Most people need to find ways to save money so that they can buy a large ticket item like a vehicle. Saving can be achieved by reducing the cost on essential expenditure as well as cutting waste. Below 10 steps to insuring your car can help you find the best value for money. This post will also help in figuring out which auto insurance is better for you in terms of coverage, price and security.
You have to insure your 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, you want to make sure that your claims are paid without any hassle if you ever make one. You can get cheap car insurance cover from many insurers but not many of them may have an outstanding claim settlement record. Nobody wants to fight with a giant insurance company to get paid for a legitimate claim. Therefore, it is important to find a company who wants to keep policyholders happy and avoid the ones who try to get out of paying claims at every chance.
Simply, a policyholder pays for the premiums asked and expects the insured losses to be paid without any aggravation. That is how a policy should work. However, many companies think that it is up to them to pay a claim or not. You must be looking for a company that sees a fast and fair claim settlement as something the least policyholder can expect. Here are the ten steps that help you work out which car insurance is best for you.
Step 1: Start with Looking at Your Current Policy
This document contains a lot of information and you will need it to fill quote forms anyway. Assuming that you have thought about the coverage you wanted and shopped for it to find the best price 6 months or a year ago, your current policy would be a good comparison tool. This is the benchmark the other companies have to beat in most cases, unless you hate your current insurer and made your mind to change.
Work out what the monthly, 6 monthly and yearly costs are equal to if you have already received your renewal terms. You may receive quotes on a monthly, 6 monthly or yearly bases and knowing your current figures makes it easier to compare. Price comparison will show which car insurance is better in terms of costs.
Step 2: What Is the Best Auto Insurance Coverage Options for You?
Your current coverage details are written on your existing policy. But you should have a look at your current situation and make adjustments. Once you do this, you can ask your current insurer to send you another quote based on new information and use this as your benchmark. If you need any help about choosing the right coverage you can read these coverage recommendations or get smart about insurance guide from National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Here are a few important points to consider when you are deciding what is the best coverage options for you.
- Remember the circumstances changes 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 to driving age or live home. You may get married, living with a partner or divorced. These changes will affect your policy requirements.
- Regardless of how much is the minimum level of liability coverage you are required to buy by your state, you should aim to buy sufficient liability coverage. This is the most explosive part of coverage. You never know what the damages suffered by other people may come up to. But you know how much your car is worth.
- If you don’t have a good health insurance policy for your family, you should consider Personal Injury Protection cover to pay for injuries suffered by you or your family in an accident.
- Don’t forget about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. About 14% of motorists in America don’t have any insurance and won’t be able to pay your damages when they hit you or your automobile.
- Buy what you need and don’t get influenced by anyone into buying something you don’t need or want.
Step 3: How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
Think about how good a driver you are and how many accidents and insured losses you suffered recently. 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 driver 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 on your policy. That is how you figure out which is better in terms of coverage.
Have your current policy, driver license and vehicle registration handy to help you fill the quote forms. There are various ways of finding quotes. You can visit a good comparison site and see what the current offers are. You could go direct to a company website if you have had good recommendations about it. 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 what you want. You don’t have to complete it at once but you may need about an hour of your time at least overall. If you could save couple of hundred dollars it wouldn’t be bad for an hour of work.
Step 5: Compare and Consider the Quotations You Received
If you receive a brilliant quote from one of the top insurers for the coverage you want, your search is probably over at this point. However, if the quote comes from a less known provider or higher than you were hoping for you may need to do a little bit more work. In the latter case, you may look at your deductibles and coverage levels again and see if there is a way to reduce the costs. So, you may re-arrange the coverage and deductibles and go for the second round of quotes.
Step 6: Find out more about the Vehicle Insurers
When you are not sure about any of the companies or quotes in your list you should do a little bit more work. First of all, compare the quotes properly taking into account payment options and any additional coverage offered. One quote may turn out to be better when you look at it closely.
Go onto your state insurance department website and check the complaint record of any company you are not sure about. In many cases, a small company that you didn’t know before may actually turn out to be a great insurance provider all around. They may offer good customer service and speedy claim handling. Number of complaints received by state insurance department from policyholders will help you judge which auto insurance is best in terms of claim settlement.
You can also check financial stability of the insurers. However, a company 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 the insurer 24 hours a day is essential. Check if this is the case. Make sure you carry out careful auto insurance company comparison.
Step 7: Still Struggling to Find What You are Looking for?
You can talk to an independent broker to help you. Actually, you can use broker at any stage of your search. If a broker comes up with a good deal for you, it is great. You have a good deal and someone you can always call and ask about your coverage and possible claims. Talking to a broker can serve you well when you are considering making a claim. Auto insurers record most conversations and they may open a claim when you inquire about the coverage for a certain loss. If you decide to cover the losses out of your own pocket you don’t want any record of it with the company.
Step 8: What Discounts Are You Qualified for?
You may have more than one way of insuring your family automobiles. For a single person with one car it may be straightforward to buy auto insurance. With families, the more vehicle and driver you have in your household the more options you have. Also, every policy in the household can benefit from being insured by the same company. And they can benefit from discounts received because your home is insured by the same company as well.
For example, you may buy a multi-car policy with your spouse or buy two separate policies. If your partner has a bad driving record, you may consider excluding him/her from your policy. The same applies for the young drivers. You can either buy a separate policy for a teenager or insure him/her under your policy. Explore all these options and find out which vehicle insurance is better for you. When you have a bad or risky driver listed on your policy you may want to try high risk auto insurance companies for lower quotes.
Remember there may be other discounts you can easily qualify. For example, if you have roadside recovery coverage with AAA you may be eligible to get 10% discount from some companies. You may not know but you may qualify for discounts for graduating from a certain University. Or your job may qualify you for discounts. Loot at these options properly and ask the agents about them.
Step 9: Have a One Last Look at Your Choice
Confirm that you have the coverage and deductibles you wanted and the final price is right for you. Then look at policy 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 to drive your automobile.
Determine what is important to you 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 your vehicle. If you are not sure about anything call the company and ask. For example, you can ask them if they would only use “original manufacturer parts” to settle your mind.
Step 10: So, Which Car Insurance is Best for You?
If you find that your current auto insurer is still highly competitive, you would be happy to know it. All you may need is slight adjustments on your coverage and other details and carry on. If you decided that switching automobile insurance companies is going to serve you better, then make the arrangements. First, arrange the new policy to start from the moment the old one will expire.
Secondly, cancel any automatic payment arrangements to avoid your current policy renewing again since you are not going to stay with this company. If you need to cancel the old policy, give your current insurer a call. Work out when it should be ended and what extra payments you need to pay or what refunds you will receive. Just make sure that you will not have any car insurance lapse in coverage. Then have the proof of insurance in place to be shown to police if you ever get stopped and asked.
This step by step approach makes it easier to determine which automobile insurance is better for your circumstances. Otherwise, you would be staring at the screen and making no progress. You probably find answers to most of your questions on this website. you can also get quotes from some of the best companies right here.