Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 2, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Comparing auto insurance quotes online save time and money
  • It is your responsibility to pay for bodily injury and property damage for others if an accident was your fault
  • Liability coverage is the minimum requirement in most states

Online insurance quotes are terrific! In the past, consumers have had to call several different agents, companies, as well as view all types of reports and advice.

Now it is possible to log on to one site, enter your information, and get a selection of quotations for insurance to fit your needs.

Here is some information that you will need before requesting that online insurance quote.

Enter your zip code into the FREE comparison tool above now and find affordable quotes now!

Why comparison-shop for car insurance?

Who doesn’t want to save money on necessities like car insurance?

The following reasons are some of the most common:

  • Cost – depending on your needs, auto insurance can be a substantial part of your budget
  • Variables – cost and coverage can vary among insurance companies
  • Insurance company performance – service and accessibility for claims

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Basics of Insurance Coverage

Understanding the language used in insurance policies helps. Since the 1970s insurance companies have been clarifying policies, but most people do not read their insurance policies.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Liability coverage – your responsibility for paying for bodily injury and property damage for others if an accident was your fault. Be cautious when choosing your coverage because you can personally be responsible for anything that your insurance policy does not pay. Failure to carry enough coverage can also mean that you will be responsible for a portion of your own attorney’s fees. In our litigious society, this is important to remember.
  • Physical damage – pays for the damages to your own vehicle and property. This is usually required by the bank or lender that helped you buy the car. If you have an older car that is paid for, you can skip this coverage. Remember, though, that a new windshield can cost $300. to $500. or more depending upon the car. Then, physical damage can pay for the cost of running into a deer or large animal and totaling your car. As deer become more comfortable with humans, this becomes more important.
  • Medical payments – pays for injury to you and your passengers in the unhappy event that your medical insurance will not pay for your injuries.
  • Uninsured Motorists coverage – just what it says. It pays for you and your passengers when someone without insurance causes an accident involving your car.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Legal Aspects of Automobile Insurance and State Laws

Automobile insurance is required in almost all 50 states. Each state has different legal requirements for coverage set either by their legislature or the Commissioner of Insurance for that state.

For that reason, you must purchase car insurance from a company licensed to do business in your particular state.

Insurance coverage purchased in one state can follow you to another state as long as you are not moving to the new state permanently.

Exceptions to this are Canada, Mexico, and other countries. Check with your insurance company if you are leaving the United States.

Specific penalties may apply for failing to have insurance.

Among these penalties are:

  • Fines
  • Problems with obtaining car registration as well as drivers’ licenses
  • Personal financial responsibility in the event of an accident.

Variables That Affect the Cost of Car Insurance

Several factors can be used to determine the costs of auto insurance:

  • Limits of Liability – remember this is your legal responsibility for others if you cause an accident. State limits vary, but you should carefully assess your possibility of loss should the worst scenario occur. Protect yourself and your family from possible lawsuits.
  • Uninsured Motorists Coverage – an option in many states. Consider how likely you are to have someone without insurance cause you bodily injury and plan accordingly.
  • Value and age of your vehicle – This can affect the cost of physical damage to your own property. Cars vary. For example, some vehicles cost more to repair than others. Consider, too, requesting a higher deductible to cut premium costs.
  • Driver or drivers, their ages, and driving records – Insurance companies check and they charge more for people with poor driving records. Young drivers pay more for insurance because, even though their reflexes are better, their experience and judgment have not developed yet.
  • Credit rating – didn’t expect this one, did you? Research tells that people with poorer credit ratings tend to submit more claims than others. Insurance companies investigate these and a really poor credit rating can cause higher premiums or outright refusal to offer insurance.
  • Homeownership status – Sometimes insurance companies can combine homeowners insurance with automobile insurance to allow a substantial discount.

Information to Have Available Before Requesting an Automobile Insurance Quote

Full names, dates of birth, and drivers’ license numbers for all drivers.

  • Details of any traffic citations or accidents for all drivers, including the amounts paid on your behalf for accidents.
  • Name, Model, and Vehicle Identification Number for all of your cars.
  • Requested limits of liability and deductibles for each vehicle.
  • Additional coverage such as Uninsured Motorists coverage

Shop for insurance just as you would shop for a new refrigerator, a car, or any other purchase. Take into consideration the variables and ask questions not only of your neighbors and family, but also consumer information websites that can inform you about insurance.

Examine costs and coverage, and then make determinations based upon your needs as well as those of your family.

Once you have narrowed your choices down to one or two companies, check their reputations in the insurance industry. An excellent source for financial stability ratings in the insurance industry is A. M. Best Company.

If an agent is available, call one that represents your chosen company and ask questions. Some insurance companies do not have agents and issue their policies without them.

Remember, though, that agents and companies want to sell their own brand of insurance, unlike consumer comparison websites.

Enter your zip code into the FREE tool located below to find and compare auto insurance quotes!

References:

  1. https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto/coverage-options/liability-coverage
  2. https://www.healthcare.gov/
  3. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/uninsured-and-underinsured-coverage
  4. http://www.naic.org/
  5. https://www.progressive.com/auto/
  6. https://www.nationwide.com/cheap-car-insurance-young-drivers.jsp
  7. https://www.progressive.com/homeowners/
  8. http://www.ambest.com