Money Matters

5 things to do before picking your new car insurance policy

Written by

Jonathan McFadden


March 15, 2019

Let’s say you run into another car. The driver of the other vehicle is hurt. You’re stranded on the side of the road. Smoke is billowing from your engine.

What do you do?

A) Flee the scene(this is never the right answer)

B) Call your car insurance company to file a claim(this is the right answer)

C) Cry(this is also acceptable as long as you still do “B”)

In situations like these, car insurance can be a money saver and stress reliever if you have a decent enough policy. Oftentimes, though, people latch onto the first insurance company they find after buying a car only to discover that their coverage leaves them with more costs than protection.

If you’re in the market for new auto insurance, here are five things you should do before picking another policy.

Figure out what coverage you need

Not all insurance companies are built the same. Some offer perks and features; others don’t. Some are better for drivers with expensive sports cars; others are better for people who need a way to and from work.

You’ll need to figure out what kind of coverage best suits your needs. Do you want a broad policy or a flexible one? Do you need full coverage or just liability? Do you need emergency roadside service, or do you feel safe without it?

Consider your driving history

Your driving history plays a huge role in determining how much you’ll pay for your coverage. If you’ve had a series of traffic accidents or tickets in the past, chances are, you’ll pay more for insurance than someone with a pristine driving record. If you’re an accident-prone driver, you may want to foot the costs of more expensive insurance to ensure you have enough coverage, just in case.

Compare the costs

Auto insurance isn’t free. Your annual premium for coverage will get divvied into installments you pay each month. A cheap policy may not overburden your bank account, but it could hit you with heavy out-of-pocket costs if you’re in an accident. Still, you don’t want to pay for more insurance than you need.

Compare auto quotes to avoid overpaying or getting underinsured. Shop around at different providers and see what they offer. Our partners at Quote Wizard have made shopping and comparing insurance rates easy and quick. Save time and money by using their marketplace to compare insurance carriers side-by-side and choose the one best for your situation. Start shopping here.

Look for discounts

If you already have renters, home or life insurance, you may be able to add your car insurance onto a policy with that same company. Some companies offer 10 or 15 percent off your premium for bundling, while others offer discounts for safe drivers, drivers who haven’t filed many claims or drivers with a good credit history.

Check the licensing 

You should only buy insurance from a carrier licensed to do business in your state. Go to your state’s insurance commissioner or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to find licensed companies in your area. The NAIC also lets you read complaints about companies.

If you find an insurance company you like, check how the it handles claims and customer service. J.D. Power’s overall customer satisfaction ranking is a good resource that will give you insight on how a specific company interacts with its customers.

There’s more

Want more tips on how to find the best company to provide your auto insurance? Check out this article at Quote Wizard for tons more info.