How do I compare car insurance?

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Liability only is required as a minimum in 49 of the state auto insurance laws with New Hampshire being the exception
  • Drivers under the age of 25 are considered high risk
  • Your driving history can affect your monthly premiums

The information that follows will help you decide on what type of auto insurance you need. You will also learn how to best compare rates between the many auto insurance companies that exist.

Finally, you will be given resources to help evaluate the customer service of your prospective insurers.

Start your search for the best auto insurance rates by entering your zip code above!

What coverage do I need?


Before you start shopping, you may first want to decide what the best coverage options for you and your family will be.

This depends greatly on the number of drivers in your household, the number of vehicles and the age of the drivers.

Liability only is required as a minimum in 49 of the state auto insurance laws, with New Hampshire is the exception.

Some state laws require more and if you have a lien chances are collision and comprehensive are must-haves.

An independent insurance agent is usually a good place to start in this situation. They are experienced in working with consumers to find the best coverage for each individual situation.

Independent insurance agents also work with several insurance carriers. Their goal is to find you the best rate, rather than selling a designated product for a designated price.

The insurance agent will determine where you can save money and what coverage options you need.

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How do I compare auto insurance rates?

When comparing rates, you will want to make sure that the comparisons are equal.

The standard insurance package quotes that one agent gives may vary. You will want to ensure that the coverage is similar between quotes.

Don’t be afraid to ask an agent for advice on what coverage you need. Remember, you should be checking with several agents to find the best quote.

If you are considered a high-risk driver, you may want to look at an insurance company that specializes in non-standard auto insurance.

High risk is primarily determined by your age and driving history.

When drivers are under the age of 25, this is deemed high risk by the insurance companies. If you have drivers in your household that are under 25, you may want to look for alternative options if the quotes you are receiving seem too high.

Driving history will generally go back three years. If you have no violations in the last three years, you should be deemed as a safe driver by the insurance companies.

If you have several violations, you may benefit from looking at non-standard auto insurance.

These companies specialize in offering more affordable insurance to drivers who are considered high risk.

How do I compare customer service?


You can do an online search for an insurance company or agency to find auto insurance company reviews. You will want to see if there are any negative reviews and what they say.

If there are several reviews stating that the company is not covering what they should be, that is an indication that this is not the best company to go forward with.

The Better Business Bureau is another place to check to see if the agency has had frequent unresolved complaints.

You should check out the following things:

  • Payment options – This depends on your preferences and what is important to you. Some companies offer various payment arrangements including lump sum, quarterly or monthly
  • Electronic and online options – You may even save money by having them deduct the money automatically from your bank account. Others will have the option to go directly to the website and pay with an electronic check or a credit card. If you intend to make your bill payments online, check to see if there is a fee involved
  • Easy access – Another important aspect of customer service is having access to a representative when you need one. Some carriers offer around the clock service online or over the telephone. This gives you the convenient option to file your auto insurance claim online or call a toll-free number for assistance at any time of the day

Anything else I should look for?

You do want to make sure that your insurer is financially strong enough to pay your claims.

Check the AM Best rating system to check on the company’s financial strength. An independent insurance agency may not always be listed under this rating system, but it is always worth checking out.

If the agency is not listed on AM Best, the insurance carrier that you end up going with should be listed.

Compare a slew of free auto insurance quotes by entering your zip code below!

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