If you’re getting car insurance, you’re probably wondering what the best way to go about that is. What do you need to know about car insurance? What are some of the tips and tricks you need to know? Auto insurance might seem like a complicated thing, so to help you when you’re getting car insurance we’ve put together seven tips to keep in mind when you’re on a quest for a car insurance policy. (Don’t worry – we’re going to break it down into bite-sized pieces.)
7 tips for getting car insurance.
1. Understand that liability insurance won’t protect your car.
So, here’s the thing:
Liability insurance will only help you cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re at-fault in an accident. It can help you cover your legal expenses if you get sued over the accident, too.
Here’s how liability insurance works:
- Bodily injury liability covers the other driver’s medical bills or expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
- Property damage liability covers the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car if you’re at-fault in an accident – and it can cover other property you might damage.
Notice that we didn’t mention anything about YOUR vehicle in all of that. If you only carry liability insurance and no other coverages, you won’t have any financial protection for your own car. So, if you’re at-fault in an accident or if something else happens to your car, like a tree squashing it like a bug or a thief stealing it, you wouldn’t be covered.
And cars aren’t cheap – you could be facing a big financial loss (and empty pockets) if you don’t have coverage to protect YOUR vehicle (and bank account.)
To cover your own vehicle, you’d want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage.
What are those, you ask? We’ll explain in our next tip.
2. Consider what coverages you want.
When you’re getting car insurance, there are a lot of different auto insurance coverages you can consider. It’s important to give some thought to the coverages you want to protect yourself when you’re on the road.
- Liability insurance, as we mentioned before, helps cover your legal obligation to another driver if you’re at fault in an accident (bodily injury and property damage.) It’s required by the states, though each state sets its minimum limit.
- Collision coverage helps you repair or replace your car if you’re in an accident or otherwise collide with something.
- Comprehensive car insurance helps you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. It covers losses like fires, vandalism, falling objects, animal strikes, and theft.
- UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured motorist) coverage helps you if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance or who doesn’t have enough car insurance to cover the entire claim.
- Medical payments coverage helps you cover your medical bills and those of your passengers if you’re injured in an accident.
- Rental reimbursement coverage can help you cover the costs of a rental car if your car is damaged in an accident.
3. Make sure you get enough coverage.
Along with figuring out what coverages you want, you have to consider how much insurance you want. It’s crucial that you have enough insurance to truly protect yourself in the event of an accident. You’d be in quite a pickle if you ran out of liability insurance to cover the costs of a claim.
Though it might be tempting to get the state minimum levels of insurance, you have to consider whether that level will offer enough insurance to truly protect you in the event of an accident. Often the state minimum limits of insurance aren’t very high, so you may want to get higher limits of coverage than those that are mandated by the state. A serious accident can quickly obliterate the minimum limits of insurance when you consider the medical bills of the other driver, the potential of a lawsuit and legal expenses, and the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car.
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4. Think about bundling your home and auto insurance.
Bundling is when you get both your home insurance an auto insurance from the same insurance carrier. Many insurers offer a discounted rate to policyholders who bundle their coverage, so you could see substantially lower rates if you choose to bundle your coverage. So, you might want to consider it if you’re getting car insurance.
Don’t have a home? You can bundle your renters’ insurance and your auto insurance to see some savings – and enjoy the convenience of only having to deal with one insurance company.
5. Know that there are many factors that influence car insurance rates.
Your car insurance rates are impacted by a lot of different factors. Your car insurance rates are not just a random number that the insurance company picks out of a hat. It’s a result of many details about you and your car, such as:
- The year, make, and model of the car
- Your location
- Your claims history
- Your driving record (tickets, accidents, etc.)
- Your car’s safety features
- Your credit score
- Your age
- The purpose of your vehicle
- The coverages and deductibles you choose
- Your marital status
So, if you’re wondering why your rates are what they are…it’s a mishmash of the above factors.
6. Choose the deductible that works for you.
Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a claim. The insurance company has their share and you have your share (For example, if you have a $500 deductible and you’re in an accident that causes $3,000 if damage to your car, you’d pay $500 and your insurance company would pay $2,500.)
Now, your deductible can affect your car insurance rates. If you choose a higher deductible, you could see lower premiums because you’re less likely to file a claim. So, you could see lower premiums if you raise your deductible. However, you don’t want to set your deductible so high that it would be impossible to pay in the event of a claim. Consider your disposable income and how much you could afford to pay if you had a loss.
7. It’s important to get car insurance quotes.
When you’re getting car insurance quotes, do your research about the company you’re considering. Do they have a strong financial rating? Do they have a good record for customer service and claims handling?
When you get car insurance quotes, you give yourself options. And options are great. We can help you get car insurance quotes if you fill out our online form or give us a call. Or you can message us on LiveChat.