insurance

Compare car insurance rates

If you want to compare car insurance rates, Bankrate.com is a great place to start. All you need to do is input information about your vehicle, your driving habits and any discounts that may be available to you, and you'll have quotes in a matter of minutes.

But the price isn't the only consideration. You'll need to find a policy that fits your needs, your budget and one that will help keep you out of a financial catastrophe, if you ever get into an accident.

So, before you compare car insurance rates, figure out what your needs are. Do you need a local office and agent? That may cost a little more, but if it's something that you need, you may be willing to shoulder that extra burden.

A company that contacts you through long-distance phone calls, mail and email might leave you cold in the personal service department, even though you may get a lower rate.

Insuring your clunker

If you're driving a clunker, that changes the game considerably. Your insurance company could be taking you for the proverbial ride. If you go for a higher deductible, drop rental car coverage, and do some other things, you could save some big money.

You could drop collision coverage. Your clunker's value is going down. And as that happens, you could end up paying more in premiums than the car is worth. Also, you should adjust your deductible upward as your car declines in value.

So before you compare car insurance rates, look at your current situation. Figure out your needs and use a little ingenuity to save yourself some money.

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