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Car Insurance New quote

Change is life's only constant, including car insurance. New quote information may be needed to make sure you, your family and your car have adequate coverage. Here are some tips to help you decide if changes are needed in your policy.

You know it's time for a new quote when...

1. Have you moved? Car insurance rates are partially based on your location. If you've moved, even to a different location in the same city, you should check to see if you need a new car insurance quote.  Large metropolitan areas have multiple ZIP codes and thus have different rates.

2. Have you switched jobs? Changing jobs means you are likely putting more or less mileage on your car, which also means your car is at greater or less risk of enduring a collision, theft or other mishap.

3. Do you have a new car? Of course, the vehicle's age, make and model all affect your auto insurance quote. In general, newer cars have higher rates than older ones, sportier models higher than sedans, etc.

4. Is there a new driver in the house? Additional drivers need additional car insurance. New quote information will take into account his or her age, occupation, driving history, profession (or academic record, if a student) and credit report.

5. How is your driving record? Driving records and past claims are important factors in car insurance. New quote searches will likely be needed if you've racked up some traffic violations or made a claim recently.

6. How long has it been since you examined your car insurance? New quote comparisons should be made at least every year. The car insurance industry is very competitive and agencies are always looking for new ways to attract new business.

7. What do you think of the company that currently sells you car insurance? New quote data may be called for if you don't think your current provider handles previous claims correctly. Or, you may have heard some negative news about the company. It's always wise to be insured by a company that is financially solvent.

It used to be that getting a car insurance quote was a tedious business. First, you'd have to talk to your family and friends to find out which agency they used, and then contact it. Once an agent got around to returning your call, you'd have to give them all the information you had about your car. The agent would then work up an estimate; meanwhile you're stuck calling other agencies and repeating the process all over again. And woe betide you if you mixed up information among agencies.

Fortunately, the process is much simpler, thanks to the Internet. It is now possible to get several car insurance quotes in a matter of minutes. You can start the process right now and have several quotes available before you know it. Start by entering your ZIP code in the box provided on our home page. You'll be taken to a page listing highly qualified insurance companies that service your geographic region.

You can choose several of the companies on the page, all of them or just one. Enter the information each company requests. (It will take just a minute.) Voila! You'll have a quote in hand to compare with your current policy and/or with another company that sells car insurance.

New quote searches are so quick and easy, there's little reason why you can't have several quotes by the end of your lunch hour (or while you're waiting for your next business meeting, or while waiting for your kids' soccer game to end).

Once you've gotten several quotes (most experts say you need at least three), print or save the information and schedule a time to consider car insurance. New quote information can be confusing and you want to take time to think. Involve your spouse, significant other and/or others old enough to help in the decision making.

Compare each quote. Make sure each quote is for the same vehicle and driver information. Of course, you'll also want to ensure that information is accurate. It's so easy to accidentally mistype data, saying you want a car insurance quote for a car you drive 1000 miles a week instead of 100.

While no two car insurance quotes will be identical, they should be in the same relative price range. If one seems much higher or lower than the others, is the reason apparent? You may want to contact that particular company to ask. Perhaps this is your current insurance provider, which is giving you a loyalty discount.

Where's my Discount?

Discounts, by the way, are important. There are many discounts available. Among the many discounts to watch for are:

Safety features: If you've installed security devices or have taken a defensive driving course, this shows insurers that you want to protect your investment. Therefore, insurers will consider you a good risk and quote you a better rate.

Personal qualities: Like it or not, insurers look at qualities beyond driving when determining risk. For example, a good student will be more likely to get a break on a car insurance quote than a mediocre one. Someone with a steady salary and good credit will do better than someone who bounces from job to job and has trouble getting their bills paid. And yes, teen drivers have higher rates than older adults.

With the many discounts available, it's wise to ask your agent which discounts are available and how to qualify. And if you can't get a certain discount at the moment, keep it in mind for the future. For example, within several months, you may need to decide between buying another car and relying on public transportation. Knowing that you could qualify for a multiple vehicle discount could sway that decision.

Discounts are a big reason to keep up with changes in car insurance. New quote searches may turn up many new discounts that were not available before. For example, several insurers are starting to offer discounts for hybrid vehicles. Such a discount is encouraging many drivers to "go green" when they might not have done so otherwise.

Once you've compared all your quotes, what should you do if your two best quotes are very similar? Your best bet is to contact the local agent that is closest to your home or workplace. Ask him or her about work experience, business hours and location and about the claims process. Do their answers seem compatible with your needs? Does the agent seem honestly interested in helping you or is there something lacking? A good agent will return your calls promptly and provide clear information.

On the other hand, be wary of agents that seem too helpful, offering coverage that you simply don't need or can't afford. While collision coverage is good to have, it is not necessary if you are driving an older model car that is rapidly depreciating in value.

It really does pay to keep up with changes in car insurance. New quote searches, while not high on anyone's entertainment scale, can certainly pay off. You really can save hundreds of dollars by entering a few quick quote requests online. The money you save on your car insurance quote is significant money you can use toward other things.

How about you? Is it time for a new quote?

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