Picking an auto insurance policy is not an easy task, especially with the numerous insurance companies and policy options available to choose from. The task can be even more difficult for new drivers or people who do not know a lot about cars.
Contrary to what you may think, auto insurance coverage isn’t just for your vehicle. While it may provide coverage for your car, it is also provide protection for you and other individuals in the event of a car accident. Here are some useful tips and information to help you shop for and purchases the most appropriate auto insurance coverage:
- Think about your needs and circumstances.
Before shopping for selecting a policy, ask yourself questions such as:
- What is my driving record and accident history?
- How often and many miles do I drive?
- What is the age and type of my vehicle ?
- What is my age, gender and marital status ?
- Will there be other people listed ?
- Am I below 25 years old or an older driver ?
These and other factors typically influence your choice of available insurance companies and the cost of coverage, you can purchase. Check out the various coverage options that each company offers in order to help you identify the best auto insurance policy for your needs.
- Familiarize yourself with the different coverage types.
Do you know what coverages is you’re actually getting? Car insurance policies can include a number of different coverages and while you may be buying one insurance policy for a particular vehicle, you may be actually purchasing or choosing not to buy a number of different components.
- Bodily injury liability – Covers injury and death claims filed against you, as well as legal costs in the event that your car injures or kills another person.
- Property damage liability – Covers claims for property that your car damages, in the event of an accident.
- Medical payments or personal injury protection – Covers medical expenses for injuries to yourself and to your passengers.
- Collision coverage – Covers damage to your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage – Covers physical damage to your vehicle from vandalism, theft, wind, flood, fire, and other non-accident causes.
- Uninsured motorist protection – Covers injuries caused to you or to your occupants by uninsured drivers or hit-and-run drivers.
- Underinsured motorist protection – Covers claims you make against a driver with inadequate insurance.
- Watch out for policies with minimum coverage.
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when choosing auto insurance is how much coverage to pay for. Car insurance is often sold with a maximum benefit per injured person and maximum benefit for all parties injured in the accident. While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option available, remember that paying a little extra could be worth it in the long run.
“If you consider how high medical bills are and how quickly they can add up after an accident, purchasing coverage providing higher liability limits than the state minimum mandated coverage makes a great deal of sense.” advises injury lawyer Lawrence Flick who has dealt with his share of vehicle accident injury cases over his 30+ years of practicing law in Kansas. He adds “If you only have the basic coverage required by the state, then you are at higher risk for being personally liable for the injured person’s damages which exceed your insurance coverage.
On the other hand, be careful in selecting the coverage options you choose. For example, if your car is older and has higher mileage, the cost of collision coverage may be relatively high in relation to the value of your car and may not be the best choice. There’s no need to purchase as much optional coverage as you can simply because you can afford it.
As with any financial product purchase, your choice of car insurance should be dependent on your needs and personal circumstances. The best insurance policy for you is one that suits your needs, your budget, and your driving lifestyle.