As with everything in life, shopping for insurance can be a frustrating experience if you don’t take the time to understand what you’re looking at. Insurance companies compete for your business by providing you with summaries of their products that may or may not be entirely accurate.

These summaries may focus on factors you did not ask for, such as deductibles and copays, rather than the aspects of coverage that are truly important to you, like the type of coverage your policy offers, your deductible amount, how it will affect your monthly payments, and whether or not the company will offer you discounts. Here are some tips to help you lower your chances of making a mistake with your policy.

Don’t Only Pick an Insurer Because of Lower Prices

Of course, many of us are initially drawn to the lowest price on an auto insurance premium. However, you shouldn’t be that person that tries to save a few bucks by being cheap. Finding the lowest rate shouldn’t be about just price alone. It should always be about quality, support, service provided, years of experience. Remember that buying something affordable does not necessarily mean you need to choose the cheapest.

Don’t Ignore the Financial Health of the Insurer

By understanding the financial health of an insurance company, you can see if it represents good value for the money. Get a copy of an insurer’s annual report or other public financial information, or call them to ask how they are running their business. Ask friends and family members who have had problems with an insurer about their experience.

Don’t Just Buy the Amount of Liability That’s Necessary for Your Car

You want to protect yourself, but you also know that the responsibility of paying for your car insurance plan is yours. So you think coverage should be like buying groceries—the less you spend upfront, the cheaper it will be in the long run. But with auto insurance policies, it’s an entirely different story. While there is a state-mandated minimum liability coverage you need to get, it is important that you opt for as much as you can afford to lower your out-of-pocket expenses in case of a claim.