It’s important that you have car insurance if you’re going to be on the road. Even if you think of yourselves as a very competent and cautious driver, you can never be 100% certain that nothing will happen to your car.
You are going to be sharing the road with problematic drivers no matter what. There’s also the possibility that your car will get stolen or some kind of unexpected freak accident will occur with the engine or the tires which will mess everything up.
The fact that it’s illegal in most places to drive without insurance should also probably be an incentive for you. This is primarily because it’s not fair for you not to be financially liable if you are responsible for damage or injury to someone else while driving.
The trouble with car insurance is that it can be quite expensive, and it’s also difficult to ensure that you are buying from a reputable provider who is going to offer you genuine protection while not ripping you off.
Depending on your circumstances, you aren’t going to be applicable for just any kind of insurance either. Factors include your age, your level of experience, the kind of car you’re driving and how many others use the same car.
So a policy which a friend or family member of yours has and is happy with might not be one that you can get, or even that you should get. There are many people out there who don’t give enough consideration when deciding on a policy and end up with the wrong one.
Here’s what you should think about to figure out if you have the right policy or not:
Are They a Top-Rated Provider
There are so many car insurance providers out there vying for your business and as mentioned, some of them are reputable and some of them aren’t. You have to pick one though, and that means doing a lot of research.
In general, it’s not too difficult to find out who the most popular and recommended providers are at the moment and you will see the usual suspects pop up when you’re researching. What puts people off the most well-known ones is usually going to be the price.
But the fact is, the best insurance isn’t going to come cheap for anyone, and that’s why it’s important for you to set aside a chunk of your budget for it. Not everyone will afford the absolute top rates, but if you have the right mindset during your search you can find a balance of price and quality.
There are online resources which keep a tally on high rated providers and you should keep an eye on those.
Are You Missing Anything in the Fine Print
An insurance policy is a big complicated document and it’s something that it’s pretty easy to hide things in. What you might find from your provider is that they try to use long descriptions and technical jargon to blind you from the fine print.
You should familiarize yourself with what an insurance policy actually looks like and what information should be included within. Auto Insurance Org has a good rundown of what you can expect to find. It’s important for you not to be caught off guard by the content of the policy so that you can better analyze it.
And then you need to read the entire document thoroughly before signing off on anything. There are a few specific things to look out for when you’re checking the policy over, common ways the provider will try to pull the wool over your eyes.
Check for specific date restrictions. You might be led to believe that you are covered for accidents, but the fine print of the policy may only provide it if you have a specific document filed by a specific date.
Just an overcomplicated restriction which allows them to avoid having to pay for something. You should be looking for clarity too. As I said, they may try to use obscure insurance terms to confuse you and so if anything doesn’t completely make sense, make a note of it.
When you find this stuff, you can try and discuss it with the provider and see if they scale back on it, but it’s probably better to go in search of a different policy instead, especially if there is a lot of obvious fine print.
Reading the entire policy and working hard to find discrepancies and stuff like that is a tall and intimidating order, but it will be worth it to avoid being messed around.
Are You Getting Discounts
There are a lot of discounts that are available to people looking for car insurance and you are almost guaranteed to be entitled to at least one of them. The trouble is that they aren’t offered by every provider.
If you aren’t searching for a policy with discounts in mind, you could find yourself selecting a provider that you think is giving you a good price, without realizing that you’re not getting several discounts you should be getting.
Know what discounts you are entitled to and look for providers that offer them. Here’s a few to think about:
Payment History Discount. This is for people who can prove that they consistently pay their insurance bill.
Good Student Discount. If you’re a high school or college student and you maintain a consistent ‘B’ average, you could be eligible for this.
Driving Course Discount. Completing a defensive driving course entitles you to this one.
Driving History Discount. An accident-free driving history will often entitle you to a fairly sizable discount on your policy.
Federal Employee Discount. Being either an active or retired federal employee can often get you a bit of a discount too.
There are several more which you can do your research on. Many providers won’t be eager to give you these and will take advantage if you are unaware of them, so make sure that if you should be getting discounts, you only sign with a provider who offers them.
Do you know what is covered?
When it comes to car insurance it can cover a lot more, or often a lot less, than you actually thought. Together with reading the fine print be sure to take note of exactly what is covered within your insurance policy and whether the price you are paying justifies the inclusions or lack thereof. It is always a good idea to research other policies available on the market to see if they include the same provisions and to see the comparable cost. To help you here are some common insurance policy inclusions you could expect to find as part of your policy.
Bodily injury liability coverage; covers other people’s injuries and medical bills if they were involved in a car accident that you were deemed to be at fault for.
Property damage liability coverage; covers the damage you cause to another person’s property while driving.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage; will help to cover medical bills or repairs costs if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or an underinsured driver.
Comprehensive coverage; covers a wide range of circumstances inclusive of damage caused by theft, fire, weather, or vandalism.
Collision coverage; covers you when you are involved in an accident with another vehicle or object.
Medical payments coverage; covers drivers, passengers, or family members driving the insured’s vehicle ad who are involved in an accident that results in medical expenses being incurred.
So there is quite a bit of stuff to look into when you’re trying to determine whether or not you’ve got the right car insurance policy but it’s better to be thorough with this so that you are actually protected while also not paying more than you should be paying.