Question: Is there a minimum number of quotes I should get when shopping for an auto insurance policy?
Answer :

Like anything else, the cost of your auto insurance can vary depending on where you purchase your policy and what state you live in. As a result, you'll want to get quotes from more than one insurance company. How many do you need? That's in part up to you and your own comfort level, but three or four should be enough for comparison purposes.

When you get your quotes, you'll want to know you're comparing prices for like products. Before you start asking for numbers from the insurance companies, decide on a few numbers of your own. Determine what deductible you want, and remember that you can reduce your premium if you're willing to choose a higher deductible. Find out if your state requires any minimum amounts of liability and other types of coverage. Then decide if you need to carry more extensive coverage than your state requires. Whatever you decide, make sure the quotes you get are all for the same coverage amounts so you can compare apples to apples.

Ask each company if you qualify for any discounts. You might be eligible for a reduction in your premium if you insure several cars under one policy or if you carry all your insurance (e.g., life insurance, homeowners insurance) with one company. If you've taken a driver's education class within the last five years, you may qualify for a lower rate. Low annual mileage, an antitheft device, or air bags may also entitle you to a break on the price. These are just a few examples of discounts that many insurers offer.

When you're ready to get the quotes, you might do this through an independent insurance agent or broker. In addition to reviewing your needs and offering advice, the agent will get quotes from several companies for policies tailored to your situation. If you want to do more of the work yourself, you can contact insurance companies by telephone or on the Internet. You can also use an on-line quote service to help with your shopping.