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Vehicle coverage can be costly, but most people are still required to buy a policy before legally driving. One advantage that motorists have is their ability to shop around for the cheapest rates they can find. People have many different insurance companies to choose from, and often each one will offer a unique rate. Motorists may be able to significantly reduce their coverage costs by taking the time to make comparisons before making a purchase.

Policy prices are typically unique because they are largely based on a driver’s accident risk, and a person’s level of risk is determined by carefully interpreting an extensive amount of information. Insurance companies will look at a potential policyholder’s age, gender, marital status, desired coverage limits, driving record, location, vehicle information, annual mileage, and many other details. Each of these points is closely linked to statistical information that helps insurers determine how likely a motorist is to file a claim.

The reason why people are encouraged to make a car insurance rates comparison before buying auto protection is that prices can sometimes vary by 200 percent between companies for policies that include the same levels of protection. One of the more efficient ways to amass estimates involves using online resources to view dozens of quotes at once.

Helpful Ways to Compare Car Insurance Policies

While making comparisons, motorists should consider more than just the price of a policy. Not every company can offer the same quality of service, and after an accident it’s important to have an insurer that can adequately handle any claims. Vehicle owners should get multiple quotes, and when several affordable options have been identified, they should look at how well each insurer interacts with customers.

One method for identifying a helpful and competent insurer is to use complaint information accumulated by the state. For example, the Illinois Department of Insurance annually publishes data ranking insurers on the number of complaints they received in a year in relation to the number of written premiums. From these reports, people may be able to identify which companies can provide the most satisfactory service. In addition to statistical information, motorists can also rely on the past experiences of trusted friends and relatives for helpful insight into how well certain insurers interact with their customers.

Vehicle owners should remember that the need to make auto insurance comparisons is not limited to people who are buying their first policy. Over time, policy prices and service quality can fluctuate. Luckily, drivers have a number of helpful online resources that are readily available.