How do I know if I chose the right auto insurance coverage?

Drivers should compare at least three different car insurance quotes and choose the right coverage for their needs. When shopping for auto insurance, carefully review your assets. Choose the coverage level that properly protects said assets. Even if drivers choose an auto insurance plan that meets their needs, the car insurance rates may be high if a driver has a bad driving record. Always review the discounts offered by an insurance company to be sure you're getting the best deal.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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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: Dec 30, 2021

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The Rundown

  • Drivers should compare at least 3 quotes online before buying a policy
  • Drivers need to buy coverage that will protect their assets
  • Discounts can keep insurance rates affordable

Knowing how to choose the right car insurance coverage is an important life skill that will not only help protect you and your assets but could also save you money.

Discovering how to choose the right auto insurance coverage starts here. Keep reading to learn about the particular bits and pieces that make up car insurance and how each piece works to protect you.

When you want to buy car insurance, consider your vehicle and your needs. Buying more than what you need can be costly. Thankfully, you can hop online day or night to find great quotes.

When you shop online, you can compare a variety of car insurance quotes and choose the right coverage for your lifestyle.

Enter your ZIP code above to receive free quotes so you can choose the right coverage for your car.

What types of coverage do drivers need?

Purchasing the right amount of coverage is very important. But before you worry about the levels of coverage you should have, first focus on which coverage types you need to be protected while driving.

Below you’ll see the primary insurance coverage types that are advisable for all drivers to have:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical or personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Liability
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist

You may have heard of some of these coverage types before. Collision and comprehensive are very well known as these work to help pay for repairs or even replace your vehicle.

Liability, on the other hand, serves to protect you from being legally pursued by individuals if you caused an accident that resulted in injuring other drivers. This is why knowing how to choose the right liability coverage limit is very important.

While most states have their own minimum liability coverage requirements, the minimum should never be viewed as enough coverage.

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How should drivers set their coverage limits?

When trying to find affordable car insurance, choose the right coverage. Extra insurance coverage is always nice to have, but your financial situation plays a big role in your insurance buying procedure.

While you will need to consider what you can afford, you should also consider what you need to protect. If you have many assets, it may be in your best interest to have higher liability coverage.

If you are curious as to what you might pay for just liability coverage or full coverage, which includes liability, collision, and comprehensive, take a look at the chart below. This is a great guide that can give you an idea of what you might pay for a variety of coverage levels in your home state:

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level

StateState Minimum Liability-OnlyState Minimum with Collision and Comprehensive Coverage ($1K Deductible)100/300/100 with Collision and Comprehensive Coverage ($1K Deductible)
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Different levels of coverage come with very different rates. But remember that it’s always important to buy the insurance policy you need — not just one with a cheap price tag.

How can drivers keep their rates low?

Even if you choose the right coverage, the car insurance rates you’re offered may still be too high. This can happen if a driver has a long history of moving violations or a bad credit score. However, there are ways to work around this.

If you can, setting your deductibles slightly higher can reduce your rates. But, first, you should also examine what discounts your insurance company offers.

If you’re not sure what your company offers, or if you’re in-between insurance companies, take a look at this guide of discounts different insurance companies have to offer you:

Car Insurance Discounts By Company

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakes5555
Claim Free2610152312
Continuous CoverageN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lights155N/A
Defensive Driver105105103
Distant StudentN/A107x
Driver's Ed10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppN/A30402050305
Early SigningN/A8N/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engaged CoupleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehicleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/A810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/A$5N/AN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/A1015N/AN/AN/A
Good CreditN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Good Student1522.5102583
Green VehicleN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Life InsuranceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileage30
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029102010121713
Multiple Vehicles25102010208
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehicleN/AN/A401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
On-Time PaymentsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingN/A$30$233
Passive Restraint402040
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Roadside AssistanceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/A15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AN/A107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AN/A10N/AN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehicleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recovery1535255
VIN EtchingN/AN/AN/A5N/A
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A$75

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Every insurance company takes its own approach to discounts. No two companies are the same, so take your time and compare multiple quotes.

Luckily when you shop for insurance quotes online, you can play around with different coverage amounts and deductibles to find a policy that works best for your budget while still providing you with all the protection you need.

Choosing the Right Coverage: What You Need to Know

When shopping for a policy with a new car insurance company, choose the right coverage for your needs. Don’t be bamboozled by flashy websites or funny ads.

Take a careful look at your finances and other assets. Consider how much you stand to lose if you have inadequate coverage limits.

Shopping online can help you learn just how much insurance coverage you need and how much you can afford. Comparing at least three different quotes will help you get a good idea of the amount of coverage you can afford and which companies offer the best discounts.

Enter your ZIP code now to start comparing free insurance quotes that will help you choose the right coverage today.

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