21 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing Best Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is a must no matter if your car is new or old. Finding the right auto insurance for your vehicle can be a task, especially when there are so many to choose from. Here are top 21 things you need to know about your car insurance to make an informed choice.
1. Don't get sucked into the "minimums" trap: even though minimum amount may not cost you much, but they don't save you a lot in the long run, especially if you make a claim. Cheaper premiums now will mean you will have to pay more cash when you make a claim.
2. Look for discounts: if you own one of those fancy cars that is loaded with safety features, then the insurance company will charge you lower premiums. This is why you should talk to your insurance agent before you buy an insurance.
3. Maintain a good driving record: Did you know that if you have a good driving record, you become automatically eligible for discounts? Insurance companies are open to betting on a person with clean driving record and may offer you good discounts as well as lower premiums.
4. Cheap insurance could mean less coverage: Don't always jump at the cheapest quote you get. Sometimes certain states have pre-set rates that are determined by law. This cheap insurance means you are not getting a comprehensive coverage. So always check state-specific requirements before buying an insurance.
5. Save money by merging policies: If you have an ongoing home insurance, combining it with your car may earn you discounts as high as 15%. Check with the insurance service provider if they have such a provision to combine policies.
6. Don't forget to shop around: Even though you may have some interesting discounts on the table, it is never a bad idea to shop a little. Sometimes switching can save you a lot of money than availing the discounts offered by your long-term insurance provider.
7. Insurance benefits: apart from covering the damage in case of an accident, you can also check if your insurance provider will give you some kind of allowance for a rental car while your own car is being repaired. This could also mean savings in the long run when compared to paying full rental on the car.
8. Be honest: never hide crucial details from your service provider to save few extra bucks. If they ever catch the lie, you may end up paying higher penalty or your insurance may get revoked altogether. Also mention clearly the name of drivers who handle your car, apart from you.
9. Use your claim wisely: while the insurance is meant to protect you against hefty damages, don't file a claim every time you see a ding on your car. Use your claims wisely to make the best of your insurance.
10. Try to pay for your policy in one go: rather than taking out monthly installments, it is more beneficial to have pay for the policy in one go. Try to plan things ahead and save up for a lump-sum amount.
11. Check out employee discounts: sometimes employers offer employee discounts. Check with your boss to see if there is such a thing in your company. Sometimes colleges and industry groups also offer slashed premiums to their members. Ask your insurance agent for more details.
12. Check if your policy covers work vehicle: The car you own may be personal. However, if you are a salesperson or someone who works on field most of the time, then your insurance policy may not take the regular wear and tear into account. This is why you should ensure that your policy covers the use of your vehicle for work.
13. Review your needs: your maintenance needs change as your vehicle gets older. This is why you should review your insurance policy and revisit your coverage. Do you really need a comprehensive collision cover if your car's value is not more than $1000?
14. Optional coverages can be cheap: While liability insurance, the one required by law, is definitely expensive, other optional coverages can provide more protection for lesser amount. It is better to explore these options than straight away buying an expensive insurance.
15. It can pay to shop around: auto insurance companies follow certain criteria for evaluation of your insurance application. Each company follows its own set of guidelines to determine the money they want to charge the drivers. This means that two different companies may charge the same driver differently. This is why it is a good idea to shop around before you settle on the service provider.
16. They look into your credit history: if you want to pay low premiums, one of the best ways to make that happen is by improving your credit. Insurance prices can vary greatly depending upon your credit history.
17. Don't let your policy lapse: Drivers who do not have existing insurance are treated as a great risk by insurers. By allowing your policy to lapse, you may end up paying more in the long run. To avoid this, you should consider renewing your policy before it expires.
18. Lower your premiums by paying higher deductibles: Insurance prices are determined based on the company's projection on how much they may have to pay in case of a damage. If you agree to pay large portion of it by increasing the deductibles, then the insurance company can offer you lower premiums knowing they wont have to pay a lot if you make a claim.
19. Pay attention to the coverage: your car insurance premium is pegged to the liability aspect of your policy. It is never a good idea to reduce this portion to save money because this will make you responsible for any amount that is incurred above your policy limits. However, there are other ways to reduce the premiums. Talk to your insurance agent to guide you through the process.
20. Car types can impact insurance rates: If you are someone who drives an expensive car with lots of safety features, your auto insurance company may offer you lower premiums. However, if you drive a make or model that gets stolen a lot, then expect to pay high premium.
21. Live in Low-Crime Areas: Did you know that your place of residence can also affect your auto insurance rates? Car owners who live in posh neighborhoods are less likely to get their cars stolen or broken into. Low crime rate in your residential area can have an impact on your premiums.