You are already on the right track. EINSURANCE.com can help you compare auto insurance rates from multiple leading insurers. Comparing online quotes is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to make sure you are paying the right price for the coverage you need. So what is the next step?
A little less than half of consumers who shop for a new policy only obtain one quote. To get the best rates, a consumer should get at least 3 quotes for a similar policy. Each insurer asseses risk a little differently. On top of that difference, one company may offer a discount that another does not currently provide.
Below we outline a decision criteria that many drivers use to compare insurance companies and policies:
Product and Coverage Options
Check to see if your insurance company can bundle all the insurance products that you need. If so, then they will most likely give you a bundling discount. For instance, if you are a renter, many auto carriers now offer renter’s insurance as well.
Purchase and Management Options
Most major carriers provide the options of purchasing online and over the phone. Comparing car insurance policies over the phone may be limited to call center hours. However, online quoting is available 24/7.
One of the biggest differences between carrier’s rates can be attributed to the avaialable discounts. Most insurers reward safe drivers and bundlers. In additon, savings can be found for vehicles that have the most safety features. The most variable discounts can be found when a company is trying to reach a certain group of insurance consumers. For instance, some companies may offer discounts for switching before the expiration of a policy or from a certain competitor, while other may decide retirees shoulde get a discount.
Customer Service Track Record
A company that specializes in the most basic coverage options may have the cheapest auto insurance rates. However, they may also lack some customer service benefits of more established companies. These benefits may include 24 hour customer assistance and claims tracking. Consumers should always be aware of these trade-offs as they make their decision.
Financial strength ratings are good indicators of an insurer’s ability to meet the obligations of an insurance policy. During times of natural disasters and economic catastrophes, insurance companies with strong financials will be best suited to service their customers. A.M. Best is often used to judge financial strength.
Consumers can expect companies to ask similar questions. Therefore, spending a little time up-front to gather information that you will need can cut time spent on quotes as well as insurance costs. These include:
Driver’s License Number
The number can be found on your driver’s license card. It is generally a required item before a policy can go into effect.
You will need to know the make, model, year and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). An online quote form may be able to pre-fill a large portion of this information by using the VIN found on the dashboard under the windshield or your state’s vehicle registration paper work. Sometimes an insurance form may ask you to differentiate between the different models and security features.
Social Security Number
Often, this information will be optional. However, you may eventually need to provide this information to your insurer.
Whether you use the vehicle to commute, attend school, or “pleasure;” insurance companies will want to know the frequency and distance that the insured uses the vehicle. You can use tools such as Google Maps to figure out the distance you generally drive to work or school. In most cases, a general ball park will suffice for most insurance companies.
No matter which company you quote or what state you live, all auto insurers will want to know your driving history. In most cases, it will be hard to forget a ticket you received or accident that you were involved in. Many insurers will accept estimated dates if you are close. However, if you want more exact numbers, then then you can always call your local Department/ Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Premium price may be most affected by discounts. The newest rate reduction can be found in devices that track your driving. Many insurers offer a premium reduction for installing the device and taking part in the program. Another way to save is to pay your 6-month premium in the beginning. Over the course of the policy, you will have paid less premium.
Customer satisfaction is an important consideration when choosing your auto insurer. How and when claims are paid can mean the difference between getting on with business as usual and adding more To-Do’s to your daily tasks. Customer service can be regional as well. So check to see which companies have the best reputation in your region. J.D. Power Rankings can help start your comparison.