There can be a lot of questions around purchasing auto insurance, especially if it's your first time. First, you should get an insurance policy in the state where your primary residence is located, however, your garaging address will be the location where the car is house the majority of the year, and you'll need to let your insurer know that as well. Your insurance agent should be able to help you determine where to get a policy. You may need to change your plates if you're changing states, but you will avoid committing insurance fraud and possibly having claims denied. Double check with an agent to ensure you're getting a policy in the right state and the right coverage different states require different minimum requirements.

Always be sure to ask your agent if there are any discounts for which you may qualify. Consider a bundling discount by getting your auto insurance and renters or homeowners insurance through the same provider, you'll get more coverage at a discount.

Shopping Tips

If you are shopping for your own policy, you may not know where to begin. Don't worry - we asked an expert for you. Jeff Shea is an insurance agent in Boston, MA, and he shared with us his tips for shopping for and saving money on taking out your own car insurance policy for the first time.

  1. Use an online tool that allows you to search multiple quotes at once. This way you'll be able to shop multiple carriers at once and get a sense of what the major players are charging for the make and model of your car in your area.

  2. When requesting a quote, submit valid data. Don't be that person who enters 01-01-2013 as your birthdate. You're not a baby! If you want the correct price range for your quote, you'll need to put in correct details.

  3. Understand now that you will be contacted by phone or email to confirm your quote and bind your policy. In order to verify your personal information and deliver the best quote possible, as well as bind your policy, an agent will need to get in touch with you. So don't put that old email you never check and use only for contest entries in your quote form. You're going to need the information sent to that address later down the line.

  4. Trust your agent. Your agent wants to help you get the best quote and policy possible, and your agent definitely understands that you want the best price possible. An agent trying to sell you on more coverage is trying to help and giving you're the best advice possible. The rest of your life is worth more than you think, and the purpose of car insurance is to protect those assets. A couple extra bucks in premium now could be what allows you to afford what you need later in life.

  5. Risk is a huge factor, so understand your age will cost you. Driving is like any sport, with experience and practice comes confidence and skill... and in insurance, better rates. Consider someone playing baseball for the first time, would you put your money on that person hitting a home run? Probably not. Same goes for insurance underwriters. If you have less than 2 years of driving experience, insurance companies are thinking you are more likely to get into an accident, so your policy is going to be more costly. A clear driving record will help this rate fall over time, so skip the urge to speed and (we shouldn't have to say this, but...) never, ever drive after drinking.

  6. Don't expect cheap rates for new cars. Of course you want to be driving something safe, but the more your car is worth, the more you'll have to pay to protect it.

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