Auto insurance quotes vary between companies and depend on your car, your driving habits, and several other factors, so it’s best to gather your driving information and obtain car insurance quotes from several insurance companies before deciding on an insurance policy. Also keep in mind that auto insurance policies may be eligible for discounts, depending on your driving habits and what each insurance company offers.

What You Need

States set their own minimum insurance coverage requirements, which usually include minimum coverage for bodily injury liability per person, bodily injury liability per accident, and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability provides coverage for the claims of other parties involved in an auto accident for which you are responsible. Property damage liability will cover damages to another party’s property in an auto accident for which you are at fault. A basic auto insurance policy may also provide comprehensive coverage to reimburse you for damages like fire, falling objects, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, flood, vandalism, or theft, and will also provide reimbursement for damages to your windshield.

Some states may also require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to reimburse you or other individuals on your policy and your family members if you are hit by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. If an underinsured motorist causes damage or injury, underinsured motorist cover will cover the difference between what the underinsured motorist can pay and what damages still need to be covered. Depending on your car, your driving habits, and the area around which you frequently drive, you may want to consider additional optional coverages that auto insurance companies offer. Additional coverage may include mechanical breakdown coverage for mechanical repairs and additional coverage for cooling, steering, fuel system, and electrical repairs, and roadside assistance. You may also want to consider buying coverage above the state minimums.

Comparing Quotes

Auto insurance companies determine your auto insurance quote by comparing several factors to determine your risk to losses covered in an auto insurance policy, according to Liberty Mutual. These factors include the coverage that you request, your vehicle make and model, where you live, where you store your vehicle, where you drive, and how frequently you drive, your driving record, who else will be covered on your policy, the deductibles on your policy, any discounts that may be applied to your policy, and your credit score.

It is important when comparing quotes to provide the same information to every company to ensure consistency in your report and to determine which company offers the best coverage at the most reasonable price. Companies also vary in the types of discounts they offer. Companies may provide discounts for maintaining a good driving record, for installing anti-theft and safety devices, for maintaining a good credit score, and/or for low mileage.

Insurance Companies

You should first check that the auto insurance companies you are considering are financially stable, state-licensed insurance companies only, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Four independent agencies rate the financial strength of insurance companies — A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, and state insurance departments usually list which companies are licensed within that state. Your state may also provide information about basic policy costs provided by licensed companies. Also check the reputation of your insurance company, and the company’s quality of service. Remember that there are several insurance companies offering a variety of coverages, discounts, and services, so shop around for the auto insurance company that best fits you. This may change in the future as well, so it’s important to review your auto insurance policy and what auto insurance policies are being offered annually.