5 Tips for Finding a New Auto Insurance Provider
When it comes to securing insurance for your automobile, you may be under the misconception that one is as good as another. Or you might think that the company you’ve been with forever (the same one your parents use) is the only good option. In truth, auto insurance is a consumer product, like any other, so it is in your best interest to shop around for the best coverage at a price you are happy with. Of course, there are several other factors to consider as well, such as the reputation of the company, the options for coverage they provide, the extras they offer, and whether or not you like the agents you speak to. The process can get a bit mind-boggling with all you have to consider. So here are a few tips to help you find the insurance provider that is just right for you.
- Get referrals. While it certainly helps to read reviews and consumer reports, your best bet for finding an insurance company that you will love is to ask other people who they’re with. Talk to family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers at the car wash (why would they lie?) to discover what they like and dislike about their particular insurance provider. Testing the waters will almost certainly give you a good gauge of where to start and which companies to avoid altogether.
- Price check. The most important question for many people is how much their insurance is going to cost. Although pricing isn’t everything, car insurance is a major expense that you’d probably like to see in a certain price range. This could be negotiable depending on a number of factors (such as your age, your driving record, and the amount of coverage you prefer), but it will also vary by state and by provider. Don’t forget that you may be able to swing a better deal overall by bundling together multiple insurance policies (getting auto, homeowner’s, and earthquake coverage from the same provider, for example).
- Ask what’s covered (and what isn’t). Coverage is also right up there on the priority list, so you need to be certain about what will be covered by your auto insurance policy. But sometimes what is more important than the items on the list is what isn’t listed. For example, you might be under the impression that your insurance will cover a hit-and-run accident that occurs when you’re not in the vehicle (totaling your car). But if it isn’t listed on the coverage, you may be out of luck. It’s always best to ask before the fact.
- Check on rebates. Some insurers offer rebates for safe drivers, good grades (for teens), low mileage, special equipment on the vehicle (anti-theft), and even driving a green car (hybrid or electric). Lean towards companies that reward their patrons for good behavior.
- Go with your gut. Sometimes there are a lot of good options, which can make your decision pretty difficult. At some point you may simply have to go with the company you feel most comfortable with. All things being equal, you’re going to enjoy a much better relationship with your insurance provider if you like and trust your agent and feel that the company is looking out for your best interest.
Carol Montrose is a writer for Cheap Car Insurance NY, where you can find great rates on car insurance.