If you type "insurance quotes" into a search engine like Google or Bing, you will get over 34 million results. So, if you are looking to buy insurance for the first time or even change to a new company, this may all be very overwhelming. "Where do I begin?" is probably the first thought that springs to mind, followed by "which of these companies can I trust?" Hopefully this article will help you make a more informed decision when choosing insurance.

The first things to do before requesting a quotation on short-term car and household insurance, is to get an inventory of all your assets you wish to insure with replacement costs. This will help you choose enough coverage so that in the event of disaster, like you house burning to the ground, everything can be replaced. It is also wise to note that expensive, portable items, such as sunglasses, reading glasses, cell phones, laptops, cameras and jewellery will need to be "specified" on your insurance policy. Specifying items is more expensive than including them under your general "all-risk" policy. If however, these items are important to you and you cannot afford to lose them, it is wise to do so. Laptops and cell phones that you need for work are prime examples of items that you would need to specify.

The second thing to consider is the level of cover you wish to buy for your vehicles. Insurance companies generally offer three different levels of cover. Comprehensive cover includes collision, liability and fire and theft cover and is the most expensive type of cover available. If you buy a new car, comprehensive insurance with credit gap insurance will be mandatory by law and/or by the bank that financed the vehicle. Second level is liability and fire and theft cover. This level of cover will not pay a claim if your vehicle is involved in a collision. It will, however cover the repairs to the third-party’s vehicle as well as any punitive claims if the accident was your fault as well as reimburse you in the event of your vehicle being stolen or lost to fire. Finally, if your vehicle is not worth much, you can opt for the lowest level of cover which covers third-party liability only. This is usually only recommended for paid-off vehicles which have a low book value as it only covers repairs to third-parties, including punitive damages if the accident was your fault.

Once these decisions have been made, you need to consult your budget and decide what you can afford to pay on a monthly premium. Although insurance, especially for a first time buyer, can be expensive, it is advisable to not skimp too much on the amount you are willing to pay. Once all of this has been done, it is time to start comparing quotes. Using the Internet, comparison call centres and other services will give you a proper overview of the options available to you. If at all possible, using an independent insurance broker to assist you in choosing the correct amount of cover is advised. A broker will also be able to give you information on the stability and trustworthiness of the insurance companies in which you are interested.

Stuart Broad is a marketer who works for a number of South African Car Insurance sites. If you are looking for a budget insurance, he recommends trying to get Car Insurance Quotes at CheapcarInsurance.