If you watch television, you are sure to see many commercials from auto insurance companies. All of them have the same common theme: they can save you the most money on your policy. This leads to the million dollar question. Which company actually offers the best rates? The only way to answer is to do your homework. Fortunately for you, I am going to provide a “cheat sheet” below.
Before I get into great detail, let me provide a bit of background information. For years, I was insured through Allstate. They offered great customer service as well as a local agent who I grew to trust. That being said, at the end of 2009 I began to strongly consider making a change. This was driven by one thing and one thing only: saving money.
Below are the steps I took to not only save on auto insurance, but to also receive better coverage:
1. I studied my policy to determine what I liked, what I disliked, how much I was paying, and what needed to change. You won’t be able to buy a better policy if you don’t know what you have right now.
2. I used the internet to obtain five to seven auto insurance quotes. There are two ways you can do this:
- Visit the individual site of every auto insurance company. The main benefit of this is that you can learn about the finer details of each provider, while also becoming more comfortable with what you are being offered.
- Fill out one form on a third party site to receive several quotes. This is a great way to save time, but you may feel a bit of “disconnect” at first. In other words, when you start, you are not dealing direct with the insurance company. To make up for this lack of personal attention, rely on a trusted source such as 2Insure4Less.com or InsuranceQuotes.com.
3. I compared and considered each and every policy. Although I knew that some policies were not for me, I still gave them strong consideration. Comparing auto insurance quotes is a long process. If you take your time and move methodically through the task, you will end up with several policies that could work for you.
4. I made my decision based on two factors: cost and coverage. As noted above, I really wanted to save money on my auto insurance policy. Even though this was my main motivation, I knew that I couldn’t afford to settle for less coverage. This is the most important step in the process, but it’s one that should not stump you. It is very easy to see which policies you can afford and which ones are out of your league.
So, which company did I end up buying from? In the end, I found that Geico offered the best deal. In addition to saving $50 per month, I was able to receive the same coverage that Allstate was offering plus a little bit more (rental car coverage). In my eyes, the only thing I gave up was a local agent. While this was a bit of a change, I still don’t see it as that big of a deal.
If you want to save on auto insurance, follow the steps above. Do you have anything else to add? Is there anything I could have done better?
(photo credit: colros)