Which Auto Insurance Is Best for You: Find out in 10 Steps

A sufficient policy is essential in coping with many motoring exposures. Car insurance coverage must meet people’s protection needs based on their circumstances. It must offer good value to ensure they don’t waste money for something they can buy cheaper. And policyholders should feel fairly comfortable with their insurers in terms of service, reliability and claim handling. The below 10 steps can help vehicle owners achieve these objectives and more.

You have to insure automobiles if you want to legally drive in the USA. If this spending is unavoidable you should at least make sure that you get good coverage and not pay over the odds for it.

Also, make sure that claims are paid without any hassle if you ever make one. Many carriers can offer cheap premiums but not many of them may have an outstanding claim settlement record. Nobody wants to fight with a giant firm to get compensation for a legitimate loss. Therefore, it is important to find a carrier who wants to keep customers happy and avoid the ones who try to get out of paying at every chance.

Here are the ten steps to help you work out which car insurance is best for your circumstances.

1: Start with looking at the existing policy

Start with the declaration page of your policy, which contains nearly all the information you need. Have a good look at it and see if there are drivers who don’t live with you anymore or coverage you don’t need. Check to see if there are any outdated details and anything is missing. Most people use their current coverage as a benchmark and the company as the one to beat.

2: Consider insurance needs in current financial position

Now you should have a look at the current situation and make adjustments. Once you do this, you can ask the existing provider to send you another quote based on new information and use this as a benchmark. Here are a few important points to consider.

  • Remember the circumstances change often. Take every recent change into account. You may have moved closer to work or moved too far out that you now take the train instead of commuting. Children may come of driving age or leave home. You may get married, live with a partner or divorce. These changes will affect car insurance coverage needs.
  • Regardless of the minimum liability coverage requirements, you should aim to buy sufficient third party protection. This is the most explosive part of a policy. You never know the extent of the damages suffered by other people. But you know the value of your car.
  • If you don’t have a good health plan for the family, you should consider Personal Injury Protection to pay for injuries suffered by you or the family in an accident.
  • Don’t forget about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. About 14% of motorists in America don’t have insurance and won’t be able to handle damages when they hit you or the automobile.
  • If you have a vehicle of decent value you should consider at least adding Collision and Comprehensive coverage to protect it. You can take a view on most other add ons based on costs.
  • Don’t get influenced by anyone into buying something you don’t need or want. Take as much time as you want or talk to as many people as you like but make the final decision on your own.

3: Work out how much coverage you need

Think about your driving skills and recent accidents and losses suffered. This will help you choose the right level of coverage and deductibles. A good driver may be able to afford not to insure an older car or have high deductibles. But a bad one may have to pay more for two reasons. First of all, they won’t be able to get good discounts and secondly they would have to buy more coverage because of the high risk of accidents. Also consider the needs and risk levels of additional drivers. And finally, consider the worst case scenario and see if you can avoid it by making sure you have enough car insurance coverage to handle it.

4: Get and compare quotations

Have the declaration page, driver licenses and vehicle registration handy to help you fill the proposal forms. There are various sources for quotes. You can visit a good comparison site and see the current offers. You could go directly to a certain automobile insurance company website if you received a good recommendation. You can call a number you saw on a TV ad. Or you can contact brokers and agents.

You should persist on this endeavor until you get it the way you want. Try to avoid getting muddled up at this stage. Price comparison will show which vehicle insurance is better in terms of costs.

5: Aim to find the most competitive company

Most people suggest that just concentrating on getting auto insurance quotes works well to get over this task. Don’t really need to worry about the names and brands at this stage. It may be tempting to stop if you find a quote cheaper than what you have right now from a company you know very well. But the next one may beat it. Although you need only one company at the end, the rest of the quotes help in confirming the choice.

If you cannot not find what you are looking for and the quotes are expensive, you may look at deductibles and coverage levels again and see if there is a way to reduce costs. So, you may rearrange them and go again.

6: Find out more about the vehicle insurers  

When you are not sure about the findings you should do a little bit more work. First of all, compare the quotations properly taking into account payment options and extra perks offered. One of them may turn out to be better when you look at it closely.

Go onto the state website and check the complaint record of any company you are not sure about. In many cases, a small firm that you didn’t know before may actually turn out to be great all around. They may offer good customer service and speedy claim handling. Number of complaints received by the state department from policyholders will help judge which vehicle insurer is best in terms of claim settlement.

You can also check the financial stability of the carriers. However, a conglomerate with large assets is not necessarily a good choice if they are very tight when it comes to paying claims. For most people, being able to contact them 24 hours a day is essential. Check if this is the case. Make sure you carry out a careful car insurance company comparison.

7: Try brokers if you still struggle to find a suitable policy

You can talk to an independent broker to help you. Actually, you can use a broker at any stage of the search. It is great if they come up with a good deal. You have a nice package and someone you can always call and ask about things and possible claims. Talking to a broker can serve you well when you find it hard going because they may identify the problem and the best car insurer for you quickly.

8: Try ways of qualifying for more discounts

For a single person with one car it may be straightforward. You may have more than one way of insuring family automobiles. The more vehicle and driver you have the more options you get. Also, every policy in the household can benefit from being with the same provider. For example, they can benefit from a discount received because the home is also included in the package.

For example, you may buy a multi-car policy with your spouse or buy two separate ones. If the partner has a bad record, you may consider excluding him/her from yours. The same applies for the youngsters. You can either insure a teenager separately or have him/her under yours. Explore all these options and find a good deal.

Remember there may be other discounts you can easily qualify for. For example, if you have roadside breakdown with AAA you may be eligible to get a 10% discount arranged through them. You may not know but you may qualify for discounts for graduating from a certain University. Or the job may qualify you for discounts. Look at these options properly and ask the agents about them.

9: Have a one last look at your choice

By now you should be able to reduce the options to two or three auto insurance companies. Have a good look at them to make sure that you have the coverage and deductibles you wanted and the final price is right for you. Then look at terms and conditions. Make sure there are no exclusions you don’t know about. For example, some policies may only allow drivers over the age of 21.

Determine the level of protection desired and check if you are getting it. For example, if you have a fairly new automobile you would want it to be repaired with only the original parts. So, you don’t want to see terms like “like kind and qualify” and “aftermarket parts” in the description of parts that can be used to repair it. If you are not sure about anything, call them and ask. For example, you can ask them if they would only use “original manufacturer parts” to make sure.

10: So, what car insurance is good for you

If the renewal quote is still highly competitive, you would be happy that you haven’t been paying too much all along. All you may need is slight adjustments on coverage and other details and carry on. If you decide that switching companies is going to serve you well, then make the arrangements. First, arrange the new policy to start from the moment the old one expires.

Secondly, cancel any automatic premium payment arrangements to avoid an unwanted auto insurance renewal. If you need to cancel the old policy, give them a call. They will work out the final day and the amount of extra payments or refunds. Just make sure that you will not have any lapse in coverage. Then have the proof in place to be shown to police if you ever get stopped and asked.

This step-by-step approach makes it easier to determine what automobile insurance is better for your circumstances. Otherwise, you may be staring at the screen and making no progress.