5 Important Things To Do When Insuring Your Car
Car insurance ads make it appear effortless to sign up and get a new policy going, and in many ways, it is. But some people could be missing some crucial details, and in the process, they will be leaving a substantial amount of money on the table.
There are some key steps everyone should take when insuring their car, whether it is their first time or they are veteran policyholders. Here are five important things everyone should do when insuring their car.
1. Know the Minimum Coverage
Almost every state in the U.S. has minimum liability car insurance requirements. Many people don’t realize that their policy often must change when they move, even if they are content with the coverage they had before.
Drivers should keep in mind that even if they meet the state requirements for car insurance, they may still not have enough coverage. For example, if they get into an accident that is their fault, the insurance company will not reimburse them for damages to their vehicle if they do not have a more comprehensive policy in place.
2. Compare Quotes
There are many car insurance companies to choose from in most markets. They are not all the same. Car insurance companies assess similar risk factors, but in different ways. On top of this, each company may offer a different mix of discounts, programs, and other features. This is why it’s so important to compare quotes from different car insurance companies. There could be a huge cost difference between the companies. One company might offer better or more personalized coverage.
Even if someone thinks they’re getting the best deal, gathering quotes is still a smart way to be sure. It’s not only momentous life changes that can affect the car insurance policy—a change as small as moving to another part of the same city can have a substantial impact on insurance premiums.
3. Recent History Review
Everybody makes mistakes, but when they make them on the road, it can affect their car insurance. Drivers should regularly evaluate their records. Car accidents, points on their driver’s license, and other things like tickets can change how a car insurance company calculates their premiums.
Drivers hoping to minimize any premium hikes due to a less than stellar record can check to see if features like accident forgiveness or a defensive driver training course are available. If their current insurance company doesn’t offer it, they might have more success with another company that does.
4. Ask About Discounts
Most car insurance companies offer various discounts that customers can qualify for. Often these discounts are for behaviors and items that insurance companies consider to reduce the risk of an accident. Discounts can range from a good student discount to a discount for passive restraint in the vehicle. Each insurance company offers a different mix of discounts.
Another thing people should keep in mind is that they may qualify now for a discount they didn’t qualify for before. Perhaps an old ticket fell off their record, and they are now considered a good driver. Or a teen enrolls in college and maintains good grades, earning them a good student discount. Keeping information up to date with the insurance company ensures a person is getting the best price possible.
5. Out With the Old
Sometimes, moving to a new car insurance company is the right thing to do. The new company may offer a better price or a better mix of coverage. Once the new policy begins, it's time to cancel the old policy. In some cases, a person may receive a partial refund of payment. Carrying both policies can get expensive quickly.
Timing is key to canceling an old policy and beginning a new one. In some states, a car insurer must report a person who does not have car insurance coverage to the Department of Motor Vehicles. That person is then in violation of state law, and often the grace period is not long for that person to find new coverage. It is a good idea to begin the new policy and carry the old policy until the new one begins, so there is no lapse in coverage.
Car insurance is necessary to protect a person’s health, assets, and the people on the road with them. But there are ways to reduce the hassles and headaches. Taking a little time out regularly to review and following a few simple steps will produce a better, more cost-effective experience.