How to Compare Auto Insurance Policies

Woman looking at computer comparing auto insurance quotes

If you’re in the market for a car insurance policy, your first step is probably going to be to compare auto insurance online. Technology has simplified much of our lives, of course including car insurance comparison. As you’re looking, though, it’s easy to get confused. There are lots of choices out there, and finding the best car insurance for you is about more than comparing a bunch of car insurance quotes. So before you begin price shopping, there are a few other important things to consider.

Know What You Need

The first step, before you even begin your search, is to determine just what you need. Know how much and what type of coverage you need, as well as how much of a deductible you can afford, so that you can be sure you aren’t comparing policies that aren’t adequate for your needs.  Make a mental note of any circumstance that could affect your car insurance premium, such as recent accidents or teenage drivers in your household, as this will be important as you are getting quotes.

Compare Apples to Apples

Now that you know what you’re looking for, you can start getting auto insurance quotes. Comparison of prices is only useful if you’re comparing similar policies, so be sure that the deductibles, coverage amounts, and types of coverage are the same or very close so you can make a reasonable judgement.

As you get those quotes, you might notice a broad range in prices and it’s tempting to start eliminating the most expensive ones from your decision. Don’t do that yet, though. There are factors that might be more important than price.

Compare Companies, Too

There are a lot of car insurance companies out there, and some are better than others, so the most affordable auto insurance might not be the best choice. A good place to start is your state’s department of insurance website, where you can find complaints issued against a company. From there you can also obtain a list of car insurance companies doing business in your state. With your list of providers of car insurance, compare their financial ratings with A.M. Best. Strong financial ratings are a good indication that a company can pay its claims.

Another place to look is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website, where you can compare the complaint ratios of the companies you’re considering. Complaint ratios show the number of complaints compared with the amount of premium the company generates; since larger companies will naturally receive more complaints, this ratio corrects for that so that your comparison makes sense. Also look at the types of complaints, and make note of a company that has a very high percentage of complaints in one specific area – if this is significantly different from other companies, it could indicate a problem in that area. The most important areas for most people are how well claims are handled and how likely claims are to be paid.

Now that you’ve compared companies, eliminate any that you know you don’t want to do business with. You should now have quotes from a few companies that you feel good about, for the same coverage from each company. With that information in hand, you’re prepared to make a good decision and get the policy that’s a great match for your needs and your budget.

Cost-U-Less makes it easy to compare auto insurance quotes from multiple companies at once. Request a free car insurance quote by entering your information in the form at the top of the page or by calling us at 800-390-4071. We’ll help you find the best auto insurance coverage at the lowest possible rates – and it all takes less than three minutes.