Whether you’re shopping for car insurance for the first car you ever bought or are simply reviewing your insurance policy after a long time, you must have one goal in mind. That is to ensure that you are adequately covered if you’re ever in an accident, and not pay more than you have to for your insurance. The sad part is that most people do end up paying more for their car insurance, and that’s mainly because they didn’t spend enough time shopping around for the best car insurance.

That’s also understandable because shopping for car insurance isn’t an enjoyable task, and it never looks as easy as it does in commercials. However, by doing some comparison shopping, we can help you save hundreds of dollars a year on car insurance. So, if you’re paying thousands of dollars in insurance to your current insurance company or want to avoid doing that, here are some basic steps to get the ball rolling and help you shop for the best car insurance around.

1. Figure Out How Much Coverage You Need

The first step in shopping for car insurance is to figure out how much car insurance coverage you need. The requirements vary by state, which is why it’s important that you take some time out to read up on the recommended coverage that is required where you live. You’ll find a list of every state’s requirements along with an explanation of the different types of car insurance over the internet.

Once you know what is required, you can decide what you need, and your decision will depend on your degree of comfort in assuming a certain level of risk. Experts recommend that if you’ve got a lot of assets, you should get enough liability coverage to protect them. The generally recommended for liability limits are $50,000 for bodily injury to one individual injured in an accident, and $100,000 for all people injured in an accident, along with $25,000 property damage liability.

Let your financial situation be your guide here, and if you don’t have expensive assets, then don’t buy coverage unnecessarily. Your driving habits may also play a role in how much coverage you need, and if you routinely speed, or get involved in a lot of accidents, or drive on roads where a lot of accidents take place, you may want to get complete coverage.

2. Review Your Insurance

Go through your current policy or contact your auto insurance company to acquire all the information that you need. Then list down the amount of coverage you currently have and how much you’re going to be paying for it. Note down the yearly and monthly cost of your insurance as you’ll get quotes for both these things, and you will have the figure that you need.

3. Check Your Driving Record

You should know how many tickets you have acquired recently, and if you can’t remember the last time you got a speeding ticket, you can check with your state’s department of motor vehicles. If the points you earned or a ticket is about to disappear, it will improve your driving record, so wait for that to happen before you go around shopping for insurance because a bad driving record will drive up the prices of your insurance.

4. Ask Around for Competitive Quotes

Once you’ve checked your driving record, you can go around asking for competitive quotes from different insurance companies. You should set aside an hour for this task and start checking all the online services for quotes. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies will give you instant quotes as some may contact you later and others may not be ‘direct providers,’ and may put you in touch with a local agent, who will calculate the quote for you.

5. Acquire Company Information

When you’re researching different insurance companies, you should take careful notes, so you can easily make comparisons between price and coverage. You should make a list of the annual and monthly rates for the various types of coverage and ensure that you keep the coverage limits the same, so it is easier for you to make comparisons later.

Also, note down the number of the company, so you can call them for answers to questions you didn’t find online. Also review the payment policy of the company, so that you have all the necessary details like when the payment is due, and what kind of payments are offered by them.

6. Start Calling

Once you’ve gathered all the information and compared all the quotes, your next step should be to get on the phone and start making some calls. Contact those companies first who didn’t provide you with an online quote, and when you do get a quote over the phone, ask the representative to confirm the price and email the quote to you to be on the safe side.

7. Look for Discounts

The next step for when you’re shopping around for car insurance is to explore all your options that are related to discounts. Insurance companies do give discounts for good driving records and your car’s safety or security equipment, along with professional affiliations and for certain occupations.

Some companies even offer lower rates if you choose to enroll in their ‘pay-as-you-drive’ plans, and some will give substantial discounts to young drivers in the family who have high-grade point averages. You can also use the same company for home and auto insurance to get a better price for car insurance.

Conclusion

You must remember to be thorough in your research and first start with national companies, but don’t forget to check up on local companies to compare different insurance rates. On average, consumers who tend to shop around for car insurance manage to save up to 47% in premium costs or around $850 per year. Even if you manage to save a fraction of this amount, saving around $200 on car insurance will allow you to spend that money elsewhere. So be smart and shop around for car insurance.