Most people want to get the best insurance coverage for the best price. That’s what car insurance is all about, whether you’re insuring your vehicle for the first time or getting coverage so you can reinstate your license. Securing affordable insurance needn’t take long, but you must ensure you choose the right approach when seeking insurance quotes. There are two fundamental steps that you can take to improve your odds of getting the best coverage at the best price. These steps include activities and things you must do to get the cheapest possible insurance.
Decide How Much Coverage You Need
Coverage varies from state to state, so you’ll need to see what the rules are where you are. Brokers and agents in your area will know, or you can roll up your sleeves and find out by going online to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website. You’ll need liability insurance to cover if you damage someone else’s property while out driving or if you injure someone and are at fault for an accident.
Other states require a minimum purchase amount of auto insurance. Be sure you understand the different kinds of car insurance that are out there. There are plenty of options, and sometimes it’s quicker to discuss them with agents at an insurance agency. Limiting your coverage to the bare minimum in your state is the best way to keep your costs low. With this in mind, here are some of the coverage options you might want to consider:
COLLISION COVERAGE – this will pay for getting damage to your car fixed if it hits something or overturns.
PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY – you’ll be covered if an accident that’s your fault damages someone else’s property.
BODILY INJURY LIABILITY – this will pay for injuries you cause to others if you’re at fault for an accident.
UN-INSURED OR UNDER-INSURED MOTORISTS – it’s a sad fact that there are drivers out there who aren’t insured. But if you are injured by one, this coverage will ensure your medical expenses are met.
MEDICAL PAYMENTS – this ensures you and your passengers are covered should you need to pay for treatment of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.
COMPREHENSIVE – get the peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in any way other than in a crash – examples include fire, vandalism, and adverse weather conditions.
When assessing which coverage you need, consider your family’s needs, plus any other insurance protection you might have elsewhere – for instance, health insurance. Some other things to consider when choosing your coverage include:
HOW MUCH YOU EARN OF HAVE SAVED – the more you’ve got, the more you’ll stand to lose if you’re ever found liable for causing an accident, so be sure to have sufficient liability coverage.
ARE YOUR CHILDREN STARTING TO DRIVE? – new drivers and those with little experience are at higher risk of being involved in road accidents, so you’ll probably want to purchase more liability coverage.
IS YOUR CAR OLD? You might not want to get comprehensive or collision cover as the value of your car might not make it worth paying for the coverage.
ARE YOU LEASING OR FINANCING YOUR CAR? – it may be a requirement of the terms of your deal that you buy comprehensive or collision coverage.
GOT HEALTH INSURANCE? – You may already be covered by medical insurance, so that you won’t need this type of coverage.
Get Quotes From Different Providers
Getting different quotes is all about comparing prices to keep your rates low. The ways you can do this include:
- Seeing if you qualify for discounts
- Bundling several other insurance policies together
- Lowering your deductibles
We’ll go into more detail about your options later. But first, how do you get quotes in the first place? You can choose the traditional way, call an agent or broker, or get a quote online.
Getting A Car Insurance Quote From An Agent Or Broker
Getting a quote from an agent or broker is a good option if you have specific questions that need answering, as agents and brokers can give you a detailed response. In addition, agents will work for a particular insurance company, whereas a broker will work for different insurance providers, so they can help you compare quotes. When choosing this option, please note that:
- Brokers could charge for their services.
- You should get at least three quotes to compare policies
- When calling, you’ll need your VIN, car’s make and model, average mileage, and social security number.
Getting A Car Insurance Quote Online
Many companies will offer you free quotes if you go to their websites, so be sure to look around and never accept the first quote you get until you’ve had a chance to compare it with other deals out there.
How Much Should I Be Paying for My Car Insurance?
Several factors will affect how much you pay for your auto insurance. These include your:
- Date of Birth – if you’re under 25, your premium will be higher
- Where You Live
- Marital Status
- Type of Vehicle – what is its safety rating?
- Driving history
- Driving frequency
- Annual mileage
- Any previous claims
- Your Credit Score
When looking at quotes, don’t just look at the price of the premium. Instead, compare how much coverage you’re getting in each case. It’s likely the cheapest quote will provide the least coverage.
Also, look at how deductibles affect premiums. Deductibles are the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in. Can you afford a higher deductible with a company charging a lower premium? Consider the coverage limits too. You’ll usually pay more for higher limits, which could be worth doing.
Be sure to do your research into the different car insurance companies out there. Don’t just accelerate towards the company that offers you the lowest premium. Consider the reliability and reputation of every insurer. Can you trust them to deliver the coverage you’re paying for when you need them?
How to Find Out If A Car Insurer Is Reliable
Check your state’s Department of Insurance website. You’ll be able to see the customer service record of various auto insurance providers and view feedback from people they’ve insured so that you can rate their trustworthiness.
Also, see how easy they are to contact. For example, you might need to speak to someone at the insurance company in an emergency, so check how simple this is to do, especially outside of office hours.
Social media also allows you to check what customers say about insurers. So before you buy, check their Facebook and Twitter pages to see what the comments are like and whether their customers are generally satisfied with their service.
Ways to Pay Less For Your Auto Insurance
ONLY BUY THE COVERAGE YOU NEED
There are plenty of factors to consider here, including the car’s age and how often you use it. But, first, find the minimum coverage requirements for your vehicle and your state, then go with those to keep costs down.
MAXIMIZE YOUR DEDUCTIBLES – If you want to pay very little in deductibles, expect your premium to be higher, so consider opting for a higher deductible to reduce your car insurance costs. You can reduce your premium by up to 30% by boosting your deductible from $300 to $500. Go up to $1000, and you could see your premium fall by as much as 40%.
MINIMIZE YOUR MEDICAL COVERAGE – Your insurer could offer you personal injury protection and medical insurance covered by your health insurance policy if you have one, so you might not need it. Always check with your health insurance provider before choosing your car coverage – you don’t want to pay twice for personal injury coverage. PLEASE NOTE: some states require a specific amount of personal injury cover on your auto policy. Please check yourselves or ask an insurance broker or agent to do this.
BUY A LOW-RISK VEHICLE – If your car is rated as a high-risk vehicle, you’ll need to pay a higher premium, so it follows that lower-risk cars attract lower premiums. Your broker or agent can tell you the risk rating of the vehicle you’re seeking to get insured. If you’re going sporty –high performance, two-seater, racing tires, that kind of thing, expect to pay more. In contrast, a sedate sedan will cost you less.
SEE IF YOU CAN BUNDLE YOUR COVERAGE – An insurer could offer you discounts if you get other policies, such as home, health, or life insurance. They may even combine deductibles, which can save you if you make multiple claims in the same year.
ASK FOR DISCOUNTS – If an insurer doesn’t offer discounts, ask for them. You never know what you might qualify for until you ask. Over 50s with a clean driving record are ripe for cuts, and so are younger drivers with good grades or a defensive driving course under their belt. If your college-age children don’t drive to college, there could be discounts to be had there too.
PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE – Insurers like safe vehicles. Things like airbags and automatic seatbelts are pretty much standard these days. But there are plenty of features you can add to up the safety level of your vehicle and reduce your premium, including:
- Anti-Theft Technology
- Passenger Airbags
- Day Lights
DRIVE SAFELY – Driving safely may seem obvious, but it’s vital to helping you keep insurance premiums low. The better your driving record, the less you’ll pay. Do everything you can to avoid getting tickets for speeding or reckless driving. Keep yourself in the low-risk category to keep your insurance costs minimum.
To conclude, as long as you stay safe on the roads, shop around for your insurance, and only buy the coverage you need, you should be able to secure the best car insurance policy out there for you.