When it comes to our cars, we all want to save money. This is not only true of the car purchase, but also the car insurance needed for it once we drive it off the lot. But sometimes by saving money, we end up cutting corners that can cost us more in the long run. This is where car insurance comparison sites come into play. I have found that they can be a great resource when it comes to getting new car insurance, or negotiating with your current company for a better rate.
But, before we get to the comparison sites, I want to talk about the items you should be comparing across the board to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. After all, not all insurance products are created the same.
Car Insurance features
No matter which company you end up going with, they should all offer some of the same features. Although, most of us consider these basic features today, they are really extras that don’t have to be offered. These include:
Comprehensive insurance covers anything that happens to your car non-collision related, such as:
- Break-in or vandalism
- Damage from an animal striking your car
- Fire or explosion
- Natural disasters
- Shattered or cracked windshield or window
- Things falling onto your car
Collision coverage covers the repair of your car when you have been in a collision. If the car is considered a total loss, then they will cover the cost to replace your vehicle at current market value.
Roadside assistance and towing
Roadside assistance is not something that every insurance carrier offers in their basic plans, but they should. What it usually covers is:
- Fixing a tire
- Gas delivered to your car if you run out, but you usually have to pay for the gas
- Jumping your battery
- Locked out of your vehicle
- Stuck in the snow or ice
- Towing to a service station
Rental car insurance
Rental car insurance is an another one that is not always offered in a basic plan, but certainly should be Usually it will cover:
- The cost of a daily rental car while your car is being fixed due to a car accident
Bodily injury insurance
Bodily injury insurance is generally used in accidents that you are deemed at fault for to pay for:
Property damage insurance
Property damage covers somebody else’s property that you have damaged in an accident you are deemed at fault for. Some of the most common items are:
- Hitting a parked car
- Running into your neighbor’s house
- Sliding into a neighbor’s mailbox
Uninsured motorist coverage
This coverage is extremely useful when you find yourself in an accident with someone who is either underinsured or uninsured. Your uninsured motorist coverage will pick up the slack and cover the remaining costs for injuries or damage to you and your car.
Medical expense insurance
Medical expense insurance is an extra buffer built into your car insurance plan to assist with health related issues occurring from a car accident. It helps to pay for things like:
- Doctor visits
- Funeral costs
- Hospital stays
Personal injury protection insurance is used to help people, other than yourself, who might have been injured in an accident.It covers things like:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of services
- Lost wages
- Medical treatment
GAP insurance is for drivers who have purchased new cars. It helps to pay the difference between what the new car is now worth and what a replacement vehicle of the exact same year, make and model would cost.
Now that you have a better idea as to what you should be comparing, the best way to do that is through the use of comparison sites.
I like to use a few of them, just to see if I find a difference in rates. Which does actually happen! A lot of times this is due to the fact that most of them give you a general ballpark quote, but you have to go through the final sign up process to get the final rate.
These types of sites include:
But, there are other sites that will give you cold hard facts, if you are willing to put in a bit more information. A couple of these are actually through the insurance company offering the car insurance and the other two aren’t the actual car insurance carriers.
These sites are:
To be honest, I usually start with the general ballpark quote sites just to get a broader idea of what I am looking at. And that way I don’t have to put in a ton of information, or risk getting phone calls from a lot of different agents and companies.
Once I have a better idea as to which companies might be able to offer me the best rates, for the best features, I dig in deeper.
best Car insurance rates summary
Overall, if you want to get the best car insurance rates, you are going to have to be willing to do a little work. Do your general comparison shopping first to narrow down companies of interest. Then, check into their offered features in their basic plans to see how they compare. Next, dig into the sites with real quotes, or go to the actual car insurance carriers website itself to get a real time quote.
If you are happy with your current carrier though, this may just be an exercise to help you reduce your rate or get better features added to your policy for no more money. Either way, what do you have to lose if it saves you money and can potentially get you more features? This is a win-win in my book!
What are some of the most effective ways you have found to get the best rates on car insurance?