Shopping For Auto Insurance: The Basics
Choosing insurance coverage for your car, truck or SUV can be an overwhelming process, but it is one of the most important decisions you can make as a driver. After all, insurance doesn’t just come into play when you are involved in an auto accident. In some states, insurance coverage is mandatory. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation and you do not have insurance, your car may be impounded right then and there. Ouch! Here are some of the most important things to consider while shopping for the best insurance plan.
It is helpful to understand in advance what insurers will look at when they quote you a price for premiums and deductibles. First, they may consider the type of vehicle you drive. If you drive a sports car or convertible, it is likely that your premiums will be higher. A vehicle that is considered more sensible and safe — a station wagon or sedan, for example — will be more affordable to cover. The insurer will also look at your driving history: accidents, moving violations and how long you have been driving safely.
Before you can begin to compare rates, you should first determine the requirements in your state. As mentioned earlier, insurance is mandatory in many states. Others have rules in place dictating a minimum amount of coverage for collisions, bodily injury and liability. In a perfect world, you would never be involved in an accident or collision, but it is better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want to go through is battling it out with your insurer trying to have your vehicle repaired or your medical claims resolved. Some things just shouldn’t be risked!
When choosing between different insurers, it is hard to look past all the character ads, gimmicks and promotions to single out your best option. Price is one of the largest deciding factors, so start by visiting a comparison shopping site. You will be asked a few simple questions about your vehicle, driving history and preferences. Your answers will then be used to bring up as many as 20 different insurers from which you can choose or research. Obviously you want as much coverage as you can get for your budget, so don’t skimp on the most important options.
If you are concerned about securing the best possible price, you should also consider a few things that might help you to pay less. If you own your own home or boat, you can save money by purchasing coverage for all three from the same agency. This also applies if your household includes multiple drivers and vehicles. The more business you can bring to a potential insurer, the better deals you can enjoy.
Choosing an auto insurer isn’t on par with a root canal, but it certainly isn’t the most enjoyable process. However, the more you know in advance, the easier it will be to make a smart choice that will serve you well. Remember the key points from this article as you set out to find the best possible option, and avoid overpaying. You may find that spending even a few hours doing research can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.