If you were to count every entry on a list of car insurance companies, you would have already wasted more time than it should take to get the best coverage for your car.
Nobody could be expected to go through them all, excluding the non-local auto insurance companies, filling out all the forms to get individual quotes and hopefully ending up with the best auto insurance available to you. And only to do it all over again in six months or a year?
Thankfully, there are services happy to do it for you — for free. And that’s a valuable service, because the best insurance companies, Consumer Reports says, usually aren’t the biggest ones.
Here’s how to find the best insurance companies for your car without breaking a sweat.
Sure, you could comb through a list of ratings for the best car insurance. (Consumer Reports has one, but it’ll cost you.) Then, you could just go with the highest-rated option in your area. But there’s a problem.
That rating isn’t based on you and all the personal factors in your driving record, credit history and background that insurers use to offer rates. You don’t want a list of the top insurance companies in general — you want to know the best auto insurance companies for you.
Gabi can quickly help you figure out which those are, and translate those findings into instant savings. Money Talks News founder and CEO Stacy Johnson tried it himself: Check out his story “How I Found $546 in Car Insurance Savings in Under 10 Minutes.”
The short version: Gabi doesn’t waste your time making you fill out a lot of information. You upload a PDF of your current insurance policy, provide your name, date of birth and contact information, and you’re done.
In under two minutes, Gabi was able to compare 40 providers and identify savings of 22% for the same coverage with a different company. It could even handle making the switch for Stacy.
The best insurance companies aren’t the same for everyone, but everybody can use a tool like Gabi to figure out which company makes sense for them.
2. The Zebra
The Zebra is a similar tool you can use to compare more than 200 national and local auto insurance companies.
It doesn’t require a copy of your current policy to prepare a side-by-side comparison in minutes — just your name, parking address and vehicle information.
“Not everyone who uses The Zebra finds a lower rate, but those who do save an average of $368 per year,” the site says.
You can call to speak with an agent, and the site allows you to later retrieve past quotes if you need to do additional research into local insurance companies. It also checks for things like senior discounts and other savings you might be eligible for.
If two one-stop shops for auto insurance aren’t enough, check out Policygenius. It works much like Gabi: You share your current policy, and the service finds the best rates among dozens of insurers. They also have people to answer questions and help with the paperwork of swapping.
Policygenius also helps find other kinds of insurance, including homeowners, renters, health and even pet insurance. Its auto insurance comparison tries to look for savings by bundling homeowners and auto. You currently can’t search for just auto insurance quotes, although the site says it plans to add a stand-alone auto insurance search tool.
4. Do it yourself
If you don’t trust any third party to figure out what’s in your best interest, you can make your own comparisons the old-fashioned way. We explain a step-by-step method in “How to Get the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance.”
It starts by creating a spreadsheet with all the pertinent details of your current policy: what coverage you have, deductibles, costs, phone numbers, due dates and savings from things like senior discounts. Don’t forget to leave space for notes. You can explain to your future self exactly what all this coverage does, in case you forget or it becomes less relevant to your vehicle.
For instance, some people who drive cars that aren’t worth much opt to drop comprehensive and collision coverage as much as possible and self-insure. As your car ages and you reassess the costs, this might be something to consider — if you remember.
Once you have your current coverage squared away, it’s easy to add a few columns for comparison quotes from insurers you’re curious about.
Overall, this is the most time-consuming method, and you could be using that time to plan your retirement investments instead. But this exercise might be worth doing at least once even if you plan to use a tool like Gabi or The Zebra, just so you can understand exactly how your coverage works and make an informed judgment about the quotes you’re getting.
After all, you’re going to get recommendations under the assumption you have the coverage types and levels you currently have. But if those are different from the state-required minimums, a computer algorithm probably isn’t going to presume to know better than you what coverage you need.
How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes
Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.
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