The key is knowing how to compare auto insurance products to get the best deals. For starters, collect the following information:
- Driver’s licenses for everyone who will be listed as a driver on your policy
- Determine how many miles you and other drivers commute annually for work
- Vehicle information for all automobiles on your policy
- Credit report for all individuals on your car insurance policy.
- List life changes that have occurred in the past six months since you bought your last policy.
When you have all of this information you are all set for the next step of work. Your job will be to evaluate your situation and make decisions and take actions to improve your chances of gaining affordable car insurance.
For instance, perhaps your car has aged enough that you can afford to drop comprehensive and collision coverage.
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Understanding Car Coverage
Many drivers, young and old, mistakenly think that they have “full coverage” for their vehicles. It is a misnomer, and actually as far as the insurance carriers go, there is no such thing.
Instead, there is comprehensive and collision, and they are offered as separate products within one policy. Collision provides insurance for your vehicle if it is involved in a crash, whether it is with another car, a fence, or a lawn gnome.
Comprehensive protects against everything else, such as wind damage, theft, and flooding waters carrying your car off during a wicked storm.
Be mindful and know that the insurance will not necessarily pay for everything you cart around in your vehicle, including the super fabulous stereo or GPS you installed.
If you carry around many expensive suits for your weekly commute to work, stay in another town, and return on Fridays, then alert your insurance agent.
The reason is that the insurance is not necessarily intended for high-ticket items. You may buy additional coverage to ensure your property is taken care of, but do read the policy to find out to what extent.
Additional car-related insurance products worth considering include the following:
- Car Rental
- Roadside Assistance
- Windshield Repair and Replacement
The additional coverage options are also up to you and up to whether your insurer provides these lines of coverage. Car rental is a type of reimbursement that goes toward the cost of a vehicle rental in case yours is damaged and needs repairs.
Commonly, $30 per day up to $900 is the lowest limit of this type of coverage.
Roadside assistance from the insurance company is appealing because it is provided at an inexpensive rate, in general. Some may provide roadside assistance for $20 per year, or $10 per six-month policy period. Automobile clubs that provide the same coverage cost closer to $100 per year.
However, most insurance carriers will group a call to your insurer’s roadside assistance as a claim. So, use the service wisely.
Windshield dings and dents are dangerous if left as is, because they weaken the glass to increase the likelihood of full breakage. Windshield repair is often very affordable as part of your insurance coverage.
If you do not see a separate windshield coverage, read the proposed policy or reach out to your agent or broker to find out if it is somewhere in the policy.
What about your credit?
You might wonder why the insurance carriers seem so bent on checking your credit score.
There is a correlation between having trouble keeping up with bills and likelihood a customer will file a claim.
People who are having better luck paying their bills are actually less likely to file insurance claims.
Meanwhile, people who are presently cash-strapped, might be forced to make claims for smaller repairs.
Steps to improve credit:
- Six weeks before your insurance comes up for renewal, buy copies of all insured drivers’ credit reports and check for errors
- Contact the creditors who misreported your information to correct it
- Pay bills on time
- Use less than 30 percent of your credit line on any credit card to improve your credit score
- Do not close credit card accounts, because that lowers your credit score, because it shrinks your debt ceiling, making it appear you are using a greater percentage of your overall available credit
Student Drivers and Safety
Whether you have kids or not, every driver should take a safe driving, or defensive driving course.
If every driver on your policy completes a class, often offered online, discounts are applied to your insurance policy.
In addition, while it seems outlandish, shop for your teen’s car insurance separately. The reason is because sometimes their insurance is actually cheaper when it is purchased separately from the family’s policy.
In addition, if your teen is a good student, who earns B’s and A’s, then find out if your insurance carrier offers good student discounts.
Household Lines of Coverage
When you are running a household, you also end up with other types of insurance. From homeowners to renters to umbrella policies, to even boat and motorcycle, consider buying your coverage all from one carrier to receive multi-line discounts.
Comparing Coverage to Cut Costs
Make sure that you purchase insurance from a carrier who ranks highly among the credit worthiness scores.
In addition, do get a subscription or purchase the car insurance issues of Consumer Reports, because they provide actual figures on customer satisfaction.
It can be hard to tell what are legitimate reviews online or paid reviews.
Make sure you choose a carrier who has top-notch customer service to help out with every day questions, easy bill pay, and whose claims adjusters are efficient and pay out quickly on legitimate claims.
Once you have scouted out all of this information, it is time to go to an easy quote system, input your details about all drivers and vehicles.
Cut down your list of carriers by the ones who are efficient and offer good customer service at the best price.
Use the FREE comparison tool below to start searching for car insurance quotes instantly.