Like most things in life, a one size fits all policy doesnâ€™t exist when buying car insurance. State minimums are a good place to start but those often donâ€™t provide enough coverage to protect you and your family. Depending on your carâ€™s make, year and model, a car insurance policy containing full collision coverage and all the bells and whistles may be too much. So how do you go about buying car insurance that offers the right amount of coverage at the best value? The key — talking openly with your insurance agent.
Tip #1: Shop Early
The best time to shop for a new car insurance policy is before your current policy expires, when a new driver is coming on board, or when you purchase a new vehicle. You can typically get a discount if shopping before your current policy expires. Start looking 30 days ahead of your policyâ€™s expiration to ensure you have everything lined up in time. Likewise, different carriers provide better rates for new drivers and certain luxury car brands. If you have a new driver in the house or purchase a new vehicle, a SelectQuote agent can shop a full network of carriers to find a policy that meets your needs at the best price available.
Tip #2: Be Prepared
When buying car insurance, follow the Boy Scout motto and be prepared. Before you jump on the phone with your agent, have your old/current car insurance policy, driverâ€™s license and VIN number on hand. Your SelectQuote agent will ask you a series of questions before searching their database of 18-20 A-rated insurance carriers to find the best policy for your needs.
Basic Information Needed for a Car Insurance Quote
Your agent will need to know:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Driverâ€™s license number
- Vehicle VIN
- Driving record
- Requested coverages
Tip #3: Ask Smart Questions
You can also ask your SelectQuote agent questions to ensure they have all the needed information to find the best policy for you.
Questions to Ask When Talking to Your Car Insurance Agent
- Are my coverages up-to-date? What should I modify or change?
- Do I have enough coverage to protect me and my family?
- What add-ons are available? How much will it cost to add on rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance and other add-ons that can help me should I have an accident?
- What discounts are available for multiple cars and drivers insured through the same carrier?
- Do I qualify for any discounts if I bundle my home and auto insurance?
- Are discounts available for lower mileage and how do I qualify?
- What accident forgiveness options are available? (If needed)
Be upfront with your agent and provide all of the needed information. Having an open and honest conversation about your needs and driving history will allow your agent to find the best car insurance quote for you. The entire process will last around 10-15 minutes.
Tip #4: Avoid The Biggest Pitfall of Buying Car Insurance
Sue Callis, a regional coaching manager for SelectQuote, warns the biggest mistake people make when purchasing a car insurance policy it comparing their rates to their neighborâ€™s. Your rates are based on your vehicleâ€™s year, make and model, as well as your personal insurance score. Your insurance score takes into account many factors, including your insurance carrier and how long theyâ€™ve insured you, your driving record and your credit. Therefore, your neighbor could be the same age and drive the same car as you, but qualify for a different insurance rate.
In the end, finding the right insurance carrier and policy comes down to a mix of coverage, value and experience. Look for a car insurance carrier who not only provides the best rates and coverages but provides professional, A-rated service. You only use your insurance when you have a claim. And itâ€™s at those times when you most need someone who is responsive, compassionate and quick to help. Your SelectQuote agent will help you discover the best car insurance policy to ensure you are not under or over insured, but that your policy is just right. Start your free car insurance quote today and see how you can save.