Comparison shopping: Three easy steps

Written by Penny Gusner on January 29, 2014 & Posted in Auto Insurance

It's not a secret that the best way to save on car insurance is to comparison shop. However, to be able to shop around you need to compare "apples to apples" or else you'll never know which car insurance company is actually offering you the cheapest car insurance rates. To do this, follow these three easy steps:

Step One - Give the same, accurate personal information each and every time.

Car insurance companies each use their own formula to calculate car insurance quotes using the information you give them. This includes items like your ZIP code, age, driving record, and vehicle model being insured.

If you give incorrect information it could make the cheap car insurance rate quote disappear once the company verifies the information you've given and finds something amiss. If you give correct information each time you request a quote, you should receive correct auto insurance rates each time.

Step Two - Know what coverages and limits you want to purchase.

Getting your own personal information correct when comparison shopping for car insurance should be easy enough, but if you haven't determined what coverages and limits you want to place on your policy, you may end up making different choices on different forms, thus not comparing "apples to apples."

Before shopping, you need to determine what auto insurance coverages and limits best suit your needs. Remember the limit you choose is the maximum that the coverage it's associated with will pay out. Anything above your liability limits will become your responsibility, so choose higher limits if you can afford it.

When you know exactly what you want on your policy, you can start comparison shopping. Just make certain to stick with the same coverages and limits throughout the quoting process with each company so that it's easy to compare the quotes you receive and find the cheapest auto insurance provider.

Step Three - Know what deductibles you want to choose.

A deductible is the amount you pay out personally before certain car insurance benefits start up. Not all coverages come with deductibles; for instance, a policy with just liability coverages won't have deductibles associated with it.

However, if you add collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy to protect your vehicle, then a deductible for each coverage will need to be picked. As with coverage and limits, you need to choose the same deductible amounts when shopping for auto insurance or you won't truly be able to compare the quotes you receive to find the cheapest rates.

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