Since almost all the states require that you have auto insurance, the question should not be whether you want it, but what you want your policy to cover. Indeed there are many decisions, but they do not have to be difficult ones to make if you know what you are looking for. Once you know what you want, then it will be much easier to find a company that can give you that for the lowest price.
How To Decide What You Want
You must decide what all your personal needs are such as a teenager in the house who also drives, but needs to be covered as well. Then make sure the policy will cover everything on the list.
How Much Liability Coverage Should I Get?
You also must decide how much liability coverage you want (paying for damages that you cause to another person on the road). There are two parts to liability coverage: bodily injury and property damage to the other person. Since liability insurance is the main reason to get insured in the first place, it is strongly recommended that insurers insure themselves well above the minimum requirement of the state. It is a good idea, in this area, to go as high as you feel you can because if you are unable to pay all the damage costs, first your assets will probably go to help pay for it, then you will just be in mounds of debt. You could get lucky and maybe they would have insurance for the underinsured (you) and maybe their attorney wouldn’t go after you, but don’t count on it.
How Much Collision Coverage, If Any, Should I Get?
One should assess the value of one’s car first before deciding on collision insurance. Is your car old anyway and on its last leg, or is it brand new? How much are you willing to pay out of pocket should anything happen? If your car was totaled, would you rather pay out of pocket and/or risk your insurance going up, or would you rather just buy a new car? You should only get collision coverage if you feel a need to keep your car and repairs from such an event would be much more than staying insured, thus requiring the help of your insurance. It is important to note that collision insurance will insure no matter who is at fault, generally.
What Other Types Of Coverage Should I Consider?
Comprehensive auto insurance means exactly that, it is all comprehensive (it includes just about everything else that could go wrong with your car). For example, if your AC broke, it could cover repairs for that, or if your car got stolen it would cover for that as well. It will also (typically) cover for extended medical expenses of anyone injured in the accident, salary lost during that time, and funeral expenses. That is the one thing about life, full of endless possibilities, so if any of these coverages are important to you, then you should get the comprehensive coverage plan.
Now, if you really want to protect yourself well you can also get insurance for the uninsured as well (or underinsurance for those who are underinsured). So, that basically means that your insurance will cover what they were supposed to cover, them being at fault, but because they have no insurance, you will get covered with no hassle. This is important to have if you are worried that someone will hit and run. If they are able to get away without your knowledge of their driver’s license or anything, then there won’t be much you will be able to do about it.
How High Should My Deductible Be? Your deductible is how much you must pay out of pocket before your insurance will help you. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payments (your premium). So, if you are not very accident prone, perhaps a high deductible would be good for you, as high as you feel that you could pay yourself. If you are still struggling with what you want your deductible to be, think of this scenario: You get in a fender bender by running into the friendly pole over by your gas station, and it is $500 to fix. Would you rather pay out of pocket? Or go through your insurance risking that your rates will increase. How about if it was $1000 to fix? Now how about $1500 to fix? Now $2000 to fix? The highest number you would want to pay out of pocket for should be your deductible.
How Can I Save Money On My Insurance Plan?
As talked about above, the higher the deductible, the lower your premiums, which can save you a bundle of money. That is a good way to save money and still be able to keep your good coverage. Even if you up your deductible to $500 dollars, your premium will be much less. If you are worried you will not have that extra $500 on hand when you need it, it is probably a good idea to keep it in your emergency savings in a high interest bearing account. In fact, keep your entire deductible in there, and then if you ever need it in a pinch, you will have it. It will save you tons of money in the long run.
Teens If you have teens that you need to cover, cover them with your insurance plan. Do not cover them separately, it will be much more expensive. Same thing with their cars. List their cars alongside yours.
Another way to save, or — not waste your money, is to be sure you are not overcompensating in your coverages. For example, if you already have good coverage in your health insurance to cover for your personal injuries no matter what the cause, then in an auto accident you would have coverage for your injuries already through your health insurance. Therefore, you would probably be OK just having the minimum requirement in your auto insurance for your own personal injuries. You would probably be surprised all that your home insurance would cover too, so be sure to look at the coverages you already have closely before making definite decisions.
Now, you may want to consider getting your auto insurance with the same company that you get your homeowners insurance with, or another insurance, because lots of times they will let you get your insurances for less if you purchase more than one through them. Always remember that if a company does not work out to your satisfaction, you can always change your policy or change companies altogether BEFORE it is time to renew your policy. You can change things any time you feel the need, you never need to wait.
How Can I Be More Certain That This Company Is A Good Company?
Customer Service is always an important aspect (of any company for that matter!), and a good one to test out! Think of a crazy or absurd question, then call their customer service and test it out! Or, any question for that matter! If you are on hold for an hour, then they probably do not provide good service.
Body shops are another good place to look. Managers there have to deal with auto insurances all the time. Ask them which are the best to work with! I am sure they would have some recommendations for you to make their lives easier! They would know which insurances try to get away with replacing parts with cheaper parts to save themselves money, and which would have parts replaced back to their original quality.
Word of mouth is always a good way to find good companies too, experiences from other people, whether on forums online or from friends. You can compare quotes online at http://www.foxquotes.com