When shopping for auto insurance:
Compare prices from different carriers. Make sure the plans have similar coverage limits.
Ask an insurer to pull your drivers license report. You might be surprised what's on the report, Some DMVs now suspend you license if your paperwork comes back undeliverable.
Don't waste time on ratings. Can you name any property and casualty (auto insurance) companies that haven't paid claims because of financial instability?
Compare options. They are many different types of coverage. I will tell you now that huge deductibles, collision only and bare bones coverage is not the way to go unless you can barely afford insurance coverage at all.
Own a low risk car. This may not be practical now, but when it comes time to trade in or buy a new vehicle, research the annual insurance cost for the different models you like. Insurance premiums are higher for models that are expensive to repair and/or are frequently stolen.
Make sure you are getting all the discounts you are entitled to. These can be surprising, like "good student" and "safe occupation."
Consider skipping "accident forgiveness coverage" since many carriers offer that now for free.
Review state insurance department complaint ratios, which compares the number of valid complaints with the companies’ share of policies in your state. Remember that in larger claims, where a claimant would contact an attorney before filing their issue with their state department of insurance, might not show in complaint ratios.
Get liability coverage and drop comprehensive and collision (which only protect the vehicle) if your car is worth less than $2000 - $5000.
Call the claim line. Do you have to leave a message or page an adjuster? Do they give you hours of operation? Most major carriers have 24 hour claims service.
Use your intuition. Your gut feeling will tell you which carrier has your best interest in mind.
Why use our advice when purchasing your auto insurance?
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Comparison of the actual numbers with similar policy limits.
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