Whether you're buying car insurance for the first time or shopping around for a new carrier, taking the time to request quotes from a number of companies can be a great way to ensure you're getting the best coverage for your money. Obtaining quotes is also faster and easier than ever before, as most insurance companies can provide instant online quotes. As you compare quotes from different carriers, however, there are a few things you need to look at before you make a decision.

Coverage Types and Amounts

Start by making sure that the coverage types and amounts are equal across the quotes you've received. If one quote seems especially low or high, there's a good chance the coverage amounts are off. Specifically, be sure to look at personal injury/property damage coverage (which is required in all states) and any comprehensive and/or collision coverage you may want to add. Keep in mind that if your vehicle is financed, you will be required by your lender to carry full-coverage insurance.

Deductibles for Each Type of Coverage

A deductible is the amount of money you'll need to pay out of pocket before your coverage will kick in and pay for the rest. The higher your deductible, the more you'll pay out of pocket if you need to file a claim and the lower your monthly insurance payments will be. Likewise, a lower deductible will mean a higher monthly payment, but this will save you from having to shell out a large chunk of change if you need to file a claim. Be sure that the deductible listed for each type of coverage is one that you're comfortable with.

Included Savings and Discounts

Different insurance carriers offer different discounts, so be sure to obtain a list of the specific ones that have been applied to your quote. For example, some carriers offer discounts for those with great driving records or those who bundle two or more insurance policies together. Just be sure that any discounts you'll be receiving for this policy period will still apply if you choose to renew; some carriers will offer a "new customer" discount that disappears after six months.

These are just a few of the finer details you'll want to look at carefully when you get an insurance quote. From there, you can compare quotes more accurately and ultimately make a confident decision regarding which carrier and auto insurance coverage are best for you.