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UPDATED: Mar 2, 2020
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Three fast and easy places to find car insurance rates online are individual insurance websites, government and independent websites, and third party quote sites. In the past, people would often find car insurance through their local neighborhood insurance offices.
Today, drivers are looking to save time, and one of the most convenient ways to do so is by researching online.
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Because car insurance is a requirement for most drivers, it is not a question of whether to have car insurance but where to get your insurance policy from.
There are multiple sources on the Internet to help guide you in finding the right insurance provider for your driving needs. The internet also helps with many of the insurance questions that you may have.
Websites of Individual Insurance Companies
One place to find a car insurance policy is the website for a particular insurance company. Most car insurance companies have websites, and there are many services offered through them. Companies such as Progressive, State Farm, Geico, and Allstate offer full service on their websites.
Full service means that pretty much anything you need can be initially handled online.
You can research the different policies offered and get an online rate quote.
You can also apply for a policy directly online and report a claim through their online claims processing area. Most websites even offer you the opportunity to have a live online chat with a representative when questions arise.
If you like the convenience of finding car insurance online but also like a more personal touch, it is possible to have both. Some insurance companies only deal with customers online, but others also have agents available. Go with a company that also has private offices in your area.
This way you can see your agent when you like while also enjoying the online services available when it is more convenient.
Government and Independent Sites
Another option that can help you find car insurance is searching independent and government websites. These are good sources to help you learn more about the insurance industry and terms related to insurance.
Some sites, such as JD Power and Associates, help when you are unsure of which insurance company to choose.
It rates car insurance companies according to specific categories. This helps you to make a decision easier and find a company that focuses on what is important to you.
There are multiple sites about insurance that are not related directly to any particular insurance company. These are government sites that help protect you as a consumer.
The Insurance Information Institute is a great source to help you understand the basics of insurance.
It not only explains the basic policies, but also provides articles about how to save money, purchase car rental insurance, determine your car insurance rates, and more.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners deals with insurance regulation. It helps protect the interests of the public. It can also direct you to your particular insurance department, which is a good resource when you have particular questions about insurance in your state.
The Insurance Research Council has been around since 1977 and is a nonprofit, independent organization that focuses on research. It is another resource to tap into when you want to understand more about insurance.
The site publishes research relating to insurance topics as well as surveys taken from the public.
These surveys can affect you as the policyholder as well as insurance companies themselves.
Get Multiple Rate Quotes with Third Party Quote Sites
The fastest way to get insurance rates online is through third party quote sites, such as this one. These sites take your information and give you quotes from more than one provider.
It may take about 20 minutes to answer all of the questions, but once you have done it, you don’t have to do it again.
If you go to individual insurance websites, you will have to fill out the information every single time.
No matter what source you use to get car insurance rate quotes, you will need to provide the same information.
The data needed to get you insurance quotes covers all of the categories that are used to determine your risk level. You will need to provide details about your vehicle such as the model and year.
You will include what you use it for and how many miles you drive every year.
You will be asked more personal questions as well, such as what your driving history is and what your credit history is like. Make sure you answer all of the questions as honestly as possible.
At some sites, your quotes will be delivered instantly. With others, you will be contacted by a representative. This will allow you to find out more information about each provider to help make your decision.
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Car Insurance Basics
Before you start any search for car insurance, you should understand the basics of car insurance.
Insurance terms can be complicated, and you will be much better off if you understand what types of coverage you should get rather than deciding blindly. Your insurance needs will also change depending on the stage of life you are in.
There are six basic types of insurance coverage from which to choose, and some companies will offer additional options.
Each state has laid out individual requirements regarding the coverage necessary for each driver to carry. This would dictate what the minimum amount of coverage is that you need to purchase.
To find out what you need in your state, contact the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Most states will say that you need to carry liability insurance, which usually includes liability for both property damage and bodily injury. Other types of coverage include:
- medical payments
- uninsured coverage
The Insurance Information Institute outlines the meaning of each type.
Along with understanding the different types of coverage, you also need to understand deductibles and liability limits. A deductible refers to the amount of money that you need to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance carrier starts to cover damages.
If money is a factor, you will need to weigh what is important, whether it is to have a high deductible and lower monthly rate or vice versa.
A liability limit is the maximum amount that the insurance provider is responsible for. Once that has been reached, you have to pay the rest. The higher the limit, the more you will pay for your insurance policy.
Research Your Car Insurance Options
Once you have found a couple of car insurance companies that may fit your needs, it is imperative that you research each one.
If you randomly choose a company or choose one based off the rate quote only, you may end up regretting your decision. It is better to make the right decision the first time around.
One thing you can do is contact the insurance department in your state and find out a little more about the companies you are researching. Not every insurance company is licensed to sell insurance in every state, so make sure that the one you like is able to service your area.
The department will also have information about any complaints against the providers and other pertinent information.
You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to see if the company you are considering comes highly recommended. The more information you have about an insurance company, the better.
It is okay to not choose the first company that gives you a quote. In fact, it is better to be selective and have standards when it comes to who insures your vehicle.
Along with making sure there aren’t any complaints against the company, there are things you should look out for.
You don’t want to choose a car insurance company that does not have enough money to cover claims or is financially unstable. To find a provider with a good financial record, visit a site such as Standard and Poor’s or AM Best. You will see financial ratings as well as outlooks for the future.
Although the Internet is a great resource and is a fast and easy way to find car insurance, talking to other drivers is always a good idea as well. Speak with your coworkers, family, and friends and see who they use for their insurance needs and if they are satisfied with the coverage.
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