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Auto Insurance Tips To Get The Best Rate

Getting the best auto insurance rates for you while making sure you have enough coverage with a reputable company can be confusing.

Auto insurance laws vary from state to state, so what's good for someone in California may be very different from somebody in New Jersey, for instance.

Here are some important tips on how to make sure you have the best auto insurance rates while also having enough coverage.

1) First and foremost, make sure you have enough coverage without having too much. Each state has its own minimum requirements of how much insurance you need for the following items: Bodily injury to one person, bodily injury to all people total, and property damage liability. Those numbers are described like this:

15/30/5

Those numbers above are listed in thousands, and that particular auto insurance minimum is for the state of Arizona. It means that the minimum insurance you can get covers an individual's injury for up to $15,000, it covers all individual's injuries up to $30,000 total, and property damage of $5,000.

If you're not a homeowner and don't have much in assets, that may be enough coverage for you. However, if you own a home (or have other assets) and you were being sued due to a collision you'd been in, you'd want higher coverage than that to protect you, otherwise they could go after your house if you owed a lot of money from a judgment.

2) Different insurance companies offer the best rates for different circumstances. You've heard the "Geico could save you $500 a year in 15 minutes"... have you also heard Allstate's "drivers who switched from GEICO to Allstate saved an average of $518 a year" claim?

How can that be? Because for a certain driver (# of tickets, safety record, sometimes even credit score is factored in) Geico is a good choice, but for some people (ie, the people who switched), Allstate is cheaper than Geico. So don't automatically assume that one specific auto insurance company will be cheaper for you than another.

3) Sometimes you get better rates by being with the same insurer for a number of years. (Insurance companies have found that people who don't switch insurance companies often tend to file less claims.) If you're tempted to switch by a new insurance company, make sure the rate you're being offered isn't a temporary promotion rate of sime kind.

3) Raising your deductible can save you money. If your deductible is set for $250 instead of $500, you're paying a surprising amount more. If you get in an accident, it's of course nice to only have to pay a $250 deductible instead of $500, but if that luxury costs you $200 extra a year in insurance but you tend to only need to file an insurance claim every 3 years, you're paying $600 ($200 x 3 years) to save $250 when you actually get in an accident, which means it's actually costing you $350 on average. In general, raising your deductible is a good idea.

4) Check online auto insurance reviews, but understand that all insurers will have complaints. You obviously don't want to be insured by some fly-by-night company who may not be there for you when you actually need them, so definitely check up on any insurance company you haven't heard of before.

With that said, it's important to understand that all insurance companies have disgruntled customers who feel like they've been treated badly, so don't write off a company just because you see people complaining about them online. State Farm and Allstate are two of the biggest insurance companies in the country, and you'll find lots of complaints about them; that doesn't mean they're not legitimate companies.

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