When to shop for car insurance

Quoting car insurance at least once a year can be beneficial as rates change frequently. If you’re paying too much, don’t wait to switch. Your current company will refund you the unused portion of your policy when you cancel. Just make sure you’re covered with your new company before cancelling. Adding a teenager to your family policy is also a good time to shop for auto insurance, as you may find an insurer that offers discounts for teen drivers.

Pro tip: Progressive gives discounts for drivers listed on your policy who are 18 years old or younger, as well as students with a B average or better.*

What you need to quote and buy car insurance

Before you start shopping around for auto insurance, you’ll need a few pieces of info in order to get an accurate quote, including:

  • Your car’s make, model, and year: You’ll usually only need this and your address to get an accurate quote.
  • Your driving history: Providing an honest account of tickets or accidents you’ve been in will increase the accuracy of your quote.
  • Your car’s mileage: Some insurers will ask for this to get a rough estimate of how often you drive.

In order to purchase a policy, you’ll typically need one or more of the following for verification purposes: driver’s license number, social security number, and vehicle identification number.

With the above info in hand, you can start shopping for car insurance online, over the phone, or through an agent. Quoting insurance online is a quick way to compare rates yourself, though an agent can save you time if you prefer someone else to do the shopping for you. Just bear in mind that prices can vary based on how you buy.

How to compare car insurance rates

The best way to shop for car insurance is to get a handful of quotes from different companies and start comparing costs and coverages. Pay attention to these four aspects as you go:

  1. Deductible

    The higher your deductible is, the lower your rate will be. However, you should always make sure your deductible isn’t so high that you’d struggle to pay for repairs before your insurance kicks in. You’ll typically pay a deductible for comprehensive, collision, and gap coverages.

  2. Coverage types

    A liability-only policy will grant you a cheaper rate, but it might not satisfy your needs. If you lease or finance your car, your lender will require comprehensive and collision. Some lenders may even mandate a certain amount of liability coverage over the state minimum. Even if your car is paid off, you should consider comprehensive and collision coverage if your car is new to avoid paying an expensive repair bill yourself. Learn more about common auto coverages.

  3. Coverage limits

    This is the amount your insurance will pay out for a bodily injury or property damage claim. Selecting your state’s minimum liability coverage will reduce your rate but might not be enough to satisfy what you owe to the injured party. Use a coverage estimator to get an idea of how high you should set your limits.

  4. Premium

    This is your bottom line — exactly how much your insurance will cost per payment cycle (options for payment frequency will vary).

    If you already know the coverages and deductible amount you want, then make sure each quote includes them so you can make a true comparison. If not, you can vary each quote to see how your rate changes when additional coverages are added.

Pro tip: As you shop for auto insurance, keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best choice. Rather, the best policy is the one that satisfies all of your needs for the lowest possible price.

How to get car insurance

You can buy a policy from Progressive any way you’d like, both online or over the phone (prices can vary depending on how you buy). You can even see pricing from other companies with our rate comparison tool. Start shopping for a better car insurance rate:

Online

We'll ask easy questions, then you choose coverages. Plus, we offer an online quote discount.

Call a rep

You'll speak with a licensed representative who will guide you through everything.

Through an agent

If you want local advice, we'll connect you with a licensed, independent agent near you.