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What is the Best Way to Buy Car Insurance?

If you own a vehicle, you must carry at least minimum liability limits on your auto insurance policy, depending on the state where you live. 

Outside of these basics, however, no single option will work for every insurance shopper, since the way you choose to shop for—and purchase—car insurance is up to your personal preferences. 

Here, the IHS Insurance Group professionals will provide some unique insights—ones you might not find elsewhere—that could help you determine your best way to buy car insurance, regardless of your starting point. 

Let’s start with the first decision you need to make.

1. Understand the Key Differences Between Agency & Online Auto Insurance Quotes

Thanks to the internet, shopping for car insurance is as easy as hopping online, entering a few details about you and your family, and obtaining quotes from multiple, top-rated carriers. As a result, online auto insurance shopping could be ideal if your top priorities are speed and convenience. 

However, these benefits come at a price. Namely, you won’t have opportunities for face-to-face contact with agents, obtaining detailed answers to your questions, and making sure that any quotes you receive are as accurate as possible. Furthermore, many clients place importance on a personal relationship with their agents, since they’ll need to share their private information. 

Related: Why Going with an Independent Agency for Home and Auto Insurance Really Matters 

Together, if you don’t have a solid grasp of how auto insurance works, aren’t sure what coverage you need, and need a personal relationship with an agent who can offer guaranteed quotes from multiple carriers (we know you’re busy!), the professional staff at IHS Insurance Group is here to help. 

With this foundation in place, let’s move on to the next step.

2. Choose Sufficient Coverage Limits for Your Needs

We mentioned earlier that every state has minimum liability limits, although the reality is that they’re rarely sufficient to protect yourself against anything but minor accidents. As such, you’ll want to carefully consider your liability limits and make sure you have enough in place to protect all of your assets (properties, investments, etc.) should a worst-case-scenario accident occur. 

Obviously, the higher your limits, the higher your premium. Conversely, because higher limits provide more protection, liability coverage typically isn’t an area of your auto policy where you want to scrimp just to save a few bucks. 

Instead, the IHS team might have you consider:  

  • Increasing your collision and/or comprehensive deductibles 
  • Removing comprehensive/collision altogether on older vehicles (those over 5-6 years old) 
  • Getting rid of little-used endorsements (e.g., rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, etc.) 
  • Pursuing additional discounts 

Related: How Much Automobile Insurance Do I Need? 

Let’s carry this last idea over to the next section.

3. Make Sure You Have All Available Discounts & Your Information is Accurate

Independent agents like those at IHS Insurance Group are trained to ensure you receive all available discounts under your auto policy so that you’re remaining within budget and not paying more than necessary. Here are some standard discounts we explore during the insurance shopping process: 

  • Active military and veterans 
  • Federal employees (active or retired) 
  • Students with good grades (typically, a 3.0 GPA or higher) 
  • Drivers with no tickets or accidents within 3-5 years 
  • Defensive driving course credit 
  • Vehicle safety features (airbags, daytime running lights, active/passive antitheft systems, antilock brakes, etc.) 
  • Multi-vehicle and multi-policy 
  • Lump-sum payments or automatic monthly withdrawal (EFT)

4. Understand Auto Policy Pricing Structures

Outside of straightforward concepts like agents vs. online quoting, and choosing your coverages and discounts, the next step is to understand that companies can charge very different rates for the same limits. This is primarily because each company files different rates with the state, depending on the type of risks they’re looking to attract.  

For example, Company A might focus on gaining new business with drivers who have no activity, and could offer less competitive rates for drivers with even minor activity (e.g., a speeding citation or not-at-fault accident). On the other hand, Company B might want to round out their book of business with family auto policies and, therefore, present maximally competitive rates for youthful operators. 

Because companies file new rates with states each year, their target market can adjust, making it especially important that your insurance agent helps you shop around annually to ensure you’re getting the best value possible.

5. Explore Financial Strength & Customer Feedback

Once you’ve whittled your options down to just a few insurance carriers, you’ll want to check each company’s financial ratings via organizations like AM Best and Standard and Poor’s

From there, you’ll also want to explore the company’s ranking on J.D. Power’s annual report, as well as policyholder feedback on popular review websites like the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, WalletHub, and Reviews.com.  

And don’t forget to rely on the insider insight provided by independent agents like IHS Insurance Group! 

When Buying Car Insurance, Seek Out Knowledge from Local Professionals 

IHS Insurance Group represents many of the top-rated auto insurers in the country, so we can potentially help you save hundreds the next time you’re shopping around. What’s more, we can provide access to insider information you’re not likely to find elsewhere! 

Need a FREE Quote or have questions regarding Auto Insurance Coverage? We have three convenient ways to reach us: 

  1. If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063
  2. If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back with you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE. 
  3. Lastly, for those that want an immediate quote, please click HERE. 

We look forward to speaking with you today!

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