Remember when you were a teenager and you couldn’t wait to get your first car? All you could think about was the freedom you’d have and how much cooler you’d be at school once you had wheels. You were probably so excited about getting those keys to your new ride that searching for a solid car insurance policy never even crossed your mind.
Maybe your parents were able to add you on to their policy at the time, but eventually there comes a day when you get booted off and you have to figure out how to get your own insurance plan. Cars are a huge investment so it’s important to stay protected with the right car insurance. It may seem like a daunting task to research and decide on a policy that’s going to give you enough protection, but having an understanding of insurance vocabulary and utilizing the available tools makes the process much smoother.
Talking to various auto insurance providers and comparing plans is an excellent way to learn more about coverage options and figuring out how things work. Don’t assume the cheapest policy is always the best value. Make sure you take the time to understand the coverage you’d be paying for and the type of customer service you’d get.
Basic Auto Insurance Policies
Most car insurance policies have a few general summaries. The first looks something like this: 50/100/50 and it means that the insurance company will cover up to $50,000 for each person in the accident and up to a total of $100,000 for all people involved. The final $50,000 is the total amount that will be covered for property damage.
The next important term to understand is “deductible.” A deductible is the amount that the insured person is responsible for paying in case of a collision. A lower deductible means a higher monthly payment, so it is vital to factor in your current financial situation before making a decision. Generally, young or inexperienced drivers are better off paying a higher monthly payment for a lower deductible because they’re more likely to get in an accident.
The remaining terms of a car insurance plan will vary greatly from policy to policy, but they tend to be things like: uninsured motorists, roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, etc. These are options that can be added on depending upon the circumstances. Each addition will cost more, but many of them are necessities for most people. For example, imagine causing an accident with someone who did not have insurance and being stuck with their medical bills. You’d be buried in debt with the way health care costs nowadays! This is why uninsured motorist coverage is important.
Use A Car Insurance Calculator
A car insurance calculator is one way to help make the process of choosing the proper insurance easier. Just make sure you understand the basic vocabulary of policies first. A car insurance calculator generally asks the buyer a variety of questions about their driving habits and specific vehicle. For example, it will usually require the year, make, and model of the car. The calculator generally digs a bit deeper, though, and asks questions regarding comfort level in making deductible payments or for what purpose the vehicle is primarily used. In other words, is this a commuter vehicle or is it used primarily for pleasure? Is it driven in the city or the countryside? And so on.
The car insurance calculator then comes up with a number of suggestions for insurance options. It provides a recommended deductible amount as well as suggested coverage options. Most insurance companies have their own calculator so the results will vary from company to company. This is a great tool start out with when selecting the right coverage options. Just remember to examine the results closely because you don’t want to get stuck with inadequate coverage.
After all, you want your car insurance to give you peace of mind when you’re out on the road. Nobody wants to drive and pray “please don’t crash, please don’t crash” every five seconds, that would be a disaster.
Ask Your Friends And Family
Word of mouth is a great way to find a good company so asking friends and family members what car insurance they use is an excellent place to start. You can also browse the web for reviews to get more feedback, especially from people who’ve actually had to file claims. You can also call individual companies and get a feel for their customer service and experience.
Most insurance companies can also send you specific materials you can review on your own time and discuss with your friends and family. Researching different policies within a company is also a good idea because most companies allow a lot of freedom and flexibility in coverage choices.
Info You Need To Have Handy In Order To Get Car Insurance
Prior to purchasing a car insurance policy, there are a few things that the company will require: driver’s license number, a vehicle identification number, and a driving record history. Generally, an insurance company will collect this info either in person, on the phone, or online in order to give you accurate quotes. So be sure to have your driver’s license number and the VIN (vehicle identification number) handy. Be prepared to answer questions regarding tickets for speeding, traffic accidents, and other moving violations.
It is helpful to know the month and year of each occurrence as well. Once these questions are answered, you’ll get a quote that gives the exact amount of money that will be owed based on specific policy selections. You can still go back and make changes if you don’t like the rates. Keep in mind some companies quote a price for a six-month period while others could be for twelve months. Ask if you’re not sure. Car insurance comes in all different shapes and sizes, but once you’ve got the basic knowledge, you should be well on your way.
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