Buying car insurance online is not only convenient, but it’s also the most cost-effective way to go about it. When you buy car insurance online, you avoid having to visit a brick-and-mortar insurance agency, or worse yet, waiting on hold on the phone with an agent who may or may not be working in your best interest. The following guide will help you find the best deals on car insurance online so that you can get the lowest price possible without sacrificing coverage or service!

What type of auto insurance should you have?

There are several types of auto insurance, but no state requires that you carry any specific kind. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common types: Liability: This is often called basic coverage, and it protects you financially if you cause an accident. States typically require that drivers have at least some amount of liability coverage. State minimums range from $10,000 to $50,000 per person per accident and from $20,000 to $100,000 for accidents involving more than one person.

Do you need full coverage?

Full coverage may seem like a good idea when you’re buying car insurance, but sometimes it’s just more expensive than you need. For example, if your vehicle is already paid off or if you have significant equity in it, full coverage isn’t required. That doesn’t mean that you should go without comprehensive and collision; after all, your vehicle could become a total loss or stolen at any point. What it does mean is that you should carefully consider how much coverage makes sense for your situation. Shop around and think through what each policy will cover and determine whether or not it makes sense for you to pay extra for full coverage. If so, make sure that you buy from an insurer with a solid reputation (and track record).

Is it possible to save by insuring multiple cars together?

Some companies will give you a discount for having multiple cars insured with them. Call your current company and ask what kind of a deal they can offer you by bundling your policies together. If they say no, shop around until you find one that does offer it. It could save you a bundle over time.

Consider adding additional drivers

When you’re buying a new car, your current insurance rates may not reflect that. Adding a newly licensed driver or recently acquired second vehicle can increase your premiums—even if it’s just temporary. On average, adding a teenage driver to an existing policy is more than doubling your premium. If you want to save money, consider removing him from your policy before he starts driving and adding him back when he’s ready for full-time solo coverage. In many states, once he has at least three years of full-time driving experience under his belt (which would include time spent as a passenger), you can drop him from your policy altogether.

Should you bundle your home, life, and auto policies?

While it’s often cheaper to have a single package policy that covers everything, it may not be worth it in certain situations. Whether you should bundle or keep them separate comes down to your individual situation. To help figure out what works for you, use our free tool below. When you’re done, you can also read about how much of a difference bundling could make—for example: On average in 2016, someone who bundles their auto and home policies will save about $484 over someone who buys auto and home separately. If you purchase both an umbrella policy and personal liability coverage, but don’t bundle your auto and home coverage, we estimate that you’ll save an average of $1,830 over someone who purchases everything separately.

Would an umbrella policy help?

The average cost of auto insurance is around $1,300 per year. But many drivers overpay for their coverage and end up paying significantly more than they have to. If you live in a moderate-risk area, it’s possible that your current policy offers enough coverage. Ask your agent how much liability limits and personal injury protection your current policy includes—if those amounts are above what’s required by law in your state, consider dropping some of those excess coverages from your policy. This can save you hundreds of dollars per year without sacrificing protection against major risks like liability lawsuits or damages caused by injuries that occur within or outside of your vehicle.

What does liability mean?

You must buy uninsured motorist coverage if your state requires it. It’s often packaged with underinsured motorist coverage. As a result, it’s hard to know how much you’re paying for either one separately. If your state doesn’t require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, it may be cheaper not to buy it — but that depends on your driving record and many other factors. When buying car insurance, shop around and ask about discounts for taking driver education courses, avoiding accidents and keeping your vehicle up-to-date with routine maintenance.

Does my state require uninsured motorist coverage?

If you live in a state that requires uninsured motorist coverage, go with it. While UM/UIM will not pay out if you’re at fault for an accident, it could prove valuable if another driver hits you without having any liability coverage. You can usually choose how much uninsured motorist coverage to carry, so shop around for rates. While your premium may increase when purchasing UM/UIM, experts say that making sure you have enough protection is well worth it in case of an accident. Remember: It’s harder for drivers without any insurance to pay out of pocket. Always inform your agent and make sure they know what type of coverage is required by your state so they can help find solutions that fit into your budget.

Can I combine property damage liability with medical payments coverage?

Discounts are often available when you are a safe driver, a good student, or other things that can be verified. Discounts from insurance companies vary and you should ask your agent what discounts they offer. Also, check with your friends and family as they may have a discount with one of their agents that they can pass onto you. For example: if you’re in college there may be special rates available for students since students statistically cause fewer accidents than people in other age groups.

Should I go with a non-owner auto policy or add it to my homeowners policy?

If you own a car and have financed it, chances are that your lender required you to take out liability insurance coverage. This protects both you and your bank from accidents that result in injuries or property damage. However, liability insurance doesn’t cover any of your vehicle’s other parts, meaning if someone damages or steals one of its parts (like its radio), they aren’t responsible for reimbursing you. So what can you do? You can take out additional coverage through a floater policy. The only issue is that these policies typically come with high rates—but not always!

Should I get added theft protection coverage through a floater policy?

Any time you buy a car, it’s a good idea to take steps to ensure that if your vehicle is stolen, it can be returned quickly and safely. A great way to do that is through an added theft protection policy. However, not all theft floaters are created equal—so you want to make sure you understand how your plan works before committing. In most cases, theft floaters fall into one of two categories: zero deductible or no-frills plans.

Are there discounts available if I’m a safe driver, good student, etc.?

If you’re looking for a quality policy that offers discounts, whether for being a safe driver or good student, it’s important to read through your state department of insurance guidelines. Some carriers will offer discounts if you fall into specific categories. Ask if there are any discounts available and how much they save you. Also, be sure to check with your agent about deductibles; higher deductibles typically lead to lower premiums. But make sure that it’s something that fits within your budget and can be afforded in case of an accident or serious injury!