Tips for Buying Car Insurance

Follow these top three tips for buying car insurance: 1) know your state’s minimum requirements, 2) check your driving record, and 3) compare quotes online before buying car insurance. Your driving record will impact your car insurance rates, so enter your ZIP code below to start comparing quotes for free before buying auto insurance online.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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It is always exciting to buy a car. Even if you are purchasing a used car, it is new to you. It is easy to get caught up in all the excitement.

A lot of people are shocked when they find out that they can’t even drive their new car until they have the minimum required insurance per their state’s laws.

To make matters worse, many people are clueless when it comes to shopping for insurance. They are unsure of what types of coverage they have and have no idea of what to expect from their insurance company.

Tips to Select the Appropriate Car Insurance Coverage

Start with the state required minimum coverage. Remember that this is the absolute least amount of coverage that you are allowed, by law to have. This is not necessarily the coverage that you really should have. Many times the minimum coverage is not near enough to pay for the costs involved in an auto accident. This leaves the at-fault driver paying a lot of money out of their own pocket. You should have sufficient Bodily Injury coverage to pay for at least one serious injury. You should also make sure that your Property Damage coverage is enough so that it will replace an average new car if it was to be totaled. There may be other costs, but these are good steps to take to minimize your personal costs.

Other Coverage

You should also remember some of the other available coverage types that can be required by law some times, but are usually left up to an individual’s discretion. Among these insurance types are Collision ; this is to cover any type of damage that happens as a result of a collision, and Comprehensive coverage ; this does not cover collisions but it does protect against fire, vandalism, theft or other damages incurred from a non-impact accident. It is common for these two types of insurance to be bundled together, they are also offered separately.

Be Aware of Your Driving Record

Be sure to review your driving record before you purchase any insurance policies. Your potential insurance carrier is going to be checking your driving record, so it is a good idea for you to know what they will be seeing. Be aware if you have had points on your record that you may have gotten within the past year all the way up to the past 3 years. If you have had any suspensions, you will need to tell your insurance agent about them. Insurance drivers assess individual drivers for any potential risks. This means that your driving history is an important part of their assessment.

Compare Insurance Quotes from Multiple Companies

Get multiple quotes before you make any purchases. It always pays to shop around for the best deal. If you were buying a new television, chances are you would look for the best deal. Do the same thing for your car insurance purchase. One insurance company may offer more perks and benefits than another. You could get incentives like free roadside assistance or windshield replacement.

Be Sure to Understand the Policy

Always make sure that you understand what you are signing. If there are any facts about the policy that you don’t understand, have your agent explain it to you. Once you sign on the dotted line, you are locked in to a binding contract. Make sure that what you are signing up for is what you expect.

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