Since you are taking practice tests on this site you will soon have a new driver’s license in your hand. And perhaps a new car? And your first auto-insurance?
Nowadays you can do most things online. You also have smart tools that let you compare things side by side and find the best deals. Often true about cars. A lot of web sites also tell you how to find cheap auto insurance. But do they work?
Well, not so good.
Finding the best auto insurance is actually harder than you would think. Just because a friend or neighbor got a great deal doesn’t mean you will get the same offer.
Instant quotes online, like insweb.com, are nothing more than very rough estimates. Our tests showed differences up to 40% compared to the real premiums.
Not until you have provided your Social Security number and a lot of other information can an insurance agent or a web service calculate the real quote. All of this requires a check-up on your driving record, credit history and other official records.
Now, there is much to be said about how the insurance industry works, but this is what we have to live with.
As long as you study and live with your parent’s, stay on their auto insurance. This will also give you time to get a driving record. Hopefully without accidents or tickets.
If you move from home and need your own insurance, ask for good student discounts, most insurance companies have such discounts.
Your driving record matters. You should of course avoid accidents and tickets. If you get points on your record, ask your local DMV office if you can get rid of them by taking a defensive driving course.
Your credit score also matters. Make sure you know what your credit report says. Correct any errors and make sure you pay all your bills and credit cards on time.
The insurance premium is not all about you. It is also about your car. Check safety ratings and compare the average premiums for different car models. That will give you a fairly good idea about which cars to avoid (usually sports cars) and which ones will lower your premium.
An Agent or Online?
Some say that an agent will get you the lowest price, others argue that buying online direct from a company is better.
If records and other circumstances aren’t straight-forward, you should talk to an agent. An agent can give you a lot of useful advice. Compare the agents offer with what you can get online before you decide.