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How To Compare Auto Insurance Rates in NJ

siadmin April 1, 2019 Car Insurance

Once you obtain auto insurance quotes from several carriers, it’s time to compare the numbers. You can’t make a comparison based on price only, so you need to break down the quotes to see which ones give you the best bang for your buck. After all, you don’t want to sacrifice coverage for price.

In this post, we’ll teach you how to compare quotes and find the best deals on your policies. In fact, you should review several quotes to make sure you are getting the best rates.

Step 1: Get quotes from several insurance companies

Request quotes from three or four insurance carriers and look at the specific details. If you see one quote that comes in much lower than the others, you have a reason to be suspicious. Sometimes, quotes that are unusually low are excluding certain types of coverage or not using your accurate driving profile.

Step 2: Choose reputable insurance companies

Shopping for car insurance has a purpose beyond finding the lowest price. Some companies have attractive prices but a history of poor claims practices. It’s better to pay a little more in premiums and have the peace of mind that your insurance will cover you.

The best place to look for ratings is at AM Best Company, which is the most widely recognized rating agency for insurance company financial strenth. Another place you can look to for information about company claims satisfaction is the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance. Every year the New Jersey department ranks insurance companies based on valid complaints made against them.  Most other review sites are almost completely useless. The only people who review insurance companies are those who have had bad experiences, and unfortunately the general public does not always understand how insurance is supposed to work.

Step 3: Review the policy details

Go through the details of each policy. Specific items to compare are:

  • Liability limits
  • Lawsuit threshold
  • Covered drivers & motor vehicle records
  • PIP (medical coverage for you) limit and deductible
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage/deductibles
  • Towing and labor cost coverage
  • Rental reimbursement coverage
  • Replacement cost or agreed value coverage
  • Loan/Lease Gap coverage

You may not need all of these features, but keep them in consideration for the price you’ll be paying. A policy that is slightly more but includes all of these extras may be worth it for you.

Step 4: Evaluate your circumstances

Generally speaking, insurance companies give their best quote in order to secure the most business, but the best quote may not work for you. Here’s why.

Insurance companies have their own systems for rating customers based on their risk profiles. They assign different weights to credit ratings, traffic citations, accidents and DUIs. One company may rate your previous accident worse than another, causing your price to go up. On the flip side, you can save money by asking for discounts on being a homeowner or good student.  There is no one insurance company that is the best for everyone. One may be great for one customer, but awful for someone else – and vice versa. This is why an independent agent with access to many insurance companies will most often be able to find the best deal for you.

Step 5: Seek help from a professional

Unfortunately not all insurance policies are created equally.  Even if the policy looks the same on the surface (same coverage limits, etc as described above), there may be hidden gaps and exclusions in the policy language.  For example, two of the four largest mass market car insurance companies in NJ have language hidden in their policy that excludes coverage in the event you let someone borrow your car.  This is where an experienced independent insurance agent can help you navigate through hidden danger and determine the best policy for you.

In the end, finding the best quote comes down to carefully reviewing each policy, along with consulting with an experienced independent insurance agent. As long as you have a good driving record, you should be able to get a handful of competitive rates on car insurance. For a free quote on auto insurance, contact Soden Agency today.