Auto insurance companies follow a variation on that model, but one that that allows them to make a profit. With modern insurance, policyholders purchase coverage from an insurance company. Like in a mutual aid society, everyone pays a little bit, so the insurance company has money on hand to pay for damages. However, because it’s unlikely that everyone who has a policy with an insurance company will make a claim for damages, the insurance company gets to keep the extra money as profit. In publicly traded, or stock, companies, the owners are the company’s stockholders. In other insurance companies, known as mutual companies, the owners are the policyholders, who get their share of the profits as dividends and potentially lower rates.
Depending on which companies you consider, you will have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or to purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.
Step 6: Make your choice. Now that you have weighed your choices, make your purchase. Be sure that you make all the choices that you made when you ran your quote. Make sure that there is nothing you have to do at the onset of your policy that will matter later on in your policy life, such as signing up for a safe driving tool that would give you a discount at a later date. Remember, your unique situation will determine which company is best for you.
Results: Once I submitted my information, the site produced one quote, along with six links to other insurance companies. “View my quote” buttons next to each quote took me to the beginning of the insurance website’s own quoting tool, making it clear that these were strictly hypothetical rates. Everquote provided a blurb of marketing text about two of the companies and no helpful information whatsoever to guide my decision.
Rather than opting for less coverage, it’s possible to save on your premiums by shopping around with a variety of companies. Each company has its own formula for calculating premiums, which is why each gives you a different quote. Beyond cheap rates, it’s also important to find a company that offers ideal add-ons, discounts, and specific coverage options for your situation. Our top picks are a great place to start your search.
In the end, you’ll need to determine your exact needs when it comes to coverage and then shop for an affordable policy. Always remember: just because an auto insurance policy is cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best. Picking a policy based on price alone would be like picking a restaurant based on price alone, then being forced to eat there every day for the next year.
There are many reasons you may be seeking the cheapest auto insurance option. Your household finances may be tighter than usual. Or maybe you don't drive a lot. Whatever the reason, a low-cost policy doesn't have to mean a no-frills experience with the insurance company. As you compare quotes from cheap car insurance companies, consider more than just price. Policies from leading carriers, such as Nationwide, may be exactly what you need. Here's what to look for:
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