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How To Buy Automobile Insurance

How To Comparison Shop For Automobile Insurance

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A broker can comparison shop for you.  If you choose to comparison shop for autombile insurance on your own, you will likely not be surprised to learn that the internet is a great source of information. If you type key words such as "how to comparison shop for automobile insurance" you will find a variety of sites that compare companies and coverages. Look for an independent site or sites rather than one sponsored by a particular insurance company.

Two good websites for getting quotes from a range of insurers are offsite link and offsite link. A few companies don't sell through independent brokers or through general web sites. For instance, Geico ( offsite link or 800.830.4010) and State Farm ( offsite link)


  • Even if you are using a broker, consider getting quotes from at least three different companies. The exact same coverage can be very different between different insurers. Charges can vary tremendously from company to company for the same set of facts. 
  • Make sure that all discounts that you qualify for are included in the quote.
  • Many state insurance departments offer price comparisons.
  • If you or a member of your family has been in the military, check out USAA at 800.365.8722


Consider an insurer's level of claims service.

  • Personal service may be worth paying for if your claim gets settled quickly and without hassles. Check your state insurance department for records of complaints filed against insurance companies.
  • You can also check complaints against automobile insurance companies at the web site run by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at offsite link. In the search field, type in "complaints against auto insurance companies."
  • Also see Consumer Reports offsite linkratings of Automobile insurance companies. If you are not a member, the fee to join will likely be offset by the savings. 

Financial Standing:

Don't assume that all insurance companies are solid financially. Check the financial ratings of the companies you're considering with A.M. Best ( offsite link) or Standard and Poor's ( offsite link).


Check how broad the coverage is, including potential exclusions. Liability coverages will generally be approximately the same. The differences may be larger in other areas. For instance, with respect to damage to your vehicle, does the company insist on using generic aftermarket parts or are you permitted to use manufacturer parts.

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