What should I consider when purchasing automobile insurance?
There are a number of factors you should consider when purchasing any product or service, and insurance is no different. Here is a checklist of things you should consider when purchasing automobile insurance.
- Don?t base your decision on price alone. Base your decision on value ? what you get for what you pay. Consider the quality of the company?s claims service and consumer education.
- Purchase the amount of liability coverage which makes sense for you.
- You should decide which optional coverages you want. For example, do you want optional physical damage coverages or is the market value of your car too low to warrant purchasing them.
- Once you have decided what you want in your automobile insurance policy, you can now decide who you would like to purchase the insurance from. For example, you may decide you like the idea of purchasing insurance from a mutual company rather than a stock company.
What are some practical things I can do to lower my automobile insurance rates?
If you do shop around, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage. Many insurers use the ISO policy forms, but this is not always the case. While other insurers will lessen certain protections in order to make the policy cheaper, so you’ll buy it. It’s in these times where we need to remind ourselves that cheaper does not mean better. The best advice is not to buy insurance based on anyone’s quote, but wait until any new policy is issued before comparing your new policy to your old one… and make sure you received the coverage you wanted before canceling your old policy.
Look for any discounts you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer you a discount if you insure multiple cars under the same policy, or if you have had a driver education class in the last five years. Be sure to ask us about discount plans.
Another easy way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to increase the deductible. Simply raising your deductible from $250 to $500 can lower your premium sometimes by as much as five or ten percent. However, you should be careful to make sure that you have the financial resources necessary to handle the larger deductible.
I have an older car whose current market value is very low – do I really need to purchase automobile insurance?
Most states have enacted compulsory insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent.
Except for the minimum liability coverages that you may be required to purchase, many people with older cars decide not to purchase any of the physical damage coverages. It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less the deductible.
Suppose I lend my car to a friend, is he/she covered under my automobile insurance policy?
Whenever you knowingly loan your car to a friend or an associate, he or she most-likely will be covered under your automobile insurance policy. In fact, even if you do not give explicit permission each time a person borrows your car, they most-likely are covered under your automobile insurance policy as long they had a reasonable belief that you would have given them permission to drive the car. If your not sure what your policy’s exact responsibilities are under these conditions, you will want to review the “definitions” section of your policy.
What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?
Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.
Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.
It is important to know the differences between the collision and comprehensive coverages for a couple of reasons.
- In order to make an informed purchasing decision about these optional coverages, you need to know the difference between them.
- The deductibles under the collision and comprehensive coverages are often different in amount
What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?
A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile insurance – some of which you can control and some which are beyond your control.
The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where you live all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost you.
Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than do single people.