When you’re considering replacing a car or adding a new one to your family, it’s important to shop around for great deals. It’s just as important to make sure you have great, affordable car insurance.
Make insurance part of the car buying process. Don’t wait until after you’ve picked a car to start shopping.
Gathering information for an insurance quote
Before you even head to the dealership, talk to an insurance agent or independent broker and let them know that you plan to go shopping for a car. You’ll need to provide them with some basic information so that, once you have a few vehicles to compare, they can get you a quote within the next day.
“When we’re starting a quote for our customers, we need to know the drivers on the policy, their dates of birth, address and the amount of coverage that they want,” says Robert Nichols of Nichols of Robert Nichols Insurance Group. “Then, once they have the vehicle information, we can run the quote for them.”
Narrow it down to two or three cars you’d like to consider. Then, submit that information to your insurance agent.
Comparing insurance of different car models and companies
Many factors for certain vehicles make them more or less expensive to insure, including standard safety features. Certain models of cars may be more or less expensive to insure just based on the zip code you live in, as well as the gender and age of the driver. Plus, certain models may not be able to be insured by certain companies.
“Rates will not only vary between different types of vehicles with an insurance carrier but even more with different carriers,” says John Espenschied of Insurance Brokers Group. “We have clients that have high-end vehicles like Maserati in addition to their regular daily drivers, but some carriers may not even accept those type of vehicle risks.”
Choosing the right coverage levels
Each state will have different laws about how much insurance and what types of insurance you need for your car. Check with a knowledgeable insurance agent who will be well-informed of what your state requires.
Read about the various types of car insurance and how they affect your rate so that you can better understand the coverage that best works for you.
Getting auto insurance discounts
When comparing car models, as well as insurance companies, it’s important to understand the discounts available to you. Different companies offer different discounts. Shop around various insurance companies to see which options best fit your lifestyle.
“There are many discounts on auto insurance policies,” says Nichols. “Getting advance quoting, about 7 or 8 days in advance of the effective coverage date, can lower your rate, as can defensive driving discounts if you are over 55 and take the course, as well as being a good student. Many companies also use a plug into your car’s computer and offer a discount based on your driving habits.”
Insurance agents can’t read your mind. The best will ask you questions to find applicable discounts. It also helps to reveal any information that might help you get the discounts you’re eligible for.
Other factors for your new car that can affect insurance
When purchasing your car, think about add-ons that would lower your insurance rate. Security features like Lo-Jack or a security system can often pay for themselves by lowering your insurance rate. The dealer can usually install these before you drive the car off the lot.
Think about where and how you will be storing your car on a daily basis. The more secure your car is, the more likely it is for you to reduce your car insurance.
“Some carriers also give a ‘NEW’ car discount, which is when you’re still parking the car far away from other vehicles and treating it like it’s worth a million bucks,” says Espenschied. “The discount diminishes over time as do your protectiveness and parking habits.”
Give your old insurance company notice
Once you know which car you want to buy and have your new insurance lined up, it’s important to inform your old insurance company – if you are switching insurance carriers – of the switch. Many companies may require a month’s notice to prevent a policy automatically renewing, so understand your current policy terms before you begin your car hunt.
Getting started with new car auto insurance
When you’re ready to buy a new car for your household, look at your current policy documents. Understand what you’re currently spending, how much coverage you have, what discounts you currently receive, and when your policy is set to expire.
Then, head to our auto insurance reviews page to compare several car insurance companies to get the best quote.