Auto insurance used to be all about finding the lowest rate by comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies. Often, those quotes were based upon a set of similar criteria, such as desired deductible, personal liability, collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, etc. Once all of these standard criteria are processed, you have a quote for how much you will end up paying.
Going through the aforementioned process online or with an agent takes up a lot of time, time you could be spending on other things. Instead, flip the process around! Don't approach it just from all of the inputs that drive the process, but from your desired end result.
There are a number of insurance companies that now allow you to specify the rate that you wish to pay before you specify your coverage options. That rate puts you into a range with pre-set, pre-configured coverage selections. If you like those options, choose the rate. If you need more coverage, adjust your price range until you have the desired coverage.
Now go one step farther. Say you are looking to purchase a new car, or a new-to-you car. Research the insurance rates for the different makes and models of interest to see which give you the best rates. If you are all about saving money, you may choose a car that is not your first choice, but has lower insurance premiums. Or, you may choose to spend more on a car, initially, because the insurance savings from lower premiums make up the difference. There are also resources available to allow you to determine average insurance premiums for different types of vehicles.
If you are considering different types of vehicles, say a minivan versus a sedan, you can save extra money just by choosing one category over another. Minivans, for example, come standard with many safety features that can qualify for additional insurance premium deductions. A two-door sedan, on the other hand, may have less features and be statistically more likely to be involved in a traffic incident.
Finally, think outside of just your auto insurance needs. Many companies offer discounts if you have more than one policy with the same company. You can add renter's insurance or homeowner's insurance as a second policy and receive a discount. If you need even more coverage, you could add an umbrella policy on top of the homeowner's insurance and receive even more discounts.