Comparing “apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges” is the #1 rule for comparing online car insurance quotes. Simply looking for the cheapest rates won’t work without first taking the time to find out exactly what you’re getting for your money. Rather than doing all the work yourself, searching separate insurance companies for their various offerings, it makes much more sense to contact an independent insurance agent and let them do the work for you. After putting in some basic required information, they’ll present you with multiple quotes from a variety of insurers offering similar types of coverage.

NC Auto Insurance Requirements

Anyone driving an automobile (including motorcycle) on public roads in North Carolina is required to maintain a minimum amount of liability coverage on that vehicle in the amount of $30K bodily injury (per person per accident), $60K bodily injury total (for two or more persons per accident) plus $25K total per accident in property damage liability coverage. All online car insurance quotes you find on the Internet must include this basic coverage as a minimum, although many drivers opt to carry much higher limits than the required minimums of 30/60/25.

Comparing apples-to-apples for this basic coverage is mostly a matter of researching the different companies offering the policies for their financial ratings, years in business, policyholder reviews, claims paying history, etc. Important factors to consider include reputation, service and agent access. Financial ratings are most important and can be found through A.M. Best. You should only consider a policy from a company with a rating of “A” or better.

Adding to the Basics

Auto insurance is an extremely competitive business and, although most companies would have you believe otherwise, according to Consumer Reports only about 10% of drivers comparing premiums found that they’d save money by switching companies. This doesn’t mean looking around isn’t worth the time and, in fact, it’s recommended that you revisit your policy at least every two years or so.

The two major policy additions most drivers consider when comparing online car insurance quotes are collision protection and comprehensive, which covers you for losses other than collision damage. Make sure when comparing these that you use the same deductible amount for each policy, as higher deductibles translate into lower premium rates.

Before settling on any specific coverage, take time to talk to a qualified independent agent for a complete explanation of policy details.