7 steps to find and buy car insurance

Meet the agents before buying
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Meet the agents before buying

Although you can easily purchase car insurance online or over the phone, it's often preferable to purchase from a local agent who can meet with you face to face and answer questions you may have now and in the future.

Even when you shop online to compare rates, many insurance websites will now help you find a favorable policy and then connect you with an insurance agent in your own neighborhood to close the deal, says Barry.

"The advent of online clearinghouses has really eliminated price discrepancies among (insurance) agencies," says Greg McFarlane, co-author of "Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense." "The agencies' biggest difference these days is in customer service and turnaround time."

For that reason, it's a good idea to meet with agents in person and make sure you're working with someone whose customer service mindset meets your needs.




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