If you own a car, the phrase “auto insurance” should not be foreign to you. With over 47 states requiring mandatory coverage by auto insurance, you will most probably already be covered by auto insurance. However, how much do you know about auto insurance? You may have heard of “premiums” and “deductible”, and have a rough idea what they are, but do you know how they work? How can you sieve out the good deals from the bad ones?
The Myriad of Auto Insurance Companies
Indeed, with so many companies offering auto insurance, you will be at loss when trying to choose the right one for you. Luckily, many auto insurance companies offer quoting tools online – by inputting your particulars, vehicle make and model, you’ll get a quick quote from these companies. Jump around websites to check quotes, and you’ll find the best deal in no time at all.
With such accessibility to the pricing of packages by insurance companies online, it is a no-brainer why it is a bad choice to personally go down to auto insurance companies to get their price quotes. In fact, they’ll probably offer you the more expensive packages, hard-selling these packages before offering you the more competitively-priced ones.
“Cheap” Doesn’t Mean “Good”
However, you must note that sometimes, rates that are too low to be true probably are. It is the natural instinct of a customer to jump on what seem to be a steal. This is not recommended; you must take your time to read through the clauses and scrutinize the details of the auto insurance package. Packages that offer ridiculously low premiums often leave out certain “optional” coverage, such as the Uninsured Motorist coverage – a coverage that pays out if an uninsured motorist crashes your car. Be sure to read the details of the insurance package before choosing to sign up for it.
Know Your Insurance Needs
It is always helpful to list down what you are looking for in the auto insurance package before hunting for the best value-for-money package. Essential things to note down include pricing, premiums, deductibles and the specific coverage that you will want for your auto insurance.
In addition, when buying auto insurance, you have to make sure that the coverage offered is exactly what you need. Many customers fail to realize that some of the coverage offered in the auto insurance plan is already included in other insurances they had paid for; if you have bought an insurance offering comprehensive health coverage, you will not need to include coverage for medical bills arising from auto accidents. Make sure you do not buy auto insurances that duplicate coverage, or you’ll be throwing your money down the drain.
Understand that some coverage is mandatory under the law. Many states, such as New York, Maryland, Michigan and Florida require you to purchase the Personal Injury Protection coverage in addition to liability insurance (which is also mandatory in 47 states). Make sure that your insurance package covers these mandatory options to avoid getting into trouble with the law.
You will also want to take a look at the company’s track records before putting your money down. Some companies are very professional and efficient; they attend to your needs quickly, have excellent customer service, and payout your insured sum quickly. A quick search on the internet will review the glowing reviews of these companies; these are the companies that you should be looking out for.
However, there’s always the other side of the coin: companies that are notoriously inefficient with paying out your insured amount and spike your premium after a minor accident belong to this category. Even though coverage may be excellent in terms of the premium paid, you might be subjected to random premium increments during your contract with the insurance company. Look for negative customer reviews, and stay well clear of these companies if you find a throng of them complaining about this particular company.
Ask for Discounts!
At this point, you should have chosen the auto insurance company of your choice. Do not be afraid to call the company to see what discounts you are eligible for! If you manage to drive less than a certain mileage every year, or are insuring many cars at once, the company may have certain policies that allow discounts to your premiums, or cash rebates. If the company offers it, why not take it?
Additional Resources For Finding Auto Insurance Online
There are many auto insurance companies around – take your time, and choose the right auto insurance policy that caters to your need. Remember that the cheapest policies do not necessarily translate to the best policy to buy. Always do your homework before settling for an auto insurance package.
Take a look at these additional resources if you need further information: