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Shopping For Auto Insurance

How to Shop For Auto Insurance

A. Differences in Rates Among Insurers

There is active competition among auto insurers in New York State. Rates can vary considerably among insurers. The differences in rates are based, among other factors, on the specific experience of the particular group of insureds a company insures.

Therefore, it is always a good idea to obtain quotes from several insurers. Consumers who shop get better value for their insurance dollar than those who do not. Many companies are part of groups that include several affiliated companies under common management. Ask the agent or broker to specify the name of the company that will issue your policy.

When shopping for a new or used car, it is best to check with your insurance professional to verify the cost of insuring the particular vehicle you are considering purchasing.

B. Obtaining Rate Quotes

There are various ways in obtaining rate quotes for auto insurance. You may contact agents, brokers or individual insurance companies directly via phone (See listing of insurance companies' telephone numbers) or on the internet. There are also quoting agents that actively market their services to consumers and provide sample automobile insurance rates of specified insurers via a number of web sites.

When obtaining quotes, you should consider the following:

Once you have followed the above guidelines and obtained your quotes, you should be ready to make meaningful comparisons among insurers.

Although the Internet currently accounts for a relatively small percentage of total insurance sales, its influence in the marketplace is growing rapidly. Over the next few years, Internet sales are expected to grow as competition intensifies in the electronic marketplace. New York State consumers should be aware that the Web can be a convenient means of comparing prices and/or purchasing automobile insurance, but that it is not necessarily the best means for every consumer. Whether you use the Web or not, it pays to shop for auto insurance.

C. Don't Shop By Price Alone

Price is only one of many factors to consider in selecting an insurance company. Keep a number of the following key considerations in mind:

Many insurers permit the premium to be paid in installments. If you choose this option you should be aware that fees may be charged for this service. In addition, insurers may charge fees for late payment or checks returned for insufficient funds. Such a "bounced check" fee may not be greater than $20. Lastly, the existence of fraudulent insurance claims has an overall impact on premiums. There is a $10 annual Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement fee ($5 for a six-month policy) added to your auto insurance premium for each registered vehicle you insure. The purpose of these fees is to provide additional funds to combat auto theft and fraud in New York State.

Shopping for Auto Insurance | Next Topic | Consumers - Insurance Products

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