Eight steps to getting the right insurance policy at the right price

Searching for insurance policies can range from unexciting to overwhelming. With so many insurance companies with varying plans and premium costs, it can be difficult to determine the best deal. However, by following these eight steps, you can simplify the process and find the right insurance policy for you.

1. Evaluate your current insurance policies

Mike Blake/Reuters/File
Newly built show homes wait for buyers at a housing development in San Marcos, Calif., in this 2012 file photo. The amount of auto and other insurance you need depends in part on the home you own and other assets.

Many people buy their first auto insurance policy, and then continue to pay premiums on that coverage year after year without evaluating whether they are receiving the coverage they need at the most affordable price. The first step to figuring out what insurance is best is to determine what your current coverage is, the amount you pay for that coverage, and the factors contributing to your insurance rates.

For auto insurance, factors such as driving record, occupation, and the type of car you drive can all determine the rate you receive from an insurance company. In addition, the amount of coverage you feel you need depends on certain life factors – things like whether you frequently drive in risky conditions, have an old car or a new car, or have assets that a lawyer may try to sue for in the event of an accident resulting in physical harm.

For example: If you rent an apartment and your biggest asset is $30,000 tucked away in a retirement plan, you probably don't need more than $50,000 in coverage for accidental death and personal injury. If you own an expensive house and have a certain amount in stocks and bonds, you will need that amount or more in coverage.

When choosing other types of insurance, complete a similar evaluation. If you are single you may not need a life insurance policy; if you are married with kids, sit down and determine all of the expenses your family would need to cover if you were gone.

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