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How To Shop For Insurance

By Scottie McNelly

The best way to shop for insurance is to get several quotes from competing companies. Make sure all the coverage’s are apples to apples when shopping for automobile insurance. Make sure the dwelling amount is the same from all home carriers. Be prepared to give your personal information such as birth dates and drivers license number and your social security number. This information is needed by most carriers to give you an accurate price. Give all information regarding your driving history and claims as this is important in providing accurate quotes. If you are unsure of your history, just tell the agent and they will check your history for you. Regardless if you tell them up front, in the end, the information will be obtained when the agent or company runs the reports for driving and claims history.

One way to get quotes is to call one agent that represents multiple carriers, like an independent agent. Give them the coverage’s you are looking for on your automobile insurance policy or a copy of your current insurance policy so they can compare to your exact coverage’s. Don’t be offended when they ask you personal questions, be prepared! An insurance agent is licensed by the state and held to ethical requirements to keep your personal information secure. Ask your friends or family for referrals to an insurance agent if you are in doubt.

Another way to shop for insurance is online. Many carriers give online quotes and many agencies have their own websites for quoting. Do expect an insurance agent to give you a call when completing an online quote. is an excellent website that provides home and automobile insurance quotes instantly by matching you with an agent licensed in your state. You can enter the coverages you want and you will receive prices instantly online. offers insurance quotes from over 140 carriers nationwide. Calling several different agents who represent the same carriers is not recommended. They have the same rates; the prices do not vary agent to agent as long as they are quoting the exact same coverage’s.

Important tips for home insurance shopping:

  • Make sure you are getting replacement cost on your home.
  • Make sure you have water damage coverage.
  • Ask your agent to show you a comparison of the different companies and what they cover. They should be glad to do this for you and help you make an informed choice.

Important tips for automobile insurance shopping:

  • Provide your driving and claims history or ask the agent to do that for you.

Other Important tips when shopping for both home and automobile insurance:

  • Explore coverage options with your agent to be sure you are covered for anything you expect your insurance policy to pay for.
  • Research consumer reports for how well a carrier pays claims.
  • Ask if there are new customer discounts that will vanish on your renewal so you can foresee any rates increases at renewal.
  • Ask if the coverage is bound when you sign and pay for the policy.

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