Car insurance premiums are on the rise. This has been largely due to reasons such as an increase in accidents and fraud.
These are factors that are outside of a driver’s control. However, you stand to make substantial savings by comparing car insurance quotes.
When looking for a car insurance company, how do you know which one is the best for you? Most people often look at the price to determine their decision.
Nonetheless, there are other factors that you need to consider when getting into such a contract.
This will involve comparing their individual strengths and weaknesses and creating a scorecard, to allow you to find the best fit.
This article is a guide to comparing car insurance companies. But if you are in a hurry, here is a quick and dirty trick of landing the best deal.
Comparing Car Insurance Companies
Choosing an auto insurance company that is the best fit for you will depend on your specific needs. To help you do that, consider the following:
1. Know Your Insurance Basics
Before you get into looking for an insurance company, you first need to determine your exact auto insurance needs. This will involve:
Determining the Kind of coverage you need
Insurance policies will differ in the level of coverage they offer. As such, you need to decide which type of coverage is best for you.
If you drive every day, reside in a busy city, and typically park on a high traffic street, you might need to get yourself a comprehensive policy.
Conversely, if you do not drive often, park in your garage, or live in a rural area, then a comprehensive insurance package might not be for you.
Choosing the most appropriate level of coverage is more important than going for the cheapest insurance policy you can find. This is because a cheap package may not compensate you as would be necessary in the event of an accident.
Choosing your deductible
An insurance deductible refers to the amount you need to pay before your insurance provider can start covering the damage costs.
For example, if you have a deductible of $1000, and your vehicle sustains damages amounting to $700, you will pay for all the damages.
However, if you get into an accident resulting in $2000 worth of damages, you will pay $1000 from your pocket while the insurer pays for the rest.
Nonetheless, different insurance packages have different deductibles. The rule of thumb, however, is that lower deductibles typically attract higher monthly premiums while higher deductibles have lower premiums.
As such, you will need to consider your vehicle’s condition, your likelihood to get into an accident, and the amount of cash you have saved up when choosing your deductible.
Making a rough estimate of what you should be paying
You should have a rough estimate of what you are going to pay before meeting the insurance provider.
If you have an older or used vehicle, then you might want to go for minimum coverage. New cars, however, require full protection meaning you will have to pay more.
2. Make a List of Reputable Insurance Companies
There are a lot of auto insurers out there, with each claiming to have the best offerings. To be sure you are making the right choice, you will need to have a wide sample size to choose from.
This means making a list consisting of various insurance providers. Have at least ten reputable providers in that list. The idea is to have a good number to work with, not too high yet not too low.
Consider enlisting the services of an insurance comparison website to help you with this step. The Insurance Bureau of Canada is also a good resource as it contains information that is tailored for your region.
3. Determine the Best Fit for You
After making your list, now get into making comparisons. This will involve:
The company you want to work with must have a stellar reputation at settling complains. As such, you will have to do your research online and read consumer reviews about the company.
Check out the period that the company usually takes to process and pay off claims. You may also have a look at your province’s insurance website to learn more about the insurer you are interested in.
Another way of doing this is by talking to local body shops and ask for their recommendations. You could also get insights from friends and family.
Check for complaints
A good way of determining an auto insurer’s worth is by checking for their complaint ratio. In your province’s insurance website, they typically list the customer complaint ratio.
This refers to the number of complaints received versus those that have been settled. A higher ratio is a red flag.
Contact the company’s representatives
A good company is sensitive about its brand. As such, reliable companies are likely to have excellent customer service.
Before engaging any company, gauge them on the following factors:
• Is the representative lively and personable or are they grumpy and rude?
• Is the agent answering all your questions with depth or are they rushing over things?
• Do they respond to you in time after they promise to check on something?
If you notice signs of aloofness, lukewarmness or unwillingness to help, do not wait for another signal to know that they are not right for you.
4. Compare Costs
Ask the different companies you are looking into for quotes. Comparing these quotes will give you the best chance for getting good rates. While at it, also look into:
Begin your comparison by looking at the basic auto insurance price that they have quoted on their website.
Compare liability coverage
Look to see the level of coverage that an insurer is providing relative to the overall amount you will pay in insurance premiums every year. This figure usually varies a lot between different policies.
Ask whether they offer accident forgiveness
If you get into an accident, there are insurers that will hike your rate considerably. Therefore, ensure that you ask their representative about the effects that an accident(s) will have on your policy.
If an insurance company raises its rates significantly following an accident, rule them out.
5. Finding the Best Fit
By now, you should have narrowed down to a few companies. Do the following to get the best fit:
Check out the different car insurance policies offered by a company
You already have a good idea of what kind of policy you need. Ask whether they offer that policy or not.
Moreover, look into the different types of claims that a particular company entertains. For example, you might decide that you do not need collision coverage since your vehicle is old and can be replaced cheaply.
Yet, you do need personal injury since you cannot afford to stay without a salary.
If your car is unusual, for example, a vintage, see whether a company has a policy that can cover it.
Consider combining all your insurance policies
Combining all your different insurance policies is generally a good idea. For example, if you have home insurance, then ask that provider whether you will get a discount if you purchase your auto insurance from them.
Also, if you work for an organization, inquire whether they can connect you to an insurance company that will get you better rates.
If you have a good record with your current auto insurer, check with them and ask whether you can get a discount when you renew.
The benefit of this is that you will not only stand to lower your premiums significantly but will also save you the stress of having to change companies.
Look for discounts
Most car insurance providers will give some type of discount. For example, good drivers, senior citizens, and people who get all their insurance policies under one roof typically get some type of discount.
Sometimes, car insurance companies do not advertise these discounts. This is why it is important to inquire from each company about all the types of discounts they offer as they give you your quote.
Some providers require that you complete a defensive drive course so they can give you a discount.
Now that you have everything you need to know, chances are there is a particular company you are interested in. If so, it is now time to get the best deal out of them.
Use the quotes and discounts you have been offered by other companies as negotiating tools. Do not be afraid of letting them know that you will not accept their offering unless they lower their rates.
This guide to getting cheap car insurance should help you in those efforts.
When Should You Compare Insurers?
Because car insurance companies are constantly changing their offerings, it is a good idea to compare rates every time you are about to renew your policy.
Doing this will ensure that you do not get stuck in a particular plan while you could be getting a better deal.
Are you looking for the best deal possible for your car insurance? Insurdinary allows you to compare quotes from different insurers to help you get the best offer. Contact us today to learn more about our services.