Effectively Comparing Car Insurance Quotes

Auto insurance is required in 45 of 50 states in the US, and it's a complex and highly technical product. Everyone needs to have it, and nobody really looks forward to renewal time, or insuring a new vehicle. You get your driving habits examined, your home, and all sorts of other invasions that you put up with in the name of "getting a better rate".

To effectively get cheap car insurance, you're going to have to do some legwork. First, gather up your driving records â€" just like your credit report, it's always worth it to dig up your driving records every year or two and look for errors. These are compiled by human beings, and like credit reports, if you tell them to fix something, they have to do it. Your driving record is used by your insurance carrier to set your rate; it's roughly 25% of the factors used.

Another significant chunk of what drives your insurance premium is gender and age. Men have higher insurance premiums than women do, because men tend to do stupider things behind the wheel. Older drivers have lower insurance rates than younger ones, for much the same reason. If you're still in the "young and male" demographic, it pays to really do a lot of price comparisons on when comparing car insurance quotes. You may already know that the highest rates are for male drivers under age 25, but like anything else, there are ways to reduce that, for example by having a grade point average of at least 3.0 will frequently get you better rates.

The best place to compare care insurance quotes is online â€" there are plenty of places where you can enter your ZIP code which tells them how likely it is the car will be burgled), your age, and your social security number, and it'll pull up a set of competing quotes from all vendors. This is a good "first pass" at getting cheaper car insurance, but be sure to take the time to compare all the details. What's the AH White rating of the insurance carrier? Often times "absurdly low rates" translate to a churn and chuck artist â€" someone who uses a lot of low teaser rates with really high price hikes after you've signed, to make their business on pure volume.

Don't forget to factor in discounts you already get â€" if you've gone to a driving school, that's probably worth a discount, as is three or more years with no accidents. Getting married will drop your premiums, because the presumption is that you're now becoming more responsible, with a family to look after. Bundling coverage with the same carrier can get you a package discount, though you should make sure that the combined package does, in fact, cost you less than two separate policies.

All in all there are several tools available for getting cheaper car insurance, but they all run down to price comparison and doing your homework. While it may seem to be a hassle, when you think about cumulative savings over a year, saving $30 or $40 a month on insurance adds up to a significant chunk of change.

by Jon Arnold


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