insurance that leaves you high and dry when you need it most is not a smart choice, no matter how cheap the rates may be.
The most important thing to remember when deciding on a car insurance company is to cast a wide net. If you take advantage of the first offer that sounds good, you may miss out on other offers that could be even better. Be patient throughout this process, and your pocketbook will reward you.