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Shopping for car insurance can be hard. You either have to comb the internet and navigate individual insurance websites hoping that the car insurance rates that you are quoted are what they will give you when you actually sign up. It’s hard to get an accurate car insurance comparison. I have had quite a history of cars and at times a driving record that was a bit questionable in my early twenties. It seemed that I was just hoping that I had the right policy with the right coverages from the right company.
I guess it all started with my first car, a ’76 Buick Riviera. It didn’t have a functioning air-conditioner or radio but who doesn’t love a battery-run boom-box in the backseat? I turtle-waxed the heck out of that weatherworn hood! But I was 16 and it was freedom! My friends and I called it the bat-mobile. It looked a little like this:
Car ownership was awesome! I had a $50 car payment of which my favorite aunt was the lien holder and I paid about $30 of my parent’s car insurance premium. My friends and I drove around town with no particular destination in mind-but it was amazing!
Fast-forward to age 18. I moved out, started college and this is when bills started rolling in. It was kind of crazy that it was this point in time that I started driving faster, and racked up a few expensive tickets. With those tickets came a sharp spike in my car insurance bill!
My insurance was as much as the car payment to begin with, but why not make challenges worthwhile, right? Soon I had an insurance policy that was 150% of my monthly car payment. Besides being smarter about driving, I wish I had know about shopping around for car insurance!
Fifteen years later things are much different. We have older cars, are in our thirties with a family and all of our tickets have thankfully dropped off our records!
I shop the sales, use coupons when I can and I shop around for the best deals. In the last few years I have read a lot about what to look for in car insurance and policies. You have to consider many questions and a lot of these are not black and white. Here are some I have thought about carefully before deciding on a company and an insurance policy:
- Is your deductible right for you? Don’t just stay with what you have always have had-consider your individual situation. Increasing the amount you will pay for fender-benders will decrease what you pay monthly. You will have to decide at which point this should even out. If you’re a relatively safe driver with a good record, you might want to save some money by opting for a higher deductible. If the threat of a larger deductible bothers you, you can put the money aside in case you have to offset the cost in the event of an accident.
- I have always been asked how many miles I drive yearly in each vehicle. I estimated, but I didn’t know what the numbers really meant to the insurance companies. What was considered a lot of miles? It turns out anything under 7,500 miles is considered low, and 13,000 is a medium amount. My husband works from home so our smaller car doesn’t get many annual miles-last year it was just 5,000. But our SUV for taxiing kids spent 11,000 miles on the road. Twice as much. Make sure you update these numbers if your situations change, such as taking a job closer to home.
- A little lesson in car insurance talk: Comprehensive coverage pays for the repair or replacement of damage not caused in an accident, and collision coverage covers damages incurred in a car wreck. If you took a car loan, you are required to have both. Once you pay your car off, consider what coverage you will really want. We don’t owe on our cars (granted they are 10 & 11 years old!) but I am not a risk taker. It is worth it to me to have both-I don’t want to worry about vandalism, storms-we get A LOT of hail in our area for some reason-or even theft.
Check out the diagram below that gives you an overview. Keep in mind that there may be different options available in your state.
I recently went to Autoinsurance.com to review car insurance options that were available to us in our current situation. I typed in both my and my husband’s information and a few questions about our driving records and insurance history. Keep in mind that currently only Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi have full functionality on Autoinsurance.com.
What is Autoinsurance.com? It’s an independently operated website where you can search, compare and purchase auto insurance directly through the website or by phone with one of their licensed agents. You can change your coverage and see how adjusting these numbers impact what you pay. The information is accurate, up-to-date and the final price you will pay. You can just look and compare if you want to-there is no obligation to purchase. Currently, you can compare rates from up to six top national carriers: Progressive, Travelers, Esurance, 21st Century, The General and Safeco.
Within five minutes they were calculating our Quote Results. It would have been even faster if I had used the website’s functionality to retrieve my current auto insurance policy info instead of typing it in manually.
They gave me quotes from FIVE companies with the same coverages that I had now. I didn’t have to go to the websites of each insurance company and duplicate all of my information which would be time consuming and just plain frustrating. And as it turns out, two of the five had LOWER premiums than what we currently were paying! I don’t want to even think about how much we could have saved after ten years with the same company!
I’m so glad that I spent just five minutes to #Compare2Win in car insurance. Thank you #CollectiveBias for letting me know about what Autoinsurance.com has to offer!
I was compensated for promotion of this site on the Sippy Cup Mom blog. But as always, all opinions are honest and my own.