How to Get Auto Insurance in 5 Easy Steps

how to get auto insurance

Do you want to learn how to get auto insurance and do it in just a few easy steps? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re going to break down how to get auto insurance, the things to know, and the mistakes to avoid when choosing your policy. We’ll also help you figure out the best time to get a policy and the prices to expect. Let’s dive into it.

What Is Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance represents a contract between a person and an insurance company that protects the insured against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. In exchange for paying a premium, your insurance company agrees to pay for the losses outlined in the policy.

Auto insurance provides coverage for:

  • Property: Includes damage or theft to your vehicle;
  • Liability: Your legal responsibility to others for property damage or bodily injury;
  • Medical: The cost of rehabilitation, treating injuries, even lost wages or funeral expenses;

Types of Auto Insurance

Auto insurance requirements vary from one state to the next. But if you’re financing a car, the car lender will most likely have some requirements.

That said, almost all states require car owners to carry:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers the cost associated with injuries or death that you or another vehicle cause.
  • Property damage liability: Reimburses others for the damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another property or vehicle.

What’s more, many states will require drivers to carry:

  • Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP): Provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers, as well as covering lost wages.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Reimburses you when an accident is caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured. It also covers you in the case of a hit-and-run.

Additional Types of Auto Insurance

Oftentimes, having the basic protection and auto insurance isn’t enough to protect you from some common scenarios. To cover yourself and your vehicle, you should consider these additional types of coverage:

  • Comprehensive: Provides coverage against theft or damages caused by incidents other than collision. These can include vandalism, fires, floods, hail, or other hazards.
  • Collision: Reimburses you for the damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object. 
  • Glass coverage: Provides coverage from windshield damage, as well as side windows, rear windows, and glass roofs.

How to Get Auto Insurance in 5 Easy Steps

Now let’s get into the reason we’re here – how to get auto insurance and how to do it hassle-free. As you’ll see, once you choose the right insurance partner like Bennett + Porter, the whole process will become that much easier.

#1 Gather Your Vehicle and Driver Information

The first step of learning how to get auto insurance starts with collecting information. This includes:

  • Basic details like the name, address, and birthdate of every driver on the policy
  • Driver license information for everyone on the policy
  • Information on the car, including the make, model, safety features, VIN, current odometer reading, and annual mileage driven
  • Your current insurer (if applicable) and the current coverage limits
  • Driving history of all drivers, including any tickets, accidents, or other violations

#2 Determine How Much Coverage You Need

Before finalizing your coverage or choosing your provider, it’s important to consider how much coverage you think you’ll need. The most important consideration is your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. 

You will also have to look at your car’s age, your driving history, and your location. Another consideration that impacts your decision for coverage is whether your car is leased, financed, or owned.

You should also know that typically older cars might not need as extensive coverage as newer ones. If your car is older and its value has significantly depreciated, you should consider opting out of comprehensive or collision coverage. 

On the other hand, if you drive a luxury or high-value car, you’ll likely want comprehensive coverage to protect you against potential repairs or replacement costs. What’s more, if you drive a classic car, you might even need specialized classic car insurance.

#3 Choose Where and How to Get Auto Insurance

The third step is going to be figuring out where you’ll be getting your car insurance from, and luckily, you have a few different options.

Directly From the Insurer

With direct auto insurance, you won’t have to look for an insurance agent or broker. You can request an online car insurance quote from the insurers’ websites and use third-party sites for comparison. You can also ask for a quote over the phone.

When getting an insurance quote online, you’ll be able to see all of your policy options and complete the process at your own pace. It could be a good choice if you want a pressure-free shopping experience and if convenience is a top priority.

From a Captive Agent

Buying auto insurance from a captive agent is the most typical way people get their coverage. A captive agent works exclusively for a single insurance company and they act as your main point of contact from the day you get your coverage. 

Going with a captive agent could be a good choice if you’re not sure exactly what you need and want someone to guide you through the options. Also, it’s a good choice if you need help managing multiple policies.

From an Independent Agent or Broker

Unlike a captive agent, an independent agent or broker doesn’t exclusively represent just one company. They typically work with many different providers, which means they can offer you a variety of policies and quotes.

The main difference between an agent and a broker is that the former represents the insurance company they contract with, while the latter represents the client.

From Specialty Agencies

Specialty agents could be a good choice if you’ve recently been in an accident, had a DUI, a ticket, or a lapse in coverage. The high-risk car insurance companies specialize in nonstandard policies, which means they’re more likely to offer you coverage if you have a spotty record or no record at all.

Keep in mind that these agencies tend to be local, so when looking for one, search for reputable companies that indicate agents who can get insurance for drivers who are commonly denied coverage.

#4 Get an Auto Insurance Policy

Once you’ve identified who you want to work with and what you want and need, it’s time to get auto insurance. Keep in mind that many companies might offer a discount if you pay the full term upfront. But if you don’t want to pay in full, you can typically choose monthly installments.

When you buy a policy, the insurance will send you proof of insurance. Some might even have a mobile app where you can access that proof. Also, most states, excluding New Mexico, will accept digital proof of auto insurance.

#5 Cancel Your Old Car Insurance Policy

The last step of figuring out how to get auto insurance is actually canceling your old car insurance policy (if you had one, of course). 

If you’re switching car insurance companies, make sure that your new coverage has already kicked in before canceling your previous one. More often than not, you will get a refund for the unused months on the previous policy.

It’s important to note that there used to be a 30-day grace period for auto insurance. That meant you were allowed to have basic coverage for your new vehicle and used to have 30 days to update it. However, that is no longer the case.

That’s why you should always double-check whether your new policy is active before canceling the old one because you would be left uninsured. Not having insurance can have serious financial and legal implications if you were to get in an accident. 

You would have to pay for all expenses and damages out of pocket and you could even get a ticket for driving uninsured. What’s more, a lapse in coverage can cause your rates to go up.

how to get auto insurance

What to Look for When Buying Car Insurance

Whether you already know how to get auto insurance or it’s your first time, there are a few things to consider.

How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance: Where to Cut Costs

If you’re looking to get cheap insurance, you should consider bundling your insurance. Known as a multi-policy discount, many insurance companies will offer you a price reduction when you buy more than one type of policy from them.

You can also ask for discounts for insuring multiple cars, vehicle safety features, a good driving record, and for having anti-theft devices.

Another way to get your premium rates lower is by increasing your deductible for comprehensive and collision insurance. But only raise the deductible to the amount you would be comfortable paying in the event of a collision or theft.

Keeping Your (Coverage) Options Open

Another important thing to note is that you should regularly review your coverage. Something that worked for you a decade ago might not be right for you now.

It’s important to talk to your insurance provider when moving into a new phase of your life as that can have a great effect on your coverage. 

The Price of Car Insurance

The cost of car insurance will vary on many different factors and your personalized rating factors will determine your total price. That said, in Arizona, the average annual cost for full coverage policies is around $1,078, while the minimum, state-required policies come out to $506.

If you want to get a precise quote on auto insurance, it’s best to get in touch with an agent at Bennett + Porter.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Auto Insurance

We hope to have helped you understand how to get auto insurance and how to make the process as easy as possible for yourself. If you have any more questions on the type of coverage you need, the price to expect, or anything else regarding your auto insurance – get in touch with us!

Our insurance professionals have worked with thousands of individuals, providing unmatched expertise and service. With access to dozens of industry-leading carriers, we can find the best rates for our clients. 

Call Bennett + Porter and book your complimentary, no-obligation consultation with one of our insurance experts today!

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