Shopping around for the right coverage and the cheapest car insurance rates is essential if you want to save money. You will be asked a few questions while getting quotations. It is very important that you provide accurate details. If you decide on what you want and know a few important points this process will be easier and savings may be larger. If you follow these tips you are highly likely to find who has the cheapest auto insurance rates. It may require a little work but usually it is worth it. Here are ten things to know before looking for quotes.
- What Level of Coverage Do You Want?
First thing to decide is if you want to make changes to your existing cover, if this is a renewal quote. You need to decide what type of a policy you want, if this is first time purchase. Going over your personal circumstances and requirements once at the end of each term is always advisable. Several changes in your life can affect the cover needed.
Furthermore, deciding the cover required and providing the same information to every company you apply will make it easier to compare vehicle insurance prices and terms you receive. It is best to note the changes on your current policy and stick to these details each time you talk to an agent or fill out a quote form online.
- Who Is the Main Driver and Registered Keeper?
You will be asked who the main driver is. This is the person who has the most access to the vehicle instead of the person who drives the longest. For example, if you are driving around the town during the week and your partner is taking long drives over the weekend you would be considered the main driver because you use it more often. Age, gender and experience of the main driver is pretty influential in the premium calculation. You will need to provide details of other drivers who may have access to your automobile as well and you should have them ready.
It would be ideal if the main driver and registered keeper is the same person. Some states would require that the policyholder and the registered keeper should be the same. You will need to sort these out in advance and register your vehicle appropriately.
- Where Do You Live and Park the Vehicle?
You may have another home in the country where you can get cheaper auto insurance rates. But your residential address is where you normally live and park your car overnight. Your zip code will affect the premium. However, you have to be honest about your actual address. Your car will mainly be driven around your home that it is only fair the price reflects the risks involved.
Where you usually park the car at night is also required information. Is it parked on the street, driveway or in the garage? This is not a question about having a garage or not. If you have a garage and filled it with junk instead of parking a car you need to be honest about it and tell where you mostly leave the car at night.
- Where and Why Do You Drive?
Purpose of your drive is recorded and taken in to account. If you drive to work most days you need to include commute in the use. If you are mostly taking public transportation to work you may be able to list your use as Social and Pleasure only. If you use your vehicle for any business purpose other than getting to work place and returning home you should discuss your options with the provider. You should disclose any business use.
- How Many Miles Do You Drive?
If you are expecting the same amount of driving as last year you can quickly check how many miles you have driven within the last year. Otherwise, you should work out a good estimate of your expected yearly mileage. This is important since you can qualify for further discounts if you drive less than average or if you are considered as an occasional car user.
Many people like to have a car but they may not drive as much. If you are one of those people there is no need to pay high premiums and most auto insurers recognise this position. For example, retired people and people who are working from home may not need to drive often.
- How Was Your Driving?
Your past driving and claims records are indication of how risky a driver you are. You will be asked to list any driving convictions and automobile insurance claims in the last 3 to 5 years. The same information is required for each of the listed drivers. It would be better if you have the exact details ready but it is alright to provide rough dates. Remember that companies are able to see these details and therefore you should come clean about them. You can have problems in the future with claims once driving and claims histories are discovered to be different than what you have disclosed.
- Was Your Auto Modified?
Making significant modifications to a car can increase premiums. But you will need to disclose them if you want to be insured properly. Otherwise, your claims may be turned down especially if the modifications were influential in the accident resulted with the claim. In addition, you may not get compensated for the costs involved in modifications if the insurer doesn’t know about them.
- Can You Afford to Accept Higher Deductibles?
Most policies come with standard deductibles but motorists are usually allowed to increase them. This would mean that you take more risk by agreeing to pay larger portion of future claims. Therefore, many companies would be willing to offer their cheapest auto insurance rates accordingly. Decide up to how much you can increase deductibles. Mind not to overstretch yourself by increasing them. Then, you can ask to revise the quote with increased deductibles and see if you get enough savings to choose higher deductibles.
- Can You Pay the Premium in Full?
If you can pay the premium in one go you can get discounts and avoid paying interest for deferring payments. If you have to spread the costs you should check the monthly premium quotations as the level of interest and fees charged for monthly payments can vary from one company to another.
10. Do You Have Long No Claim History to Protect?
If you have built up a good no claim history you can protect the discounts with accident forgiveness cover. This way, you wouldn’t lose your no claim discount if you only have one accident in the future. Many people make the mistake of assuming that this will be automatically included. You should make a note of checking if you will get accident forgiveness cover or not with your new quote.