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Shopping around for car insurance is not the most thrilling activity but it is required in order to have a car on the road. So you might as well look for the most competitive rates available.

Speaking of saving money, the reality is many consumers end up paying far more than they need to because they simply haven’t taken the time to compare rates and policies with other auto insurance companies.  Just as you wouldn’t walk into an appliance store and decide to spend $200 more on a washer that has the same features and benefits as a lower priced washer, you shouldn’t overpay on auto insurance.

If you’re new to shopping for insurance, there are a few things you should know. First, a car insurance estimate will include collision, liability and comprehensive coverage on a vehicle.  Most households have two or more vehicles and every car should be included when seeking out a car insurance estimate.

Once you’re ready to go on the hunt, keep in mind that there are state requirements as far as minimum coverage.   Finding state minimum coverage might be better online and without an agent because it’s in their interest to upsell you.

Then it’s time to have all the documentation in order, such as driver’s license, vehicle identification numbers, make, model and year of each car and even the name and contact information for the company that is financing all vehicles if applicable.

There are also a number of factors that can be taken into consideration that might save you money in the end. For example, a clean record on the current policy for a certain period of time, having your homeowner’s coverage with the same insurer, taking a defensive driving course, having an accident free driving record, and having an approved anti-theft device will reduce your auto insurance rates.

The type of car matters too. You’ll want to avoid cars that have a high-class rating. Rates are based on the risk of accident, the cost to repair, higher theft rates and replacement costs such as with a new vehicle. So before buying a new car, you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t fall in a category that increases your rates too much.
Safe drivers can find rewards in the form of premium discounts. No accidents or traffic violations will get you the most substantial discount because the risk of an incident is lower.

Finally, if the car is old and not very valuable, comprehensive insurance is probably not worth the investment, as it can quickly add up to more than you’d ever receive in the event of an accident.  You can save up to 20% by eliminating collision insurance, but be aware of the potential consequences if you get in a wreck.
In general, you’ll want to do your homework to ensure you’re getting the best rate. On the bright side, the Internet Age has information available at your fingertips so you can compare your current plan with others. A little research can end up saving you big money!

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