With around 220 million licensed drivers in the United States, accidents are bound to happen.
Most Americans spend hours each day driving to and from work, school, and other obligations. The highways and interstates have become common ground for us.
With so much time on the road, it’s an unfortunate and inevitable fact that we end up with scratches, marks, and dents in our vehicles. Sometimes people don’t step on the breaks fast enough or others completely forget to follow traffic rules.
Whatever the cause of the incident, it’s important to have car insurance. If you are in the process of buying car insurance for your car, there are a few things to consider.
Keep reading for 10 points to think about when purchasing car insurance.
1. Go Above the Minimum
There are state minimums when buying car insurance, but consider the possibility of causing an accident and owing more than what your minimum covers.
Putting in a little more money reaps the benefits of getting more than the minimum when push comes to shove. The more money you owe after an accident, the more financial sacrifices you have to make to avoid any more legal trouble.
The minimums are important to follow, but weigh all additional costs among multiple insurance companies. Going beyond the minimum will help you in the long run.
2. Do Your Research
When preparing to purchase new insurance for your car, make a thorough list of car insurance companies. Compare all prices and possible discounts.
Some companies will offer discounts for good GPA or for being an active part of an alumni group for universities, sororities, or fraternities. Don’t be afraid to reach out to customer service and ask any questions about discounts or pricing.
It can also be useful to talk with friends and family and ask about their experiences with their insurance companies.
3. Look at Installment Payments
Numbers and math can be a tad overwhelming, but it can save you money when you sit down and map out payments.
Insurance companies will offer a few different payment plans. You can pay all in one shot, pay two payments per year, or make monthly payments. It usually costs more to make monthly payments.
If you are able to, it could be best to pay it all in one go.
4. Assess Your Risks
Many companies will ask a handful of questions in order to determine some tweaks in pricing. They may asses your age, location, sex, and education status among other things to calculate how much you owe.
When buying car insurance, answer all survey questions honestly. Make sure to always be alert on the road to avoid any accidents. Not only can an accident cause you to scrape cash out to pay for any damage, but it can also affect insurance prices down the road.
5. Compare to Current Insurance
Before buying car insurance for a new purchase, look at what you’re paying now. Check out your personal insurance policy and review everything you are paying for.
If you aren’t sure about switching carriers, make a list of all pros and cons for the company you are currently with. Speak to a representative about any sort of loyalty discount. You might be surprised what you can work out by giving them a call.
Take time to understand everything, insurance terms and all. Having a solid grasp on where your money is going can bring about unexpected savings.
6. Talk to Your Employer
Many employers offer discounts for car insurance. Reach out to your boss and inquire about any possible payment cut.
You may even reach out to organizations or educational institutions you are involved or enrolled with. Even if the discount is small, it’s still a possible discount.
7. Consider Who It Covers
While we don’t usually plan for others to drive our car, it’s still important to see who else new insurance plans will cover.
Maybe you are letting your teenage child drive your car for practice. What if they get into an accident while learning to use a turn signal?
Maybe you drink a little too much at a work party and your friend has to drive you all home in your car. What if they accidentally back into your co-worker’s car when leaving the driveway?
Unexpected situations arise, so look at all possibilities.
8. Look into Roadside Assistance
Almost all insurance companies offer a roadside assistance option. Look at prices for the additional help, and compare among companies.
You may not think it’s worth it but consider all the random flat tires or dead batteries you may encounter.
We aren’t perfect and sometimes we leave a light on in our car overnight. Having the ability to receive immediate help is better than texting all of your friends at 7 am for jumper cables.
9. Look at Local Offices
Despite it being more convenient to buy insurance over the phone or internet, it’s best to go meet with an insurance representative in person.
Call up local insurance offices and make appointments to discuss possible plans, discounts, risks, and anything else that could affect your payments.
Sometimes when registering for insurance online, we miss important points, fill out items incorrectly, or make silly mistakes. Talking matters out in person can save you from a headache in the future.
10. Truthfully Review Your New Car
Just because a car is new to you doesn’t mean it is new to the world. If your new car has been around for quite some time and has a handful of dents or scratches, it may not be as worth it to purchase the most expensive insurance plan.
Take a few moments to look over your car and record any scratches you may see.
Things to Consider When Buying Car Insurance
Buying car insurance can seem like an overwhelming task, but by doing your research, preparing for payments, and keeping all of the above points in mind, it doesn’t have to be stressful.
Make sure to keep open communication with insurance companies, and always be honest about your needs. If you need more help and advice on all things insurance, check out the rest of our site.