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Best Auto Insurance Companies: How to Get the Best Insurance Rates

Updated on January 18, 2013
The best auto insurance companies don't always have the best insurance rates.
The best auto insurance companies don't always have the best insurance rates. | Source

Finding the Best Deal in Car Insurance Rates Doesn't Have to be Difficult

There are so many car insurance companies hawking their services on television, radio and on the web, it's hard to tell which one has the best rates, deductibles, customer service and overall coverage options. Should you really buy insurance from a talking gecko or other similar type of computer generated celebrity?

Advertising and marketing has made it real easy for auto insurance companies to appear like the are the best or one of the best auto insurance companies out there. Sure the gecko is cute but where is he when that uninsured deadbeat rams your brand new car and then drives away.

You could be fighting with the very auto insurance company that claimed they would be there for you in the hard times. Suddenly that gecko isn't so cute and lovable anymore.

I don't men to pick on the little gecko and the auto insurance company he represents. There are many other mascots and celebrity hawkers out there touting the savings and advantages of their own particular car insurance.

It seems they are all the "best" and will save you the most money. Well, that just can't be true.

So how do you find out which are the best auto insurance companies and ultimately get the best deal on your own car insurance? Read on...

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You should know exactly how much insurance you need before you start searching fora rates with any of the best auto  insurance companies.
You should know exactly how much insurance you need before you start searching fora rates with any of the best auto insurance companies. | Source

First, Determine How Much Auto Insurance You Need

This is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of auto insurance. Fact is, most people are either underinsured or overinsured.

With hard economic times here, most folks are looking to get by on the least amount of auto insurance in order to save money. The problem with carrying minimal coverage is that you may be exposing you or your family to a severe financial crisis.

If you, or your family member is found to be at fault in an accident and your minimum liability auto insurance does not cover all of the other driver's medical expenses, you could lose everything you own.

You may not want to leave the amount and type of insurance up to an auto insurance company that may out a priority on profits over your particular insurance needs.

Of course, you don't want to unnecessarily spend money on auto insurance coverage that you will never need or use. For example, if you're driving a car that is 10 years old and worth just a few thousand dollars, carrying full coverage collision or comprehensive auto insurance is not necessary. In this case, it's just going to cost too much.

Experts in the auto insurance industry recommend a minimum liability 100/300 insurance policy. That simply means $100,000 coverage for one person and $300,000 for all person injured in an auto accident.

Edmunds.com has an article that addresses this very subject here. Before purchasing any auto insurance policy, be sure to do your homework. If you don't want to do the work, you may wish to consult with a trusted insurance specialist to help determine your specific insurance rates and coverages.

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Get a Rough Idea of Typical Auto Insurance Rates

Before you decide on which insurance company is best for you, check out the website of your local state insurance department. Most websites like this will show the hypothetical insurance rates from various insurance companies for different types of customers.

For example, one website may provide hypothetical information on what it might cost to cover a 35-year-old married female with a few tickets and accidents or a 21-year-old single male with a clean driving record.

You can link to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website and find links to the insurance departments in every state.

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Determine What Car Insurance Coverage is Best for Your Situation

What happens if you or a member of your family is hit by an uninsured motorist? If he doesn't have auto insurance, and you're not carrying full coverage then you're stuck with the repair bill for your car.

If you own vehicles that are older and not worth much, this may not be a problem, however, newer cars can be quite expensive to repair.

Most folks just don't have any idea what auto insurance coverage they have until they are in an accident.
Most folks just don't have any idea what auto insurance coverage they have until they are in an accident. | Source

Experts say that if your car is worth less than 10 times the amount of your collision or comprehensive auto insurance rates, you should probably buy a liability insurance policy.

For example, if your yearly collision premium is about $500 (USD), and your vehicle is only worth $2,000, is it worth keeping the collision insurance? If you can afford to replace the vehicle in case of a total loss, then liability auto insurance may be a better value.

This coverage pays for any damage or injury you may cause to another driver but does not pay anything to repair or replace your vehicle. If liability coverage is all you need, you will pay far less for your auto insurance.

If you drive a newer car or if you're financing a car, you will be required by the lender to carry comprehensive or full coverage auto insurance. This type of insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle in case of accident. theft or other damages like those caused by a hailstorm.

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All the big auto insurance companies claim they are working for you - I say make 'em do all the work and pit them one against the other.
All the big auto insurance companies claim they are working for you - I say make 'em do all the work and pit them one against the other. | Source

Make Auto Insurance Companies Work for Your Business

It really does pay to shop around for the best deal when it comes to getting the best auto insurance rates. During a recent search for his own auto insurance, an Edmunds.com writer was quoted rates ranging as much as $800 from one policy to the next.

Auto insurance quotes can vary wildly depending upon the type of coverage needed, the driver's record, region of the country and various other factors. They all claim to be the best auto insurance agencies working for you. It's time to make them live up to that claim.

Start by going out to websites like NetQuote.com or Insure.com and get some quotes form several of the best auto insurance companies. Get quotes from one company and tell another company what insurance rates were quoted. Make them work for you.

A word of warning here - some of these websites may not be affiliated with the same big name auto insurance company appearing on the website so you may need to visit the official company website to get the best quote. In any case, be sure to read all the fine print. You could also work with an independent insurance agent to help you find the best rates.

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The best auto insurance companies will typically be able to provide the best rates, service and coverage options, although you may find some smaller companies that also offer great deals.
The best auto insurance companies will typically be able to provide the best rates, service and coverage options, although you may find some smaller companies that also offer great deals. | Source

The Bottom Line on the Best Auto Insurance Companies

These big insurance companies spend billions of dollars each year to make you believe they are one of the best auto insurance companies with the best rates, service and coverage options.

Truth is, you have to do some research and find out for yourself. Cheaper rates could mean terrible service when you really need it, however, there are some good companies out there who offer some great auto insurance.

Take a look at consumer surveys, lawsuit reports, financial fitness reports, consumer complaints and information compiled by your state insurance commission.

Get online and take a look at The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. Take a look at this article at U.S. News & World Report to get some good information on finding out some basics about auto insurance.

This article at the Insurance.com website reveals several ways to compare auto insurance companies. You can always do some checking at the Better Business Bureau website to see an explanation of different types of coverage offered and how to shop for your auto insurance.

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This video walks you through a website that compares coverages and rates from many of the best auto insurance companies...

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    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Great point, Express10. Very helpful comment. Thanks for reading and the compliment.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      5 years ago from East Coast

      This is a very useful hub on saving money on your rates. Some other ideas that really pay off include having and maintaining great credit, living in "better" parts of town, and avoiding hair brained things such as drinking and driving.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      5 years ago from Texas

      MT - You are so right - you just have to find out through experience I guess. Still, never hurts to do a bit of research, right? Thanks for the read and vote - means so much coming from you!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      This is great information, as it is time for me to reevaluate my insurance situation. The problem is, you don't know how good they are until you need them. Voted up.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Good for you! The lesson for everyone from your experience is that it pays to do your homework, ask questions and shop around. Thanks VirginiaLynne for stopping by to read and leave a wonderful comment.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      Terrific information and thanks for all the links. We recently added my 17 year old daughter to our insurance policy and was quoted $3,000 extra per year for her from the company we were with! I actually talked to two different agents, who both quoted me that price and seemed rather confused themselves that it would cost that much since my daughter is an excellent student and hasn't had any accidents and we live in a low cost insurance area. So I chose a site that let me adjust the insurance we needed to pay what we wanted. Bottom line, I got insurance for 4 cars and 3 drivers for aroung 4,000 a year.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks BB -

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information; this should do quite well.

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