If you own a car, you’re going to need car insurance (unless you live in either New Hampshire or Virginia, which don’t require you to purchase car insurance). Not all insurance companies or policies are created equal though, so you should really do your homework when choosing an insurance company and what your policy covers.
Insurance can cost a considerable amount in many states, particularly those with no-fault insurance, like Florida and Michigan. Have a teenager or new driver on your policy? You can plan to pay more for that too.
Keep reading for some ways to find the best car insurance policy for your specific needs.
The Best Car Insurance Policies: What To Look For and Be Aware Of
No one wants to overpay for car insurance. On the other hand, you don’t want to find yourself in a financial emergency if you are under-insured. To really make sure you are getting the coverage you need, do your homework ahead of time.
Learn the different terms used by insurance companies and educate yourself so you can be your best advocate and choose the best policy for you.
Check Your Rates Annually
You should shop around for competitive rates on an annual basis. The company that is the best value for you one year might not be the best the next year. As things change, such as drivers getting older, changes in life circumstances, or driving records, you might be able to find a better deal with a different insurance company.
Pick A Top-Rated Company
You probably read reviews before you make most purchases, right? Don’t make a purchase that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars a year without doing your research. Read the reviews of car insurance companies before you purchase a policy.
The hope is that your only contact with your insurance company will be paying bills, but in the event that you do have to file an insurance claim, you’ll want to know how quick and painless the process is. Good customer service and responsiveness are qualities you’ll definitely appreciate if you’re ever in an accident.
Maintain Good Credit
Did you know that your credit can impact your car insurance premium? Insurance companies use a measure of your credit to predict whether you will file a claim or not. Low credit scores could result in hundreds of dollars more in annual premiums.
Maintaining good credit isn’t just for acquiring good interest rates and loans anymore!
Pick the Right Deductible
You can reduce the cost of your premium by choosing a higher deductible, but if you go this route, you’ll want to make sure you are the kind of person who has an emergency fund or savings that can cover this higher deductible amount.
If your driving record is good, you haven’t had an accident that was your fault, and you feel comfortable in your ability to pay a higher premium in the event you’re in an accident, this might be a good option for you to save a little money.
Review Your Coverage
Review your coverage to make sure you have sufficient liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage. You might be tempted to take out the minimum amount of coverage, but be aware that minimal coverage means minimal protection, and you might be out a significant amount of money if you don’t have adequate coverage.
Report Reduced Mileage
If you’re suddenly driving less, due to working at home, becoming unemployed, or retiring, let your insurer know. Fewer miles driven can have an impact on your premium price and no one wants to pay more than they have to!
Compare Rates and Coverage
Don’t settle for the first policy you find. Compare rates and coverage across insurance companies to see what works best for you. The cheapest policy might be with the company that has terrible reviews. By comparison shopping, you can find the right policy.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Insurers provide discounts for many different things. Drivers who are lower risk (like those who are older, married, and have a history of safe driving), college graduates, or have anti-theft devices on their vehicles often enjoy lower premiums.
Some companies might offer discounts to alumni groups for certain colleges and universities, certain professions (like teachers, nurses, or first responders), or to members of groups, like teams or clubs. Make sure you take advantage of any discount that your insurance company offers.
Consider Bundling Your Policies
By bundling your policies and purchasing homeowners or renter’s insurance and car insurance from the same company, you can often get a multi-policy discount. This isn’t always cheaper, so investigate the prices individually and bundled to figure out which is the best value.
Use an Insurance Agent
Finally, using an insurance agent can help with much of this work. An agent like Amistad Insurance Services can help you make sense of the insurance process and find the best policy for you.
They have the ability to run quotes from different companies, help you understand the coverage amounts, and can make sure you are getting all the discounts you are eligible for. They really can take a lot of the work off of your plate and make the car insurance process much more manageable.
The Bottom Line
Shopping for car insurance isn’t nearly as fun as shopping for other things, but it is necessary. Use these tips to help ensure that you’re getting the best car insurance policy for your individual and family needs.
Check out our blog to learn even more about insurance and what you should look for.