Is $19 Car Insurance for Real?

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While goofing around online lately, I have been seeing ads claiming that I can get car insurance for $19 a month. Or, to be more precise, $19 a month car insurance is available out there somewhere for someone. These ads direct the viewer to websites offering to find you the lowest monthly premiums available, some as low as $19. The ads that I have seen have been online, but I’ve heard that they also appear regularly in money-mailers, local newspapers and penny savers.

Now, I am always up for a bargain and I know I am certainly paying more than $19 a month for my auto insurance. A lot more, in fact. So, with my curiosity piqued (and yes, the proper word is “piqued”), I decided to try out a couple of those sites to see if could find a satisfactory answer to the question: Is $19 car insurance for real?

The $19 auto insurance websites. 

I won’t mention the addresses of any of the websites here, but they are easy enough to find. Just type “$19 car insurance” into your search engine and see what pops up. What you will get in response is a list of sites offering to compare insurance company quotes if you just provide them with the necessary information about your car, your insurance needs, and yourself. In most cases, you will have to give them a call, but some offer the option of entering your information online. Not wanting to deal with a live person (who most likely will be trying hard to sell me something), I stuck with the online options.

In each case I was asked a number of simple questions and then taken to a list of potential insurers, all of which were legitimate, well-known companies. I was next required to click on each insurer to receive a quote. More questions followed very much like the ones I had already been asked. Can you say “hassle”?

I decided to rig the game a bit and input information that I thought would lead to the lowest available quotes. I claimed to reside in a state with low average insurance costs (Maine), and painted myself as a single, somewhat older driver with a modest vehicle and exemplary driving record. I also requested quotes coinciding with the minimal state requirements.

When all was said and done, I ended up with several price quotes. I know what you are asking: Were any of them for $19?

The results.

The answer is simple: No. The quotes were, for the most part, reasonable and in line with what one should expect to pay given the information I provided. No $19-a-month quotes, though. Not even close.

So, does that mean a $19 monthly car insurance bill is impossible? I’m not prepared to say here, with complete authority, that you absolutely cannot find auto insurance for $19 a month, but I do feel comfortable in concluding that, at best, it’s very, very… very difficult. And I’m apparently not the only one who thinks so. You may want to check out what the Better Business Bureau has to say on the subject.

Now let’s be reasonable. 

You may not be able to get car insurance for $19 a month, but that does not mean you cannot save money, maybe even lots of it.

Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Shop around. This one is obvious. Get quotes from at least five different insurers. Ten is better. You will be surprised at the range of prices you will get.
  • Check your credit. Car insurance companies typically check your credit scores. The better your credit, the lower your car insurance cost. So try to maintain a clean credit record and make sure to correct any errors on your reports.
  • Lower your coverage and raise your deductibles. This one can be a bit tricky. You want to make sure that you are fully covered, so only make changes to your coverage that keep you adequately protected. You may want to consider liability coverage only for your older vehicles.
  • Make sure to take all available discounts. Insurers offer all sorts of discounts. Make sure you ask about them and take advantage of all that you can. One last piece of advice: drive safely. There’s no better way to save on your car insurance bill than maintaining a stellar driving record.

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