Buying car insurance can be confusing, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help you learn everything you need to know about insurance companies and their policies so that you can get the best coverage at the lowest price. Here are five things you should know about buying car insurance:
1) What type of insurance do I need?
First, it’s important to determine what type of insurance you need. All states require drivers to have some form of liability coverage—this means that if you are in an accident and someone is injured or their property is damaged, your auto insurance will cover up to a certain amount of damages. Most states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; however, a few only require drivers who cause injury or damage to another person’s property to carry it. If you don’t want to end up with huge medical bills after an accident, consider carrying more than just required minimum limits. On average, bodily injury liability limits range from $25,000-$100,000 per individual claim and $50,000-$300,000 per incident depending on where you live.
2) How do I find an insurance company?
This can be done online or offline. When looking online, simply Google car insurance + your city, and a list of all of your local companies will appear. From there, search around for reviews from current and former customers to get an idea for how each company is to work with. You can also ask friends and family members who have recently bought their own policies what their experiences were like. If you prefer working face-to-face, try going into your nearest office and asking them directly if they have any information regarding insuring vehicles in your area. Most companies keep some kind of basic info on hand that they are willing to share with people who come into their offices wanting more information on services/products they offer.
3) Which options are available?
The world of auto insurance is extremely complex, but there are three basic types of coverage for drivers: liability, collision and comprehensive. Liability provides medical bills to other drivers if you’re at fault in an accident; collision pays for damage to your own vehicle; and comprehensive covers any sort of loss, including theft. Before you buy a policy, make sure you review each option carefully so that you don’t end up spending too much on unnecessary coverage. How much does it cost?: Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find precise figures for car insurance costs. Your insurer will take into account many factors when calculating premiums—your driving record, credit score and location all play important roles.
4) How much will it cost me?
The obvious factor that impacts your premium cost is your driving record. Accidents, speeding tickets, and DUI’s will result in higher premiums. Accidents and tickets aside, your credit score also influences your rate. With scores ranging from 300 to 850, premiums can vary by as much as 40% (and more) depending on where you fall in that range. And if you have multiple drivers with poor scores, watch out: those rates could skyrocket! Those who pay their bills promptly will get a better deal than those who tend to be tardy; insurers like to see an average monthly payment of around $450 or less. Finally, age matters: Your premium may rise a bit every time you cross another birthday—up until your early 50s—but may come down when senior discounts kick in after that point.
5) Is there anything else I should consider?
If your credit score is below average, it will cost more to get car insurance. Insurers use your credit score and report to determine how much risk they’re taking on by giving you coverage. The higher your score, typically the lower your rates. Being a good driver can also save you money because many companies offer discounts for motorists who drive safely or maintain a clean driving record. Don’t forget to check with all of these companies when shopping around because they may have different requirements. Some factors that affect premium prices include: Your age: Younger drivers generally pay higher premiums than older ones do and have fewer opportunities for discounts due to inexperience behind the wheel or an incomplete driving history.