Auto insurance is a fact of life; many states require vehicle owners to carry a minimal amount of liability insurance in order to protect the other drivers on the road.
When looking for auto insurance, one of the first things you will need to do is shop around for a quote. There are three common ways in which to obtain an auto insurance quote.
- Visit a local agency. Agents work as representatives for larger insurance carriers. An agent is the face of the company and usually can be located through the Yellow Pages or local advertisements. To get a quote through a local agency, contact the agency by phone and set up an appointment for a time in which you can sit down with the agency staff and review your auto insurance needs.
- Through the Internet. Almost all insurance carriers now offer quotes directly through their websites. Direct your browser to some of the larger carrier websites and click on the link for "get a quote." You will be asked to provide some information on the type of vehicle you are insuring as well as the vehicle operator. Some carriers will provide you a quote instantly, others will refer your information on to a local agent who will then contact you with a quote.
- Over the telephone. The third common option for obtaining a quote for auto insurance is to call the insurance carrier over the phone. Companies like Geico and 21st Century have set up large call centers that will take your information and provide you with a quote instantly over the phone.
After obtaining the quotes for auto insurance, you will need to review the coverages that are being offered for each quote to make sure that you are comparing similar products. Some companies will offer services like roadside assistance, towing, rental reimbursement coverage and medical payment coverage. Be sure to note what services are included, as well as what limits of insurance are being provided within the quote.
Finally, be sure to review the limits of coverage when considering which carrier's quote to choose. Most auto insurance policies will provide coverage for your vehicle at "actual cash value," which is defined as the current value of your car after taking into account depreciation. Limits of insurance will come into play when considering the above noted services as well as your liability coverage. Liability coverage is the amount of coverage you have for property damage or bodily injury that you or the driver of your car causes to a third party.
After reviewing your quotes and looking at the differences among policies, you can now make an informed decision on your auto insurance policy.