Updated 2/22/18: Maryland is a “mandatory vehicle insurance state,” which means that, according to the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles (mva.maryland.gov), all insured motorists must carry certain minimum levels of coverage, and all drivers must be insured at all times by a company licensed in Maryland.
Luckily, there is a wide range of options for both insurance carrier and coverage level. The trick is how to make to sure you are insured at an appropriate level of coverage for you, at the best possible price. Here are some tips for getting the best price on auto insurance:
8 Hacks for Getting the Best Price on Auto Insurance
Know your current levels of coverage.
When you begin calling insurance companies to obtain quotes, it’s important to make sure that you are comparing similar levels of coverage. If a quote seems a bit high, or unusually low, check to make sure that the coverage levels match what you currently carry. If they don’t, ask why.
Be sure to set aside some time to make some phone calls.
Call at least three competitors and be prepared to spend 15-30 minutes on the phone with each. Ask about the levels of coverage they recommend for your make, model, age, and mileage of the vehicle, and be sure to ask why. Have a pen and paper handy, and take good notes so you can compare quotes later.
Do not commit to switching companies on the spot.
Any reputable company will hold a quote for at least twenty-four hours so that you have time to shop around and consider what they have to offer. After your phone calls, carefully look over your notes to get a feel for how the companies compare to one another.
Ask about available discounts.
It is not uncommon for auto insurance companies to offer a variety of discounts, for things such as your alumni association membership, use of seat belts, good driver status (number of years since you have had an accident or moving violation), whether you have airbags, and what is known as a “multi-channel” discount, which is when you have additional insurance policies with that company already or plan to bundle more than one policy together. For example, carrying an auto insurance policy and homeowner’s or renter’s policy with the same company can save you money.
Learn the lingo.
Comprehensive, collision, gap: what do they all mean? A quick internet search can help you feel comfortable with the different levels of coverage available, over and above the minimums required by the state.
Consider adjusting your coverage levels.
Perhaps you no longer need comprehensive or collision coverage due to the age of the vehicle. Once your vehicle is paid off, you may decide you no longer need gap coverage. It’s important to consider the age and value of your car as well as your driving habits and needs. Knowing these pieces of information up front will help you feel more informed when discussing your options with an insurance representative.
Obtain one or more free quotes online.
Here are a few places where you can obtain quotes on auto insurance. Be sure to still call the individual companies that interest you to follow up, but these sites are a great way to get started with some good information:
See what the State of Maryland has to say.
mva.maryland.gov has a free, downloadable auto insurance comparison guide, as well as a consumer guide to auto insurance. These guides include a wealth of information about shopping for auto insurance as well as what factors impact rates.
We know there is a lot of information out there about auto insurance and that the choice can be daunting. But a few short phone calls are all it takes to be an informed consumer and a happy driver. We are well versed in all things automotive as well, so if there are any questions we can answer for you, in particular relating to being an insured motorist in our state of Maryland, reach out anytime!
Let Jones Give You a Quote on Auto Insurance
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Still unsure about how to proceed with getting your vehicle insured? Check out a few more tips for getting the best deals on car insurance »