To get the best view of insurance as applied to transport, we need to start with understanding what classes of vehicles can be insured. In a way, it is all a matter of scale:
Why shop around?
It is possible you were born lucky and so will hit the best deal in your state on your only request for a quote. Unfortunately, this is extremely unlikely. The majority of insurers do not headline their best policies. They headline the policies on which they make the most profit and hope you will not notice how bad the value is.
Let's start by thinking about precisely what you are looking for. It all comes down to a balance between two factors. First what exactly is the coverage on offer. No matter who you are nor what vehicle you drive, you want to feel confident your insurance will pay out if your vehicle is damaged in all of the everyday accident situations.
So read through the definitions of the risks covered and pay particular attention to the limitations and exclusions. If some of the standard risks are excluded or the amount you can claim is limited, this is a bad value policy. When you have found reasonably generous coverage, look at the car insurance rates being quoted. If these rates are close to the general average, you have found found the best value policy. Now the only decision is whether you have the money to pay the premium rate asked.
This is a question you should approach in cold blood. Economic times are hard. You cannot simply pay high car insurance rates and not worry about where the money is coming from to pay all the other bills.
So if you live in an at-fault state, look at your financial status. If you drive an old model and have paid off the auto loan, live in rented accommodation, and do not have a high-paying job, you should consider buying the mandatory minimum liability cover only.
But if you have assets to protect and a pay grade that could attract attorneys to sue if you injure others or damage their clients' property, you should carry a sensible amount of liability cover. Assuming you have an auto loan, collision and comprehensive will be required at sufficient levels to cover your own losses.
For those who live in a no-fault state, personal injury protection and basic insurance to repair or replace your own property is usually mandatory.
Common sense says you buy enough cover so that your own interests are protected should you be be caught in an accident or suffer losses.
In the simplest terms, the insurance company is calculating the chances you will make a claim.
The free car insurance quotes therefore revolve around three factors:
• who are you?
• where do you live?
• what do you drive?
In a way, there is no magic about these three questions. You are a man or woman, you were born on a set date, your educational achievements are, you have a job, your safety record as a driver is, and so on. Similarly, you may live within walking distance of your work or you may drive long distances, your neighborhood may be a gated community or a high crime area, and so on. You may drive a standard make and model with a 5-star safety grade following crash testing or a vehicle most prized by car thieves.
When you put all the information together, the insurer has a fairly comprehensive profile and can set a general rate. It is then up to you to show you are eligible for discounts to bring the rates down to their lowest point.