Important Steps to Take When Buying Auto Insurance
You don’t want to pay for more than you need, but you’ll want more coverage than you can pay for if you get into a car accident. Surprisingly, many people do end-up paying higher rates than they should be-simply because they didn’t do their research before signing off on the policy.
Finding the right car insurance isn’t as “fun” as all of those insurance commercials make it out to be. With all of the disgruntled cavemen stomping around and wise-cracking sales people courting customers, you’d think shopping for car insurance would be more fun. The reality is that the process of finding the right insurer can be a drag, but what’s really fun, is the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars per year.
If you’re paying a lot of money to your insurance company for unpaid tickets, a car accident, and an out-of-date and unfavorable credit score, you might want to consider shopping your provider against others in the industry. You might find hundreds of dollars there to bring a real smile to your face.
Step 1: How Much Coverage Do You Need?
How much coverage does your state require? The minimum requirements vary state by state, so be sure to understand the insurance coverage laws where you live.
Once you know the state requirements, decide on your coverage needs. If you’re a “glass is half empty” kind of person, insurance providers will love you. This means you’ll probably sign-up for as much coverage as you can get. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk so they know how likely you are to get into an accident as well as how likely it is for your car to be damaged or stolen.
Step 2: Review What You Have
If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy on hand, ask your provider to send you a copy. Write down the features you’re currently paying for, as well as how much each feature costs. Note the monthly as well as the yearly cost of your policy as many insurance quotes are given in monthly and yearly amounts.
Step 3: Know Your Driving Record
Do you know how many tickets you’ve had recently? Check to see how long your speeding tickets have been on your record. If you don’t know, call your DMV. If a ticket you have is about to go off your record, wait until it clears to get quotes from insurers. A bad driving record will significantly alter the rate you’re offered on car insurance, not to mention that you may even need SR22 Insurance.
Step 4: Get Competitive Quotes
Start shopping. Give yourself at least an hour to compile quotes from different companies. Make sure you have your current policy documents, your driver’s license, and your vehicle registration number easily accessible before you launch your inquires online.
Step 5 and Step 6: Collect Quotes and Get to Know Your Insurer
Keep a list of:
- Annual and monthly rates for various kinds of coverage. Make sure you’re comparing the same features for the price. You don’t want to compare apples to oranges.
- The company’s 1-800 telephone numbers to make it easier for you to call them with questions unavailable online.
- The payment policy information. Write down when payments are due, the kinds of payment options available, and late fees associated with late payments.
Step 7: Find Those Discounts
Ask insurers about the discounts they offer. Explore all potential options. You might be happily surprised to learn you qualify for more discounts than you thought you would.
Step 8: Review, Review, Review
Before you sign on the dotted line, review the main parts of the policy document. You should never sign what you don’t read nor understand.
Step 9: Carry Proof of Insurance
Once you’ve found your new provider, cancel the coverage you have with the old one. Be sure to store your new policy documents in your car and in your wallet. Some states require drivers to carry proof of insurance when they’re behind the wheel.