If you want to ensure you're obtaining the best deal on vehicle insurance, you may want to shop annually for a new rate. Bear in mind that you don't have to wait until you obtain a renewal notice from your existing carrier to start shopping for a new policy.
Remember, if you start your search sooner, you'll have more time to compare prices. When it comes to shopping for auto insurance quotes, you can mistakenly think that the lowest cost is the best value.
However, purchasing the wrong kind of coverage can be costly in the end. Therefore, it's imperative you invest time to ensure you're obtaining the best deal. Fortunately, this guide reveals how to obtain auto insurance quotes.
Agent vs. Online Quotes
You can obtain quotes in several ways, for instance over the phone, in person, or online. You'll discover that most national insurers have website tools, allowing you to obtain a quote directly. Other companies will even let you compare their rates against competitors' so you can establish the best price.
If you can't obtain a quote online, consider calling an agent at your desired insurer. Obtaining online quotes can be more convenient if you prefer the internet while contacting an agent can be more comforting and function as a point of contact for your vehicle policy.
When it comes to online quotes, you typically obtain one insurer's proposed rates. With agents however, you can obtain one insurer's quotes or quotes from several carriers, depending on whether the agency's captive/in-house or independent.
Obtaining an online or direct quote is perhaps the most convenient and fastest way of shopping for auto insurance. Most of the biggest auto insurers employ their in-house agents or collaborate with independent agents in order to secure leads.
Other huge carriers can function through a hybrid network of independent and captive agents, while smaller auto insurers depend exclusively on independent agencies for handling their quotes.
Obtaining Quotes from Captive Agents
Captive agents represent one company, so they may be restricted in the policy features and prices they can provide. This can be off-putting if you're seeking negotiation. Nevertheless, this can be a good option if:
- You're not quite certain of what you require and prefer to have somebody guide you through the options in person
- You seek familiarity and an ongoing relationship with your insurance provider
Obtaining Quotes from an Independent Broker or Agent
Independent brokers and agents frequently work on commission. Therefore, they're motivated to offer great service and maintain long-term business with you. However, they could try to upsell you on unnecessary coverage and policy features. This can be a good option if:
- You favor the idea of dealing with an agent but desire more coverage and price flexibility than captive representatives can offer.
- You have some understanding of the amount of coverage you require and can resist needless add-ons.
- You want somebody who can elucidate your policy's complex parts. Remember, independent agents deal with several insurers and may have a better sense of how contract details and certain regulations differ from one state or company to the next.
When shopping for the best quotes, it's important to ensure you don't overlook customer service. Although you may pay lower premiums, the insurance provider could give you unreasonably low estimates or compel you to pay more for replacement parts. Therefore, make sure you investigate the insurer's reputation before you purchase a policy.
The most effective way of obtaining auto insurance quotes from numerous companies simultaneously is by using a comparison tool. You can obtain an idea of the average quote and locate the best deal easily. Another advantage is that you can identify quotes you wish to avoid.
Whether you prefer a dedicated agent or signing up with an insurer directly, shopping around is worthwhile. Bear in mind that rates for the exact policy can vary considerably from one insurer to the next, so making as many comparisons is the best way of obtaining a good deal.