Check insurance before you buy

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The biggest sticker shock you encounter when car shopping might not be the label on the vehicle’s window. It could be the insurance bill for your new wheels.

An increase in value in the car you’re driving, combined with increased theft risk and other factors, could send your auto insurance bill skyward. What’s more, a less-than-stellar credit rating could hike your rates. Before sealing the deal, check out national premium averages, talk to your agent about the vehicles you’re considering and compare the quote against other quotes in your area. You can also go online to a number of sites and check insurance rates. You may find that you can save with another company.

Here are some sites that offer auto insurance quotes as well as other insurance lines:

  • InsWeb: This publicly traded company provides instant quotes from more than 40 highly rated carriers.
  • NetQuote: Started in 1989, NetQuote provides a maximum of five quotes from a pool of 5,000 participating agents and 100 insurance companies. Selected carriers then quote you directly via e-mail, fax or phone.
  • QuickQuote: Founded in 1995 and purchased four years later by Dutch-owned ING, QuickQuote offers comparable instant quotes from highly rated carriers.
  • Acquired in 2003 by auto marketplace ComparisonMarket, provides quotes from a select group of carriers and strategic partners.
  • Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Inc. Founded in 1984, Quotesmith is a publicly traded company that offers instant quotes from more than 300 insurers.
  • iLeads: Founded in 1996 and partially owned by First American Financial, iLeads offers insurance quotes to consumers and sells consumer leads to insurance agents.
  • All Quotes Insurance: All Quotes Insurance plays matchmaker between you and hundreds of prescreened insurers, using your criteria. Quotes are delivered via fax or e-mail within 24 hours.

Did you know …
More than a quarter (27 percent) of consumers interviewed in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 National Auto Insurance Study stated they shopped for auto insurance in the past year, and of those, 33 percent used the Internet to get a rate quote.