Owning a car is a major luxury that not everyone can afford. When you have your own vehicle, you’re not dependent on public transportation, friends, or family members.
The level of independence you gain with a car is incredible. However, if you want to be a responsible car owner and drive your vehicle legally, you’ll need to invest in car insurance. Car insurance helps protect you and other motorists.
It covers everything from auto accidents to break-ins. In events like these, you won’t get stuck paying for everything out of pocket.
However, if you’re new to shopping for car insurance, you might not know where to begin. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Keep reading for a complete guide on everything you need to know to find the best rate car insurance.
Reading customer reviews is one of the most important tips when shopping for car insurance. Not all car insurance companies are created equally. The best way to separate the high-quality insurance companies from the mediocre is by looking at testimonials from other motorists.
Find out what other car owners have to say about the insurance company. Is the company honest and credible? Do they have good customer service skills and communication skills?
Most importantly, when motorists experience accidents or break-ins, does the insurance company offer the support and coverage promised in their contract? Some insurance companies have a bad reputation for denying claims or settling low. Even if they offer the best car insurance rates, you don’t want to work with companies like these.
Shopping for car insurance requires finding the right balance between your insurance deductible and premium. Your premium is the yearly cost of your auto insurance, broken down into monthly payments. Your deductible is the amount of money you need to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.
The higher your deductible, the lower your annual premium will be (including your monthly payments). However, if you’re involved in an accident or experience a break-in, it means paying more out of pocket for your losses.
Conversely, a lower deductible will result in a higher premium. Any accidents or break-ins will take less out of your pocket, but you’ll be spending more on monthly insurance payments.
Affordable Rates and Premiums
When shopping for car insurance, decide how much coverage you need based on your financial situation and the type of vehicle you drive. For example, if your vehicle is quite valuable, you need to ensure your policy can cover any and all damage. This includes replacing the vehicle in a “total loss” situation.
Conversely, if your vehicle isn’t worth very much, it doesn’t make sense to take out an expensive policy. If your annual premium is 10% or more of your car’s value, it’s too high. It could end up being more expensive than paying for repairs out of pocket. Check out these insurance specialists to find the best car insurance rates for your specific vehicle.
Next, review your medical insurance to determine whether or not you need full medical and personal injury coverage in your car insurance. It might seem like a good idea to include this in your policy. However, if you have good medical insurance already, paying for extra coverage in your car insurance policy will just be a waste of money.
Good Driver Reward Programs
Many car insurance companies offer programs designed to encourage and reward good driving habits. These can be financially beneficial if you have a good driving record devoid of accidents (caused by you) and traffic violations.
Good drivers cost car insurance companies less money. As such, they’ll willing to reward the motorists who fall under this category with lower rates. If you have a clean record and work with one of these insurance providers, you can expect to save hundreds of dollars a year.
When shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand the different kinds of coverage available to you. Car insurance is mandatory for all motorists. The penalties for driving without insurance vary from state to state.
Common penalties include:
· Hefty fines
· Suspended license
· Suspended vehicle registration
· Vehicle impoundment
· Community service
· And more
Of course, habitual offenders will face increasingly severe penalties. Fortunately, there are low-cost, limited-liability policies for people who are on a tight budget. In other words, no one has a viable excuse not to carry car insurance.
Types of Coverage
Liability insurance is in place to protect other motorists and their property. If you cause an accident resulting in damages or personal injuries, this coverage will pay for it.
Collision coverage provides financial compensation for damages to your vehicle if you were at fault. If the other driver was at fault, their auto insurance should cover it.
This leads us to uninsured and underinsured coverage. You could be involved with a driver who carries limited insurance or no insurance at all. In this case, you would need this type of policy to ensure you get the compensation you need to recoup your losses.
Personal injury protection is an excellent additive if you don’t have great medical insurance. This policy covers your medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an accident. It can even provide compensation for lost wages due to time off work.
Comprehensive insurance isn’t mandatory. However, it’s incredibly beneficial because it covers things like vandalism, theft, fire, natural disasters, and other non-collision-related issues.
Special Promotions and Discounts
Finally, when shopping for car insurance, look for insurance companies offering special discounts or promotions. These types of perks vary greatly and include the “good driver program” we spoke of earlier.
Other discounts can be found by using the same insurance company that you already work with for homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance. Some insurance companies will also give you a small discount based on the safety ratings and features of your vehicle.
Other factors that can influence your total costs (depending on the provider) include:
· Age (older people tend to drive more cautiously)
· Gender (women tend to drive less aggressively)
· Credit history (people with good credit tend to make payments more reliably)
· Marital status (studies indicate that married people get in fewer accidents)
· And more
Talk to potential insurance providers to see how much money you can save through these programs.
Are You Shopping for Car Insurance?
There’s quite a bit to think about before choosing a car insurance provider. Use the information above while shopping for car insurance to identify the best company for your needs.
And if you’re looking for more helpful and insightful articles, we have more to offer. Check out the rest of our blog to find everything you need to improve your health, finances, relationships, career, and more.