This article was last updated on May 4
Low cost auto insurance rates are available everywhere, as companies cater to people trying to cut costs wherever they can. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies are equal, and low insurance rates can turn into a big future hike if you do not know what to look for or what to avoid. It is a good practice to perform extensive research on the particular policy you desire and research the consumer protection laws of the state in which you live. Also, consider these 5 steps when researching low insurance rates:
1. Privacy is number one – Identity theft is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the US, and most of the cases can be prevented with some extra caution. Your social security number is not needed until you are ready to buy a policy. By that time, you should be familiar with the company and its representatives. Never give your credit card number or bank account details over the phone as the company should send the appropriate paperwork in the mail. If your online identity is compromised your credit score will likely get shot, resulting in significantly higher auto insurance premiums bad credit score
2. Research the company and make sure they are licensed – If the company is reputable, they should have a web presence. Examine their website for anything misleading and research the web (do a search on the company name) as well to see if there are any complaints or evidence of scams from consumers. Each state has its own insurance department which lists all of the companies licensed to do business in that state. Give them a call or visit their website, and if the company is not on that list, do not give them your business.
3. Get all costs upfront and be slow to sign – The last thing you need is to find out there are hidden fees you were not aware of. Find out all of the fees and out of pocket costs of your policies beforehand so you can compare them with others. Never sign a blank form, or a form with a lot of blank space in between the copy and your signature.
4. Know the insurance laws in your state – Insurance companies may try to give you a policy with many options to drive up the cost, yet they may in fact be optional. Make sure you do your proper research on the required elements in your state. It is a waste of money to pay for insurance you will never need or already have coverage from elsewhere.
5. Review in detail all sections of the policies when comparing – Two policies may look the same, yet small differences may be present. Check the deductible; this is often the biggest mistake made by new car insurance customers. The deductible is the amount you will pay up front before the insurance company pays money towards your claim. The lower the deductible, the higher your rates. Make sure you compare policies with the same deductibles and coverage options.
Comparing low cost insurance rates does not have to be difficult; it just requires some time and research. Just use common sense. For example, if the rate is too cheap, it should raise a red flag. This may be an indication of hidden fees which you will pay for later. Seek out the help of experts and, if possible, speak to them in person. This will help to ease the mystery concerning who you are actually speaking to. If you follow these tips, and do your research, there will be much fewer unanswered questions. You will also be secure in knowing that you found a reputable company providing cost-effective insurance that you can rely on for many years.