(Guest post by 21st Century Insurance)
The internet has made comparing auto insurance quotes easier than ever, which is great news for customers looking to save money on something we all need to have, but hate to think about. There are a few simple things to keep in mind when comparing online though, to make sure that you’re comparing rates and policies fairly, and maximizing your potential savings.
One of the first things you should do before comparing online quotes is determining what coverage you want and need. All states require some kind of auto insurance coverage, but each state has very different rules for minimum coverage, and some of those state-required minimums would still leave you very exposed in case of an accident. Look at your current policy and do a little research online and figure out what you think the best coverage for you will be. Remember, you can always change the coverage options later in the process to fine tune your rates.
Once you’ve determined what coverage you want, there are a few more tasks before you can really get down to comparing car insurance online. To get an online quote, you’ll also need your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (often called simply the VIN) and the current mileage for any vehicles that you’re looking to insure. The VIN is usually found on a small plaque at the base of the windshield and mileage should be as accurate as possible. I always find it helpful to have my current policy in hand during the process for reference too. With all of these things in hand, now you can quickly and easily compare auto insurance rates online.
There are two basic ways to compare car insurance online – through major insurer’s websites or via “shopping” sites, that aggregate results from around the web. There is no right or wrong way to go about the process, but sometimes the shopping comparison sites will provide rates for many smaller insurance companies that often have extremely competitive rates and, sometimes, superior customer service to the big players in the market. I personally prefer a mix of the two approaches, as sometimes the shopping sites won’t be able to get you that perfect coverage option that you might be able to customize on an insurer’s site, but they sometimes show you options that just didn’t know existed.
Either way you go, shopping for auto insurance online shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, and often leads to great discounts on your next car insurance policy.