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Become a SMARTER shopper > Our resources are developed by car insurance experts to provide you a guide to getting the best insurance.
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Why do I need car insurance?

Liability car insurance is required to drive legally in nearly all states because it helps pay for damage and injuries to others that you cause in an accident. It also helps pay legal costs if you’re taken to court because of an accident. Optional physical damage coverages, comprehensive and collision, pay for damage to your own car regardless of fault. Though it does cost the average driver around $1,300 for full coverage car insurance, it can save you a lot of money. Here’s why:
  • You’re financially protected - with no car insurance, you’d have to pay out-of-pocket for accidents and injuries you cause
  • Your house, savings and assets aren’t at risk should you cause an accident
  • You get reimbursed so you can repair your car after an accident

How do I compare car insurance quotes?

To get the lowest price on your car insurance, you need to compare auto insurance quotes to see which company has the most affordable rate. The cost of a policy can differ by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. Insurance companies use different methods when deciding how much you pay, so each will have a different price for your coverage. CarInsurance.com Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner offers the following expert advice on comparing car insurance quotes:
  • Assess your coverage needs and decide how much insurance to buy
  • Compare the exact same coverage level
  • Compare at least three different auto insurance companies
  • Research customer satisfaction and claims handling, don’t choose only on price
  • Don’t cancel your existing coverage until you have a new policy in place

Best times to compare car insurance rates

Assess your car insurance cost at these times, when your rates are likely to change:
  • Purchasing a car
  • Adding or removing a driver from a policy
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Moving
  • Adding a teen driver
  • Buying a house
  • DUI or major violation
  • Accident
  • Change in credit score

CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis of up to six major insurers in nearly every ZIP code shows that you can save an average of $1,127 annually on a full coverage policy by comparing car insurance companies.

How much car insurance is required in my state?

The amount you must buy to drive legally is mandated by your state car insurance laws, which vary depending on the state. Each state – except New Hampshire - requires you to have a minimum level of liability coverage.
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HOW MUCH CAR INSURANCE DO I NEED?

See recommended coverage levels for drivers like you.
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Ask the Car Insurance Expert
Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst
Penny Gusner is an expert on car insurance rates, policies, procedures and claims, with over a decade of experience answering reader questions and giving you the information you need to make smart insurance decisions. Penny will personally respond to your question by email.