If you're in the habit of buying auto insurance from your friend who is an insurance agent or from the same company you've used for two decades, think about this. Are you unnecessarily spending money year after year that you could use for other things?
Following some common sense steps will help you find the best coverage at the lowest price. Since you want to be adequately protected if you're in a wreck, the first step is to determine how much coverage you need. That's a complicated issue, but it may help to know that the general recommendations for liability coverage are $50,000 for one person injured, $100,000 for multiple people injured, and $25,000 property damage liability. In insurance language, it's written like this: 50/100/25. If you have a lot of assets, you should buy more, but if you don't have much to protect, you can buy less coverage and save money.
Next, review your current coverage to see what you are paying, and make a list of your coverages like the bodily injury liability coverage just mentioned, comprehensive, road service, gap coverage, etc. Now, you have a figure to try to beat in your shopping for an insurance policy that will save you some money. What's next? Have patience while you begin that shopping experience. It might take an hour or two to look online or to make the necessary calls to insurance companies, but if you save a thousand dollars on two cars, something that is entirely possible, you will have earned the equivalent of $500 per hour for those two boring hours. Not bad. Now, you can spend that money on something you need or want.
To make it easier to shop, start with online services that compare insurance prices. Try InsWeb.com, for example, to type in your information and get comparative quotes. Some companies can't provide instant quotes; they will get back to you by e-mail within a day or two. Quotes by some companies will be immediately received by you in a comparative screen. To speed up the process from companies that don't quote on the screen immediately, pick up the phone. That's where your list of coverages will come in handy. It won't take you long to go down that list with the agent to receive an immediate answer.
Two other things to have handy for those calls is your driver's license number and your vehicle identification number. Don't forget to look for discounts whether you are getting quotes online or by phone. Deep discounts can be yours to enjoy if you have a good driving record, an above average credit score, safety equipment like antilock brakes, and the right occupation (for example, a teacher). Happy hunting.