The start of a new year is a great time to shop for car insurance and make sure you are getting the best deals and protection for your family. The new year is also a great time to check for new discounts and make any changes to your coverage. Getting enough coverage for everyone in your family should be your priority. This ensures you get the best protection for your loved ones.
Whether you’ve got a new teen driver or you’re entering retirement, any changes to your policy should be checked as well. You may be eligible for new discounts on your current policy or get a better deal by switching. There’s no better time to check for new or existing policy changes than at the start of the year.
In this article, you’ll find tips and tricks for picking the best auto insurance for your family’s needs. Shop for car insurance now to get the best quotes for the new year.
Gather your Information
The first step to checking for new auto insurance is to gather all the information you’ll be needing to get a quote. Gather everything you need before you start shopping coverage. You want to get the best price, but pay attention to how much coverage you need. You’ll need all the information for each driver in your home and each vehicle on your policy.
Here’s a quick list to help you get started:
- IDs of all drivers
- Birthdates of all drivers
- Addresses for all drivers
- Driving histories
- Marital statuses
- Make and model of vehicle
- Current policy information
Once you have your information gathered, it’s time to check for coverage. First, check what your state minimum coverage is and what kind of insurance it requires. More than likely, you will need some sort of liability coverage. Depending on where you live, each state, and even some cities and provinces, will have different laws regarding your insurance coverage when it comes to other drivers. Liability coverage protects other drivers from accidents you cause. You may also wish to add collision, comprehensive, or other types of coverage to your plan. Here’s a list of common auto insurance offerings:
- Liability: protects other drivers in accidents you cause
- Collision: protects you from accidents you or another driver cause
- Comprehensive: protects you from non-accident damage such as weather damage or vandalism.
- Under-Insured Motorist: protects you in the event someone without insurance causes an accident
- Medical Coverage: protects you or other drivers in the event medical attention is required.
- Extras like roadside assistance, towing, or travel insurance
Next, it’s time to compare your auto insurance with other companies' policies. Be sure to compare similar plans and consider coverage options as well as price. You don’t want to be underinsured because you got a too-good-to-be-true price.
Make sure you are checking both local and national brands as well. Sometimes you can get discounts for loyalty or local coverage. You can also check reviews to see what customers think of their auto insurance. This may be especially helpful if good customer service is high on your list of priorities.
Compare Quotes and Check for Discounts
Compare at least three quotes from insurance companies so you can make the best choice available in your area. Check each policies’ rates and discounts for each driver. Here are some common discounts offered by auto insurance companies:
- Good driving history: for those with low or no tickets or accidents
- Good credit score: for those with high credit scores
- Good grades: for students with As and Bs
- Student: for those in high school or college
- Military: for those in the military
- Multi-policy: for those who bundle auto insurance with home or life insurance.
These discounts can go a long way in lowering your auto insurance premiums, so don’t be afraid to ask insurance providers about discounts you’re eligible for. Once you’ve compared plans, you can choose the best policy for your family’s needs and your budget.
Find Out if it’s the Right Time to Switch Providers
After you’ve compared three to five plans, you probably already have a pretty good idea of the auto insurance you want to take. However, is it the right time to switch auto insurance providers? There’s no harm in shopping for new quotes, but there are also times when it’s not a good idea to switch car insurance companies. To find out if you’re making the right choice to switch, tell your current provider about your plans. The insurance provider may provide loyalty discounts that can significantly lower your premiums.
Here’s a list of times when you should stick with your current provider or check carefully before switching:
- After a traffic ticket
- After an accident
- If you’re offered accident forgiveness
- If you’re offered a loyalty discount
Any of these circumstances probably warrants staying with your current policy provider. Chances are your premiums will go up if you switch after an accident or ticket. If your current provider offers accident forgiveness or a longevity discount, check carefully before you switch that your new policy would offset these savings.
The Bottom Line
To get the best protection for your family’s needs, check for car insurance quotes often, up to twice a year. You will be able to get the best price for your family’s auto insurance by checking quotes often, and you may be able to save by switching or by finding an offer your current provider can match.
As long as you do your research and compare similar policies to your current policy, you should be able to find savings from year to year. Even if you stay with the same company, you are making auto insurance rates more competitive for everyone.