Car Insurance

Car insurance is a requirement you must meet in order to use your vehicle on public roads. In many states, you will need to show proof of coverage for vehicle-related transactions, such as registration.

As a driver, you are responsible for any damage you cause with your vehicle, and insurance helps pay if you find yourself at fault. When you request car insurance quotes, the company will give you rates for different levels of coverage. Each state has minimum insurance requirements that you must meet, but you may opt for additional coverage. Learn more about insurance including types, how to apply and more in the details below.

Car Insurance Basics

Factors that influence your car insurance rate include your driving history, your vehicle and where you live. Each state has minimum auto coverage requirements, which means you cannot have less coverage than your state compels.

In addition to obtaining a car insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements, you may opt for extra coverage. Supplementary coverage can protect you against other costs relating to a collision, damage, theft or repairs. Types of coverage include the following:

  • Liability – Covers damages to the other person’s property if you are responsible for an accident

  • Collision – Pays for repairs or replacement of your vehicle

  • Comprehensive – Covers repairs to your vehicle from damage not related to an accident, such as a vandalism

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Pays for damages to your vehicle by another driver who does not have car insurance or does not have adequate coverage

  • Medical payments coverage – Pays for your medical expenses from an auto accident regardless of who is at fault

  • Personal injury protection – A pay-out for lost wages for you as well as your passengers regardless of who is at fault  

  • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) – Usually a requirement for financed or leased vehicles, GAP pays the difference between the car’s monetary value and what is still owed in the event of a serious accident

Your policy may also compensate for towing costs or rentals. However, car insurance companies will charge more for more coverage and services. You may be able to save money by customizing your policy to only include the features you need. For instance, you may forgo rental car reimbursement if you have a second car or towing if you are part of an auto club. 

Applying for Cheap Car Insurance

The easiest way to apply for car insurance is by completing an application online, but you may also apply by phone or in person. You will need to provide car insurance companies with information about your driving history and where you live or where you store the vehicle. Other details to provide include:

  • Your driver’s license number

  • Your Social Security Number

  • The vehicle’s identification number

The provider will give you car insurance quotes for different policies with varying coverage. You can select the one that fits your needs or budget. Make sure to check a few providers to ensure you receive the best rate. 

After making your first payment, the insurer will provide you with proof of coverage, either by mail or via a printout, which you keep in your car and on your person while operating the vehicle. Policies are typically set for one year, and companies may reduce your premium amount each year as the monetary value of the car depreciates.  

How to Get Good Car Insurance Quotes

Car insurance companies will look into your driving history to determine a rate for coverage. Providers will decide your risk factor by using any prior tickets or accidents as an indication of future behavior.  

If you have a clean record – one that is free of tickets and accidents – after driving for a few years, then you will get the best rate available. Car insurance companies consider you a safe and low-risk driver to insure. 

However, there are ways to reduce your rate if you do have negative marks on your driving history. For instance, providers may lower your fee if you take a safe driver or defensive driving course. Similarly, a course may remove driving points from your record, which would also improve your car insurance rate.

You can also lower your monthly fee by asking for a higher deductible, which is the amount you must pay before your insurance pays out. For example, if you have a deductible of $250, then the provider would pay costs that total more than that amount should you be in a collision. By increasing your deductible, you can reduce your monthly fee 10, 20 or even 40 percent depending on the amount.