Shopping for cheap car insurance may seem like a fairly simple task. However, it is one that should not be done lightly. Auto insurance is a necessary expense that affects all senior’s budgets; therefore, finding the most dependable insurance company that offers the best premium is essential to saving money. With the vast selection of choices available, it is imperative to do research and comparison shopping to find the best deal for your needs. Finding the best auto insurance company in North Carolina can be accomplished with a few easy steps.
Insurance in North Carolina is unique in a couple of ways. First, the state bans all companies from basing a premium rate on the age or gender of the driver. The cost of many policies in other states can be directly affected by these exact factors. Secondly, the state of North Carolina regulates the maximum rate that an insurer can charge. This does reduce the amount of variance between premiums of various companies. But, there are still differences in each that may cause one company to be better suited for a particular driver than another.
The first step in comparing insurance options is to simply visit the website of each company. The site will give an overview of their business philosophy, their mission statement or commitment to their clients and the types of coverage they offer. Individuals can also get an idea of the level of customer service they have available. Another helpful website is that of the state department of insurance. This site provides information about any company who offers insurance in the state of North Carolina. This useful information will include expert ratings, financial strength, even the number and nature of previous customer complaints.
Word of mouth is also a great way to compare companies. Friends or family members in the area can discuss their personal insurance experiences and the pros or cons of their coverage. This may help in the decision-making process by hearing a firsthand account from a trusted source. Real life accounts are obviously more trustworthy than promises made by an agent looking to pick up a new customer.
While comparing companies is essential to getting the best deal, it is also important to understand the factors that may influence insurance rates. For instance, a driver should be aware of their specific driving record and claim history. Safe drivers are less expensive for insurance companies to cover thus keeping rates for these drivers lower. If an individual has an extensive history of clean driving, they can expect better premiums. Past claim history can also be a predictor of the future. Agents may look at previous claims and determine if the individual will be a risk for filing a high number of claims in the future.
The specific type of vehicle to be insured will also affect the cost of the coverage. While it is true that new cars are typically more expensive to insure, it may not always be the case. The higher market value makes them pricier to repair in the event of an accident. However, the increased safety options in newer vehicles such as anti-theft technology, GPS systems and air bag design may help to reduce rates. Cars that are more likely to be stolen will also carry higher premiums. These are typically older models due to the ease of theft.
There are several choices for the amount of coverage provided by the company as well. These various choices will come with varied rate charges. Liability insurance only pays for damages and injuries sustained by others during an accident. It is normally the least expensive insurance policy to choose. Full coverage will take care of all injuries or repairs. Individuals may also add extras such as collision coverage to pay for damage sustained from striking another car or comprehensive coverage that will pay for incidents resulting from fire, theft, vandalism and other unavoidable events.
North Carolina residents should begin their search for the best car insurance company by contacting a few that stand out to them initially. Speaking to an agent will give insight into the plans offered as well as getting preliminary quotes to use for comparison. Many company web sites will also offer comparison tools on their page. Individuals simply answer a few questions and the tool will list approximate quotes for the top three or four companies in the area. This helps get an idea of what agency a person may want to contact. With a little research and comparison shopping, individuals can easily find the company that perfectly fits their coverage needs.