How to Compare Auto Insurance Prices in 10 Steps

It is easy to get a few quotes directly from the carriers, through a comparison website or agents these days and people may think that all they need to do is to pick the lowest price. It may be the case on many occasions but often this approach would be oversimplifying the shopping process and can result in unintended shortcomings of a policy just purchased. A step-by-step approach would make sure that motorists not only compare car insurance prices but also check that they get the coverage they want with no limitations or burdens like higher deductibles and be fully satisfied with the provider, which would be the party paying if there ever is a claim so it is important.

Here are the things to keep in mind and the questions to ask during an automobile insurance price comparison process;


  1. How much coverage do I need?
    You don’t go to the market without knowing what you want to buy. If you do, you would be surprised with what you would bring home at the end without a list. You should determine a comfortable level of coverage and try to buy it at a reasonable price from a reputable enough carrier. You probably wouldn’t want to get the cheapest policy if it means compromising on its provisions. So, you should start with determining the vehicle insurance coverage you need and see if it will be affordable at the end. It is a good idea to start with checking your current policy to see if it needs to be adjusted or you are happy to shop for the same coverage.
  2. How much time should I spare?
    It doesn’t take long to get a few quotes and size them up against each other. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours if you do it online. But you may need to wait for a broker to come back to you if you use one. You may be under pressure when you leave checking auto insurance rates to the last minute. That is why you should start looking into alternatives the moment you receive renewal terms. If you are not pressed for time you can even sleep over it before making a decision, ask further questions or dig deeper.
  3. Am I comparing apples to apples?
    Secondly, you should provide the same information each time you fill a proposal form. Otherwise, you can quickly get confused and start going back and forth between car insurance quotes without making any progress. It is easy to see why so many people give up halfway because they cannot make head or tail of the results. So, keep it simple and go for a second round of quotes if you need to with updated details.
  4. How many quotes should I get?
    Once you know what vehicle insurance coverage you want and have the current policy declaration page, the vehicle registration document and driving licenses in hand, you are ready. Get the quotes whichever way you like; through comparison sites, agents or directly. It is advisable that you mix it up a bit and include smaller, larger, local and national carriers. You should at least get five quotes in any case even though you may think you found the best price at first try.
  5. Do all the policies offer the same coverage?
    Find out if any of the quotes are offering extra provisions. Car insurers do offer extras at times to stand out in the crowded market place. Also, some policies may come with unexpected restrictions like limiting occasional drivers to anyone over the age of 25 or providing no coverage for travels abroad. Thirdly, you should look at the deductibles. Most people don’t realize that each policy may have different deductibles. Obviously, having higher deductibles makes a quote cheaper and that may be the only reason for a competitive price.
  6. What comes first; prices or companies?
    You should compare automobile insurance prices and then start looking at the sources. This saves time as you wouldn’t be wasting time finding a company that is way above budget. You can start looking into them when there are two or three great offers you believe acceptable.
  7. What are payment options and charges?
    This is particularly important when you need to pay by installments and quotes are close to each other. Most companies charge a small fee for monthly auto insurance payments but can be higher than usual too. And these charges can make a reasonable price less attractive when they are taken into account. Some motorists don’t even realize that they are charged for paying premiums in installment because some carriers include fees in their pricing.
  8. Should I eliminate some of the quotes?
    It is good to get many quotes and drop the most expensive and even the cheapest if; a) you know nothing about the provider, aa) It is much lower than the next one up in the list. What you should try to do is to pick around the average. For example, the line-up is $900, $1,300, $1,500, $1,600 and $2,200. You would have no problem dropping the $2,200 quote since you have 4 more with cheaper prices. You may want to drop the $900 quote as well, unless it proves to be solid. It is the odd one out and away from average. There is an extra comfort in seeing several vehicle insurance quotes lined up around a median like $1,500 in the above example. But of course, it is all up to personal choices and financial position, which can force a decision on you.
  9. Are five quotations enough?
    Sometimes, car insurance prices can be all over the place. You should get several more quotes and see where they are going to form a middle ground. When you go to the market, the first thing you should do is to go around and check prices. If you know apples are around $1 per lb, you would question when you see one for 50 cents. The aim would be not to pay $2 for the same apples when there are several vendors selling them for $1. The same logic applies to shopping for auto insurance.
  10. Are there last-minute discounts?
    It may come to you as a surprise but you can get discounts for the way you buy automobile insurance. You can get discounts for buying online, switching to a particular carrier, buying a few days earlier than the renewal date or paying the full premium at once. So, finally check for these discounts before completing a purchase.