Saturday, December 20, 2008

How long has it been since you checked at your car insurance policy?

When it comes to auto insurance, most people fit into one of two categories, either you are currently in the market to buy a new or used vehicle or you current have a vehicle and have no plans of trading it in or getting rid of it.

First, for those of you who are planning on buying a new or used vehicle, most consumers will research that perfect vehicle in their price range online or in an automotive magazine by reading several crash test results, test drives, professional opinions, owners of the same vehicle’s comments, and more that could take several months, however in most cases, not too many consumers will take even a 1/4 of the time to research their auto insurance, does 30 minutes buying a auto insurance policy sound right to you?

Did you know that the make and model of your vehicle has a big factor in what your auto insurance premium will be (ex: PT Cruiser is less to insurance than a 4x4 or a sports car) and a consumer should do this all before they even visit a dealership lot or buys a car privately, when a consumer goes to buy a new or used vehicle, the consumer should not only have researched, but bought auto insurance for their next vehicle already.

Second, at this point, you must be reading this article and thinking I’m not even in the market for a new or used vehicle, so how does this even relate to me? Well, what most consumers don’t know is that they don’t have to be in the market of buying a new or used car to make changes on their current auto insurance policy or even change their agent or auto insurance companies. It really doesn’t take all that much time to save a little bit of money now a days by going online and researching just what consumers can save (depending upon if you are locked in a contract or not, most consumers are not locked in to a contract and can change at any time, however be sure to read your auto insurance policy first.)

This especially holds true if you are a Massachusetts resident as the state has decided to less regulate the car insurance rates this past April (2008), which ultimately gives Massachusetts residents more options when it comes to what companies residents can buy car insurance with and if you are a Massachusetts resident, you should start by visiting Mass.gov, click on Compare auto insurance rates, they have a full website setup which includes the agents they can go through or buy direct from which companies.

So where should you start (providing you live in the United States), the first website address should be your state’s official website, ex: Massachusetts is Mass.gov, Connecticut is CT.gov, California is Ca.gov, and etc., if you don’t know what yours is, go to your favorite search engine like Google.com and Yahoo.com and search for your state’s official website.

Next, once at your states website, see what tools they have to help you including what companies you can purchase auto insurance with (ex: for Massachusetts residents and some other states have this interesting regulations in place, some companies don’t business in Massachusetts and those few states) either directly from the company or through an agent and keep in mind that auto insurance requirements vary from state to state, then visit the insurance company websites themselves.

One of the best ways to research cheaper auto insurance is to visit a couple of independent sites looking for Free Car Insurance Quotes, again, this is where a good search engine is useful.

In researching, you need to keep in mind, for example, what coverage you are looking for, from your liability coverage, to the comprehensive and collision insurance coverage, uninsured motorist insurance and more, plus your make and model plays a big role here including the engine size.

The next item will be, what is your deductable: $250, $500 which is common and $1000 and then there is others factors as well including discounts. Discounts like airbags, car alarm, and do you have AAA, that will save a little bit.

Once you have your quotes, the next step is to take all of the researched information and the free quotes with numerous auto insurance companies and pick the best one that makes sense for you, if you are going through an agent, check there. And if you know anyone who has done this, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Just remember, finding affordable car insurance doesn't mean giving up the best coverage to lower your premium, however, you might just be surprised at what you can save.