Having auto insurance is one of the most important decisions you could make when considering the financial security of your family. Not only is carrying auto insurance necessary, but the amount of coverage will also determine how far your policy covers you should you be in an accident. Below is a list of recommendations to consider when purchasing auto insurance:
How much coverage is right for you?
Depending on your state, coverage requirements will vary. Insurance companies use algorithms to determine each individual’s estimated risk and associated rate, but as consumers you have to use your best judgment. If you and your family have a considerable amount of assets, you would likely want to purchase more coverage. By doing this, you avoid losing your assets if you’re at fault in an accident and need to pay more in payout premiums that what your coverage is worth. Personal injury lawsuits can result in steep fees and could place a heavy financial burden on your family. Also decide what kind of driver you are. Do you speed through yellow lights? Or are you the type to lay back in the slow lane on the highway? The type of driver you are should be an indicator of how much coverage you need in your plan.
Additionally, never skimp on Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage. This is the insurance that is meant to kick-in and cover people in your vehicle in case somebody else’s insurance isn’t enough. With as many as 40% of drivers having no insurance at all, this may be the only way to protect yourself and the ones you love.
Consider Your Driving History
If you have recent tickets on your driving record, your insurance quotes are going to be higher than if your record were clean. Check to see how much longer any driving violations will be on your record and consider waiting to get a new car insurance quote.
When you are pricing out auto insurance, never take the first quote that you get. Gather all of your vehicle information, such as current policy, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration, and approach various companies to solicit quotes. Insurance companies want more clients and they will lower than prices if necessary to get the business, rather than turn a potential client away.
Consider the Track Record of Insurance Companies
To acquire an insurance company’s records, use the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Consumer Information Source. What you most likely want to know about an insurance company is their financial strength, customer satisfaction ratings, and the personal experiences your friends and family have had with various companies. J.D. Power and Consumer Reports are both great resources for reviewing and comparing insurance companies.
Inquire about Discounts
If you have a clean driving record, most insurance companies will give you a lower rate because you’re not seen as high risk. Of course, you will need to ask because insurance companies will typically not volunteer their discount information. Something else to consider is combining auto and home insurance as a package deal with the same company, as this will typically result in lower rates. Another discount to absolutely ask about is good student discounts. As new drivers, teenagers usually have higher rates. However, if your teenager receives good grades, they can usually get car insurance discounts. Also be sure to reevaluate your car insurance every few years, as your insurance coverage needs may change as your vehicle get older.
Before You Sign, Review the Policy
As with any contract, read it in its entirety before you sign. Insurance companies sometimes include legal terminology that may prevent you from making a claim if you’re in an auto accident. As an extra step for more intricate policies, take your unsigned contract to a neutral legal professional to have them help you understand what you’re signing.
Always Carry Proof
Whenever you’re out on the road driving, be sure that your auto insurance policy is with you. If you’re pulled over or are in an accident, you will be asked to provide proof of insurance and in some states you can be cited for not providing this documentation.
Last of all, be prepared to confront your own insurance company. They have no reason to give you money when claims time comes. Despite all the comforting ads and soothing words and friendly agents, insurance companies have no incentive to pay you money. If you have any questions, contact us. We’re here to help.