How to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes

You should compare car insurance quotes regularly to find the cheapest insurance rates possible. Learn how to compare car insurance quotes now with our online tool below.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2020

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

Advertiser Disclosure: 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.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...
  • Before you even look at rates, you should take the time to compare insurance companies to narrow your list of reputable carriers
  • When you’re comparing car insurance companies, take a look at their financial rating, their complaint index, their claims ratings and their product offerings
  • Be sure that you have your current declaration’s page and all of your up-to-date information to retrieve accurate car insurance quotes as quickly as possible
  • Experts recommend that you start with apples-to-apples quotes and then adjust the coverage options as desired so that you can do a true rate comparison
  • Browse over coverage limits, deductibles, and other policy details to see if any changes make sense


Insurance companies aren’t in business to insure every single driver who hits the road. Instead, companies that have survived in the cutthroat insurance industry have found a way to develop their rates to target a specific segment of the market.

For vehicle owners, it’s important to identify which market segment they fall into and which insurance company targets that segment with low rates. One of the most effective ways to do this is to comparison shop.

If you’re tired of paying too much for the insurance that you purchased years ago, it’s time to compare car insurance quotes. Surprisingly, according to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, 75 percent of consumers haven’t shopped for car insurance quotes in the last year.

Those that did only actually compared the rates between two different companies.

Learn about the car insurance marketplace and how to compare products so that you’re equipped with everything that you need to easily find low-cost premiums.

Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

What are the different segments of the car insurance market?

There are all kinds of different auto insurance buyers. Each of these buyers has their own preference and their own individual needs when it comes to selecting a brand and a product.

Before you really dive in and begin to compare insurance companies, you should try to place yourself into a segment of the market.

Identifying which segment you belong to will help you determine what you value most in a carrier so that you can match yourself to not just a rate but also a company.

Companies must realize the risks and rewards of doing business in each segment before targeting a market and developing a marketing plan.

Here are the nine auto insurance buyer segments in order of the highest propensity to shop to the lowest:

  • Active Shoppers –Price conscious consumers who actively conduct research but won’t reduce coverage for savings
  • Low-price Experts –Buyers who solely base their decision on the cost of the policy. Often switch companies and will reduce coverage if it’ll save them money
  • Self-Servicers –Prefer convenience and most often use channels where they can compare multiple rates at once
  • Price-conscious Advice Hunters –Value advice but also want to find low-cost coverage through a stronger brand
  • High-touch Protection Seekers –Seek out tailored products through local agents. Would like the convenience and are willing to pay more for protection that meets all of their needs
  • Affinity-oriented Brand Buyer –Want a strong brand and rarely switches carriers once policy starts
  • Independent Agent Seekers– Would like to do business with a broker representing more than one carrier. They appreciate advice and aren’t price sensitive
  • Uninvolved –Are indifferent to auto insurance and don’t shop around
  • Branded Agent Loyalists– Would like a policy with a recognized insurer that has local offices. Will stay with their company for 10+ years

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Comparing the Top Premium Writers in the Market

Being a top-selling insurance company doesn’t mean that the company is automatically a good fit for you.

Once you’ve fit yourself in a very specific box, you’ll be able to find a company that meets your needs.

You’ve probably already been able to cross some providers off of your list based on your needs and your preferences, but the list will still be very long.

How to Narrow Down your List of Options

To narrow down your still long list, you’ll need to do some thorough research. When you’re buying financial protection, the protection that you receive is only as good as the company you’re buying it through.

Since the product is nothing more than a promise until you need to use it, it’s important that you feel safe and secure with the consumer decision that you make.

Here are some items that should be on your checklist as you do research and compare carriers:

  • Financial Stability –If a company can’t pay their bills and the claims filed against the policies that it sells, you should look elsewhere. One way you can see how financially sound a company is is to access ratings through independent rating agencies. These companies look at financial records, credit worthiness, and other trends to determine if a company is secure or vulnerable. One of the most reliable agencies is A.M Best
  • Licensing and Complaint Index –State law says that you must buy auto insurance from a company that’s licensed in the state. You should check the licensing status and look for consistent complaints filed through the department to avoid the bad apples.

Gathering All of the Documentation That You Need

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After you have at least 3 to 5 insurers to get quotes from, you will be ready to officially look at coverage and price. Before you sit down to price shop, be sure you have your most up-to-date declaration’s page.

This will help you really see the breakdowns to see where your policy is competitive and where it might not be reasonable.

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Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Get an Apples-to-Apples Quote

You’ll hear it time and time again. Insurance agents who have your best interests in mind will always tell you to get an apples-to-apples quote. Don’t change coverage until you see where each policy stacks up. After you’ve done this, here are some tips to consider when you’re adjusting the quotes:

  • If you have state minimum liability limits, consider raising these to protect your home, assets, and wages
  • Ask yourself if you still need full coverage when you’re car is paid off
  • If the value of your car isn’t high, determine if you could pay for replacement out of pocket
  • If you have medical insurance decide if medical payments is needed
  • Price the cost of higher or lower deductibles
  • Update usage and mileage if you’ve moved or changed jobs
  • Look for driver safety training and student discounts

You can contact each insurer directly or obtain a handful of quotes all at once. If you’d prefer the latter, use an online rate comparison tool and enjoy convenience and cost savings.

Plug in all of the information on your current insurance documents and go a step further to see what different coverages and limits will cost you. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to start comparing car insurance rates now!

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

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