Published: June 2011
No doubt about it, the Internet has made shopping for auto insurance more convenient than ever. But there's always the temptation to click, buy, and just be done with itwithout taking the time to think through your actual auto insurance needs.
Before you get too click-happy, it's a good idea to research the coverage that makes sense for your particular auto insurance situation.
If you're an auto insurance rookie, we've put together a first-time auto insurance buyer's guide to get you started, complete with information on getting quotes and an easy-to-understand overview of auto insurance coverage types.
If you already have auto insurance, jot down your current premium and coverage amounts (including deductibles), and note any discounts you're receiving. Having your baseline premium and coverage amounts available for reference helps you make accurate comparisons as you shop.
A gap in auto insurance coverage occurs when you're not covered by any policy at all. If you're thinking of letting your current coverage lapse as you shop, here's some good, free advice: Don't!
More free advice: If you're currently insured, don't cancel your current auto insurance policy until your new policy is active. Once you've been notified that your new policy is in effect, it only takes a few minutes to call and cancel your old policy. If it's easier, simply contact your agent who can handle this for you.
One of the great things about getting an auto insurance quote online is that you can shop and make decisions at your own pace. So while you're getting quotes, take your time and make the quote tools work for you. Explore how different coverage amounts and combinations affect your premium, and don't forget to scout around for all the discounts you may be eligible for.
You'll probably see a range of prices when you're shopping for auto insurance online. It's true that premiums can vary widely, so make sure you're comparing similar coverage features, limits and deductibles.
Choosing your auto insurance provider is an important decision. From online customer service to prompt and fair claims handling, you need to be comfortable with the company you choose. So pick up the phone and talk to a real live agent before you purchase a policy.