After you buy a car the first step you have to take is to get car insurance. It can be difficult to know what you are looking into when getting insurance, especially if this is your first time buying it. You need to know how much you are going to pay for car insurance and how to get a cheap car insurance company for the insurance that you need. You will also need to learn what kind of insurance you should get.
In order to understand the answers to all the questions you may be asking yourself you should first look at the factors that car insurance companies look for in their ideal customer. In the end it will be the insurance company that decides how much you will pay for a premium and even whether they will insure you or not.
There are several different factors that a cheap car insurance company will look at when someone applies for an insurance policy. Believe it or not gender is one of the factors. Females tend to have lower payments due to the history of driving records. Women over time have been proven to be less likely to speed or drive drunk. The tendencies conclude that over all women are more careful drivers than men, so normally they pay lower premiums.
Age will also come into play when applying for auto insurance. People aged 40 to 50 are determined to be the safest drivers. It is believed that this age group has fully matured compared to younger drivers and also they are more capable physically than those that are older. This age group tends to benefit from the lowest insurance rates.
Perhaps the most important factor that insurance companies consider is the person’s driving record. If you have accidents and tickets on your license it is going to be difficult for you to find low insurance premiums. If your record is clean you will definitely benefit from lower rates.
The car that you are trying to insure will also come into play. Older vehicles usually come with a cheaper rate than newer models. Newer models do tend to get discounts because they are equipped with safety and anti-theft devices. It might be wise to equip your vehicle with these features in order to save money on your insurance.
Understanding what a cheap car insurance company is looking for is the first step in learning how to obtain cheaper auto insurance. If you understand these concepts you should be able to look for insurance quotes easily.
Top Questions to Ask a Car Insurance Company
Every driver needs auto insurance and there are literally hundreds of companies who offer car insurance policies so how do you as a consumer know which one to choose?
The answer is not easy since every consumer will have different needs – from policy coverage to customer service requirements – however there are certain steps every vehicle owner should take to help narrow the field of potential insurance companies.
The very first step is to find auto insurance providers in your state which can easily be done online using a zip code search or by contacting your states Department of Insurance regulation for a list of licensed car insurance providers. Once you understand who can write a policy then you will want to research:
Insurance Company Rating
Is the potential insurance agency rated by such firms as J.D. Powers and Associates – if so, is the rating satisfactory? How about the better business bureau for your state? Its certainly worth the time to call and see if any serious complaints were filed. Auto insurance is a regulated industry so its pretty easy to find information on a companies reputation however remember – the good clients never complain so even companies with lower than quality ratings can sometimes be good also.
This is a great feature of the internet – allowing consumers to directly engage in commentary and discussion about service providers and car insurance is no different. Do a Google search for “Insurance Company Name + reviews” obviously inserting a potential car insurance companies name in lieu of the generic insurance company name in the quotes above. You may be surprised to see how many people like to review service providers online.
Strangely enough car dealerships are a great source for learning how good a particular car insurance company could be at paying claims – contact your car dealership (where you do the work) and ask a few people in the service department about their dealings with the company.
Multiple Product Discounts
Car insurance is most likely not your only insurance policy so see if any discounts are available for having multiple policies with the same company. Many consumers find great savings in having multiple insurance policies with the same agent.
One of the other factors is financial stability but in all honesty this is pretty much out of a consumers control. We all know from the recent Wall Street fall that even the best capitalized firms on paper can disappear overnight so although its worth checking into the financial situation of a potential insurer if you don’t understand what accounts payable, notes, bonds, deferred income and many other terms which are listed on the financial statements of a company then its probably better to focus on customer service, claims handling, policy coverage and the smaller details from insurance companies who seem to be as trustworthy as they can in this dark age of the financial world.
Alan Dunn is a serial entrepreneur, licensed mortgage broker and publisher of various consumer education websites, including a site with tips on how to save money, a destination for drivers to get cheap car insurance quotes and a really cool car loan calculator.