Things You'll Need
Contact the DMV to find out about any outstanding violations you might have on your driving record and straighten them out. Order a free credit report from a company like Experian.com to make sure it's clean.
Find out how much coverage you're required to carry according to your state's department of insurance and determine which types of coverage you'll need. This requires balancing how much you can afford to pay with how much you can afford to lose. You should carry enough liability to cover your assets if you cause a very expensive accident; otherwise the claimant might go after your house and possessions.
Shop around for quotes based on what you've determined you need, instead of asking agencies what they think you need. Independent insurance agents and Web sites like esurance.com, Insweb.com and AllQuotesInsurance.com will compare rates for you. Are you willing to pay more for a well-known company?
See what you can get discounts for. Here are some of the things you may
already have that can save you money: air bags, antilock brakes, automatic seat belts, antitheft devices, safe driving record, safe car, age, marital status and multiple insured vehicles.
Ask the carrier if filing a claim raises premiums, and under which circumstances it cancels insurance.
Research prospective insurers. To learn how the company's service is regarded, talk to other customers and repair shops who have worked with the insurer. Check out the company's rating with your state's department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and national consumer surveys. The company should be in good standing so you can collect when there's a claim.
Read your policy before signing. Make sure it includes the coverage you're requesting and no surprise clauses. Avoid arbitration clauses that keep you from suing your insurer if it doesn't pay a claim by asking the insurer to delete it from the contract or going to another insurer.
Keep the policy in a safe place, and keep proof of insurance in the car with your registration.