How can I find affordable car insurance rates?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2016

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Insurance is mandatory in 47 states, and you want to find the most affordable prices possible
  • There are many different sources to find reasonable prices on auto insurance premiums
  • There are also various discounts available on car insurance if you ask the right questions
  • Always research several insurance providers before settling on one to buy a policy from

Car insurance is a fact of life if you own a car. Make sure you do your homework to find the best prices for your auto insurance coverage.

To start off with, enter your ZIP code in our comparison tool above to receive FREE car insurance quotes.

Sources for Auto Insurance Rate Quotes

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There are many places you can go to get car insurance premium rate quotes. When you are comparing quotes, you should compare at least three different companies and the following:

  • Same type of insurance
  • Same level of insurance
  • Same deductible amount

Insurance Companies – One place you can always get car insurance rate quotes is directly from the insurance company. You can either call an insurance company or you can go to their website.

On car insurance company websites, you will find information regarding the different types of insurance products they offer. You will also find out information about their corporate structure.

Independent Insurance Brokers – Another source for car insurance rate quotes is independent insurance brokers.

Usually independent brokers represent several different insurance companies and they are able to provide you with rate quotes and help you determine your insurance needs.

Insurance brokers may also offer suggestions for ways to bring your rates down lower.

Insurance Comparison Websites – Insurance comparison websites can provide you with car insurance rate quotes from numerous companies at the same time.

Many comparison websites note preferred providers, but they also contract with insurance agents and companies to provide rate quotes.

Lowering Auto Insurance Costs


Even with quotes from several auto insurance companies, you may find that you want to lower your rates even further. There are a number of ways to accomplish this goal if you know the right questions to ask.

  1. Discounts – Most auto insurance companies offer discounts if you ask about them. Common discounts include good student, good driver, senior drivers and driving school discounts. Other discounts may be available for safety equipment and anti-theft equipment.
  2. Multiple Cars – If you own several cars, you may be able to get lower rates if you insure them under one auto insurance policy. Most insurance companies will also offer you discounts if you insure all your vehicles in addition to your primary car.
  3. Multiple Policies – Another common way to lower your auto insurance premium rate is to purchase other types of insurance in addition to car insurance. If you purchase several different types of insurance such as home or life, you will usually receive lowered rates on all policies.
  4. Higher Deductibles – You can also lower your auto insurance premium rates if you increase your deductible amount. Higher deductibles mean that the insurance company will be paying less for any claims and insurance companies lower your rates as a result.
  5. Necessary Insurance  You can also lower your car insurance premium costs by only carrying insurance that you absolutely need. If your car is declared a total loss, you will only be paid for the value of the car at the time of the loss, which is usually lower than Blue Book value.
  6. Premium Payments – Many insurance companies provide discounts or lower rates if you pay your premium in full, if you pay your premium quarterly rather than monthly, and if you use an automatic bank account payments or electronic withdrawal.

Researching Auto Insurance Companies

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When you are buying car insurance, you should consider more than getting the lowest rate possible.

Even if you are paying discount rates, it will not help you if you are in an accident and file a claim, only to find out that the insurance company has bad customer service or is in poor financial health and fails to pay claims.

  • Financial Health – Insurance companies in strong financial health have strong financial reserves and excellent ratings by A.M. Best. These companies are independent organizations that monitor and report on the financial standings financial institutions.
  • Consumer Complaints – Insurance companies with high numbers of consumer complaints may be having financial difficulties or other problems. You can find complaints from your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs website or from the Better Business Bureau.
  • Consumer Satisfaction – Consumer satisfaction encompasses customer service, claims processing, premium rates and overall consumer perceptions. JD Powers and Associates reviews auto insurance companies on a regular basis and publish reports on their website.

If you are in the market for auto insurance, you should definitely compare rates to find the best premium rates possible.

However, you should also evaluate a potential company’s financial health and consumer satisfaction levels before making your final purchasing choice.

Enter your ZIP code below for FREE car insurance quotes now!

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