Choosing car insurance should be easy and straightforward, and in most cases it is. Many motorists simply opt for the biggest brand name they can recall, or the company their spouse, friends, or family members recommend. However, there are ways to save on car insurance and get better coverage by digging a little deeper.
Comparing one car insurance policy to another can be challenging if you’re not familiar with insurance terminology and common coverage features. There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration during a thorough insurance comparison, yet most people only look at price and coverage limits.
With that said, here are five tips you can use to compare insurance plans with ease:
1. Consider using a Region-specific Insurance Comparison Site
You can sometimes find local discounts and exclusive deals by comparing brands through a region-specific insurance comparison site. CompareNI.com, for instance, is a site that allows you to compare the cheapest Northern Ireland car insurance plans that are available. If you lived in Northern Ireland you would find this site by typing “car insurance Northern Ireland” into Google, and if you lived in a different region you could find similar sites in much the same way by running a web search for “car insurance” followed by the name of the region you want to search within.
2. Compare Policies that Offer Equal or Similar Coverage
As with anything else, there’s no sense in comparing apples to oranges. Opting for the cheapest plan will usually mean accepting much lower coverage limits. Decide how much coverage you really need and then only compare policies that have similar limits. That way, price isn’t clouding your ability to judge which policy is better value.
If an insurance policy offers half the coverage of another you can be sure that it will also have a lower monthly cost. The problem is, cheaper isn’t always better because insufficient coverage could expose you to the possibility of having to pay for the shortfall yourself.
3. Set a Budget and Compare Policies in That Price Range
Since the goal of acquiring insurance is to have a source of financial protection in the event of an accident, it makes sense to opt for the most comprehensive plan that you can reasonably afford. Set a maximum budget amount that you’re willing to spend and look for the policy that offers the most comprehensive coverage within that price range.
By taking a budgeted approach and only comparing plans that meet your minimum coverage requirements, you can sift through prospective car insurance policies more efficiently.
4. Determine Which Extra Features Your Policy Should Have
Coverage limits and monthly policy costs are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customising cheap car insurance to meet your needs.
For instance, many car insurance policies will not come with roadside assistance or towing and labour included but you will usually have the option to add these to your policy as optional extras. But it probably goes without saying that optional extras will affect the cost of your policy, so you should only add them to your insurance if you feel they’re worth the cost.
5. Examine the ToS and Compare Upfront Payment Prices
Most people don’t actually read the Terms of Service (ToS) for their car insurance policy because they rely solely on surface features and what a representative tells them. However, if you don’t read the ToS before purchasing your policy it’s easy to fall victim to hidden fees and limitations that you didn’t see coming.
It’s especially important to take this step if you’re making your decision based on a special offer or discount, as some offers expire or have restrictive terms that become apparent only in retrospect. Finally, when you’re using a comparison tool it’s important to note whether their quotes and prices are reflecting the cost of paying by the month or paying the plan in full. You can reduce costs substantially by opting to pay for your insurance in full at the beginning of the policy term.
Don’t Forget to Consider Customer Support Quality
As a final measure, it’s always best to compare the customer support quality and responsiveness of prospective insurance providers. Be sure to call their support teams and see how well they’re able to answer your questions and provide general guidance.