how to buy car insurance

If you are stopped by the police and you are not able to show proof of auto insurance coverage, you could incur serious fines.
This is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in; the higher the deductible, the lower the premium you’ll pay for this type of coverage.
J.D. Power and Associates also offers useful consumer reviews of auto insurance companies.
In much the same way that your credit rating determines what kind of interest rate you’ll get when you are applying for financing, your driving record will influence your insurance rate.
Things like the driver’s age, years of driving experience, what neighborhood the car is usually parked in overnight, the make and model of the car, what kind of safety features the car has, and whether or not you have antitheft devices installed―all of these variables will factor into the price you’ll pay for the particular level of coverage you choose.

An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your "risk factors," including some things that may seem unrelated to driving a car, including your occupation, who you are and how you live.
All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
A quick guide to car insuranceThese car insurance tips will show you how to understand your auto coverage and pick an insurer.
"5 Car Insurance Tips"  21 October 2005. < ;  18 October 2014.
How much you pay for auto insurance depends o n several factors, including your age and marital status, where you live, and what you drive.
In this article, we’ll give you all of the helpful tips you need when getting car insurance.
A handful of states require car owners to carry no-fault insurance, policies that pay out no matter which driver is at fault in an accident and limit your ability to sue other drivers.
Nearly every state requires car owners to carry auto insurance, and most states have required minimum values for different policies.
It’s relatively inexpensive in most states (something like $40 a year for $100,000 worth of coverage) and if you are in a collision with an uninsured driver, will help cover costs your health insurance won’t.
• Liability coverage – These policies help cover liability and expenses when you’re at fault in and accident.
These companies sell through local agents, but their agents are exclusive—a State Farm agent sells State Farm coverage and nothing else, so you’ll have to do your own comparison shopping.
• Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – This policy pays for the medical expenses of people injured in a crash in which you’re at fault.
Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Puerto Rico requires car owners to carry this protection, though the rules around how these policies work vary by state.
• Property Damage Liability – This policy pays for damage done to the other car if you’re at fault in an accident.
An insurer can charge less in premiums but cost you more overall by lowballing loss estimates, hassling the repair shop to cut corners, and forcing you to pay extra for the manufacturer’s replacement parts if you choose them over cheaper knockoffs.
Some insurers push policyholders to get their cars fixed at specified repair shops, which left our readers less satisfied, so that the companies can cut costs, often through use of cheaper aftermarket replacement parts.
A number of auto insurers have recommended or required use of aftermarket crash parts, which are often produced in overseas factories and can be significantly cheaper than the parts from original equipment manufacturers.
The Highway Loss Data Institute also posts data on collision, bodily injury and property-damage liability, and other types of losses by vehicle model at Or ask your insurer for premium quotes on the different models under consideration.
For some consumers, the recession has dragged down credit scores and their close cousins, credit-based insurance scores, which most insurers use to set auto premiums.
Your insurer might push you to use shops in a direct-repair program (DRP) or use cheaper replacement parts, rather than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.
But they’d find even lower rates at State Farm ($4,174), Safeco ($3,851), Geico ($2,993), and Esurance ($2,729), according to rate comparisons published by the California Department of Insurance.
Most states allow insurance scoring, so take steps to protect yourself: Regularly check and correct credit-reporting errors; avoid department-store credit cards, which can hurt your score; pay bills on time; and keep your credit balances low in relation to your credit limits.
If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an at-fault accident in years, if ever, opting for a higher deductible on collision might be a good bet.
But most consumers, 75 percent, haven’t shopped for auto insurance in the previous year, and of those who did, most researched only one or two companies, according to one recent insurance-industry survey.
And when the Certified Automotive Parts Association, which tests and certifies the quality of some aftermarket replacement parts (but not bumpers), tested a sample of aftermarket bumpers, it found "serious deficiencies" in metal hardness, material thickness, and fit.
"Insurers reward longevity, particularly loss-free longevity," says Bill Wilson, associate vice president for education and research at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
For example, a San Diego couple in their 40s with a 17-year-old male driver on their policy, no violations or accidents, and a multi-policy discount might jump at Hartford’s $4,943 annual premium if they were already paying $5,822 to Allstate.
Automakers have found alarming quality differences when they checked aftermarket parts that are sold cheaply to replace the typically more costly original manufacturer replacement parts.
That could result in rate increases, thanks to most carriers’ use of credit-based insurance scores in setting premiums.
Tests have found that some non-OEM parts fit poorly, are more prone to rust and corrosion, don’t always meet federal safety standards, and may not provide good protection in a crash.
In general, lower scores produce higher premiums, but the impact varies unpredictably because insurers use various rate-setting formulas.
If you’re paying thousands to your current insurance company because you have a couple tickets, an accident or an out-of-date and unfavorable credit rating, shopping your policy against others might be well worth the effort.
General recommendations for liability limits are $50,000 bodily injury liability for one person injured in an accident, $100,000 for all people injured in an accident and $25,000 property damage liability (usually expressed in insurance shorthand as 50/100/25).
If you go to an online site to get a quote for an insurance rate, you can type in your information and begin to build a list of companies for comparative quotes.
You will find a list of each state’s requirements and an explanation of the various types of insurance in "How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?" Also, check out "Little-Known but Important Car Insurance Issues," which has a glossary of basic insurance terminology.
To find the right auto insurance, start by figuring out the amount of coverage you need.
Insurance companies are in the risk business, and they know a policyholder’s likelihood of being in an accident, as well as how likely it is for a car to be damaged or stolen.
Read through your current policy or contact your auto insurance company to get the information you need.
Other companies, such as State Farm, sell insurance through local agents.) You can learn more about the various kinds of agents here.
Then you could buy comprehensive coverage and skip the collision insurance.
With the help of lawyer Guy Kornblum, Dreyer’s parents got their own insurer, State Farm, to pay out both the full $100,000 of uninsured motorist coverage on their auto policy and their $1 million in umbrella coverage.
The amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage you carry should match your auto policy’s primary liability limits–meaning the maximum amount your insurer will pay the other guy if you cause an accident.
Warning: Although uninsured motorist coverage was included in the Dreyers’ old umbrella policy, many insurers now either don’t offer it or charge extra for it.
While you can get healthy discounts for being a long-time customer and for having more than one policy with the same insurance company, it still pays to shop around once a year.
That’s right — having a red car doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver or that you’ll drive irresponsibly — and, contrary to a popular myth, it therefore has nothing to do with the price of your insurance.
Whether you just drove off the dealer’s lot in a shiny new vehicle or you’re puttering down the highway in an old clunker, you must protect yourself, others, and your two/three/four/eighteen-wheeled investment with auto insurance.
If you have an accident and you need a rental car, you’ll find that having some kind of coverage that gives you an allowance for a rental will long-term be cheaper than paying out the full price for a rental.
Cheap rates are important, but cheap means nothing if your policy won’t cover you if you’re in an accident, or the victim of a wayward grocery cart, or the target of a penny attack.
Due to a recent glass claim, I just learned that my auto insurance deductible is on a per claim basis, not a per plan year basis (like health insurance).
You probably purchased a personal policy, but if you’re constantly driving as a salesperson or a pizza delivery person, make sure your policy covers your work use of your vehicle.
Your insurance is there to protect you, but you could be in for higher rates if you file a claim every time a grocery cart rams your side panel.
In addition, this policy precludes any commercial use of any of CML’s published information in any form, or of the names of Consumers Union®, Consumer Media, Consumer Reports®, The Consumerist, or any other of CU or CML’s publications or services without CU or CML’s express written permission.
Many vehicles come with safety features and alarm systems that will lower your premiums (so don’t buy without talking to your insurance agent, and also read more about which cars are the most and least expensive to insure).
"Invest time to make sure you’re getting the best deal," says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
To make sure you still have proper coverage at the best price, Bowler recommends you obtain at least three or four quotes when your policy is up for renewal.
Stephanie Sheppard, spokesperson for Allstate Insurance, says many consumers believe that they can save money by increasing their deductibles.
Only about one-third of all policyholders obtained an auto insurance quote in the past 12 months, according to a recent J.D. Power and Associates survey.
Between legal requirements, optional coverage, deductible choices, and different coverage levels, it’s not always easy to figure out how to choose the best auto insurance policy.
Take a look at all of the auto insurance coverage options available from GEICO and how each one protects you.
Want to save even more? You’re in luck: GEICO has many car insurance discounts that can further lower your auto insurance costs.
No matter how you found us, you’re in the right place to get a fast, free, and accurate auto insurance quote online.
Take note of your auto insurance quote reference number that will appear on the top right when you save your quote then connect with a real person.
We will then ask you questions about possible auto insurance discounts you may qualify for that would reduce your insurance costs.
Once you purchase your auto insurance policy, you can sign up for instant, round-the-clock access to your policy.
Are you ready to save on your auto insurance? Go ahead, get a car insurance quote.
The Insurance Information Institute estimates the average car insurance rate in the United States is $789 per year.
But, car insurers take so many factors into consideration when pricing what is known as a "six-prong" policy, the price tag will vary not just from state to state but also from company to company.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, each of the 50 U.S. states have different laws concerning driving with no insurance.
Once you have settled on the terms of your car insurance policy, there are still opportunities to reduce costs.
While there are only a handful of nationally-recognized car insurance companies, A.M. Best, an industry credit rating firm, says there are about 450 insurers in the car business.
Progressive’s Name Your Price interactive tool allows users to visually and easily connect the dots between changes in policy price and the coverage they get.
Consider buying your car insurance from the same company as your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Those "prongs" are coverage for bodily injury liability; medical payments or personal injury protection; property damage liability; collision; comprehensive; and uninsured motorist.
You can sort through insurance company ratings at A.
You don’t have to have collision or comprehensive on a car, but you must have liability insurance.
SEHK intraday data is provided by SIX Financial Information and is at least 60-minutes delayed.
Car insurance policies are priced on six different coverage areas.
C., to operate a vehicle which is uninsured for liability insurance.
Intraday Data provided by SIX Financial Information and subject to terms of use.
The best way to find a cheap auto insurance policy is to compare quotes and services from companies.
Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations.
Nationwide makes it easy to find an insurance agent in your area to get a quote or simply ask questions.
Most insurance companies will give you a complete quote and the option to buy a cheap car insurance policy online in just a few minutes.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies.
Visit the Auto Insurance Resource Center where you’ll find a variety of tips and ideas to assist you with your insurance shopping and selection.
Just call 1-877-On Your Side® (1-877-669-6877) to get a quote or more information about our many different insurance products.
Nationwide’s online auto insurance quote tool is fast and easy to use.
When you receive your instant car insurance quote from Nationwide, you will get three options to choose from, making it easy to select a policy that’s right for you and your budget.
As you get your instant quote, Nationwide will help identify discounts on car insurance that might apply to your policy to save you money.
Whatever the reason, when you get an online insurance quote from Nationwide, you can tailor and purchase a car insurance policy instantly, and even print out your proof of insurance card.
Rate comparisons provided here are based on our Progressive Direct auto insurance price and product and Progressive Direct’s credit evaluation, and do not include prices and products available from Progressive agents.
Every state insurance department has personnel available to answer questions regarding auto insurance coverage and many departments publish premium comparisons to make shopping around easier.
Before signing an application for any insurance coverage, call you state insurance department and verify that the company and the agent are licensed to do business in your state.
In a no-fault state, coverages will vary, but under a no-fault system your insurance company pays you directly for your losses as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
The three basic coverages sold under the tort system are bodily injury liability insurance, property damage liability insurance and uninsured motorists coverage.
Discounts are awarded because the insurance company sees you as a “better risk.” Here are some discounts you should look for: multiple vehicles, driver education courses, good student, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, good driver/renewal, auto/home package and dividends.
Insurance companies underwrite to assess the risk associated with an applicant, group the applicant with other similar risks and decide if the company will accept the application.
Check with your state insurance department for questions concerning tort or no-fault state systems.
Once you have selected the insurance coverages you need and an insurance agent or company, there are steps you can take to make certain you get your money’s worth.
Under no-fault coverage insurance, each person’s own insurance company pays for his or her medical bills and lost wages — up to a certain dollar amount — regardless of who was at fault.
Comprehensive coverage pays for property damage to your vehicle resulting from anything other than a collision, such as theft, a break-in, or malicious mischief.
Normally, this type of coverage is limited to bodily injury and does not cover property damage to your vehicle.
The liability claim lets an injured driver get compensated for medical and income losses above what the PIP benefits have paid, as well as compensation for pain and suffering and other general damages.
Whether and when you can file a liability claim for further damages against the person at fault in your accident depends on the no-fault in your state.
All no-fault laws permit an injured driver to file a liability claim, and lawsuit if necessary, against another driver who was at fault in an accident.
Collision insurance pays for property damage to your own vehicle resulting from a collision.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage pays for your injuries if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver or by someone who does not have adequate insurance — either because they have no coverage or because they do not have enough coverage to pay for your injuries.
The advantage of no-fault insurance is prompt payment of medical bills and lost wages without any arguments about who caused the accident.
Make sure to check on what discounts may be available to you prior to buying auto insurance online 21st Century Insurance offers competitive discounts, including a discount for good students and buying a vehicle with safety features like airbags and Anti Lock Brakes (ABS).
Remember that 21st Century has representatives on hand to help with any questions or issues that may arise and provide you with an online auto insurance quote.
This is your auto insurance coverage ground level and you can work up to build a policy that perfectly fits your needs.