Your car insurance shopping list

Have you really done your research to ensure that you're getting the right deal to suit you?

MANY women have the patience to wait in a long queue for big savings at a sale, but when it comes to saving money on car insurance, some of us barely spend minutes to find the best products. This is because we don't think of the savings we make as instant, which makes it less gratifying. The truth, however, is we can save hundreds of dollars in the few minutes it takes to search and compare insurers, all from our own computer workstation.
To make the process as easy as picking up groceries, here's your car insurance shopping list, so you can be sure to tick off the essentials during your browse:
Big insurers or small?
Bigger, established insurers can sometimes provide more services and variety of products, but smaller ones are consistently the most competitive on price, so know your preferences before you begin.
Just use the web
Even after speaking to insurers on the phone or at a branch, some of the biggest discounts (up to 15 percent) you will get on your policy will be through signing up online, so just keep clicking to save big.
What do you really want?
Windshield protection? Flood cover? Longer warranties on repairs? Mixing and matching can save you money by selecting only certain cover options, but make sure you pick just the right ones for your car. For example, if you're not covered for storm damage, think twice about going out for a drive during the wet season.
Can't decide?
Comprehensive insurance might be more suited for you if you don't like surprises. The difference may only be an extra few hundred dollars every year, but you can save thousands on excesses in the event of an accident.
Who's who?
Make a list of the usual suspects who will be driving your car. Depending on their age and driving history, you could be saving or forking out extra cash to cover them. This could really affect your premium, so think about how much it's costing you to share the wheel.
Compare, compare
When you think you've found the cheapest deal, there's probably a better one waiting around the corner. Be patient with your shopping, and know that results will come.
There's no better time for women to take control of their car insurance finances and reward ourselves with the savings we deserve. Have a go at comparing today, and share your good news tomorrow.
Michelle Hutchison is a consumer advocate at RateCity. RateCity is a privately owned company in partnership with ninemsn, publisher of the Australian Women's Weekly website. The above information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

Your say: Do you buy car insurance in person, on the phone or online? How do you save yourself money when it comes to insurance? Email us on openline@bauer-media.com.au

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