You should never purchase the first thing you find when you are looking at buying a big ticket item, although this should be common sense. You visit several shops, find out what's on offer and at what prices. When you know what the market can supply, you can make the best decision on what to buy. It should be exactly the same when you are looking for insurance except it needs a little more work before you start.
Deciding which make and model of car suits your requirements is the first thing you should consider and working out which insurance cover you require for that particular make and model should be the next. Of course, you may simply decide to keep whatever vehicle you have, but you should always consider how much you might save if you switch to a safer vehicle. Only when you know what you want to insure and how much cover you want can you get quotes. Always compare like with like. That's the way to find out that some insurers can ask for car insurance rates differing by hundreds of dollars.
Although you may just be looking for cheap car insurance, never assume all insurers are equal. You need confidence the insurers offering the cheapest rates are financially secure and have a claims-handling process that offers some protection to you as a customer. Companies like A M Best, Moody's, and Standard & Poor rate insurance companies for reliability. Every state also has an Insurance Commissioner. On your local site, you should find information about whether complaints have been made and upheld against the insurers licensed to sell policies in your state. You do not benefit if you buy a policy from a company that sees its mission in life as being to deny all claims made by its policyholders. The good news is that there's a federal program to rescue policyholders if their car insurance company is declared bankrupt. Your policy will be passed on to other insurers. If there are outstanding claims, they will be dealt with by the new insurer. Take care and protect yourself by shopping around.