car insurance is not a walk in the park. Despite the ads on television claiming that you can find quotes with one click of the mouse, you really have to do some careful shopping to find the best rates. What makes it so hard is that there is no blue book that gives a list of rates. There are so many factors involved that the price for car insurance coverage is pretty broad. Also, with so many companies offering car insurance, the field can be competitive, which works in your favor. The downside to that is the companies each have different criteria for calculating rates so it can get confusing. So it is no wonder that people have a hard time figuring out how to buy car insurance. If you are in the market, here are some things you need to know.
What Do I Need Before I Start Shopping for Car Insurance?
Before you start seriously looking at other insurance companies, you are going to need a copy of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Insurance companies will not insure your car if you don’t have both of these.
You also need to have a copy of your current insurance policy so you can compare the rates. First time drivers who have not had any previous car insurance may have difficulty in acquiring an insurance provider because some companies do not offer insurance unless you are already covered.
Should I Cancel My Old Policy First?
One of the most important rules about how to buy car insurance is do NOT cancel your existing car insurance before you purchase a new policy. You do not know how long it is going to take to get new coverage for your car and you may not find a better deal than the one you already have. Also, as mentioned above, some companies will not offer to carry you if you do not already have a policy.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Every state in the U.S. has a minimum amount of coverage required for car insurance. Usually, your insurance carrier will know what that amount is but it is always a good idea to check it out for yourself. When scouting out car insurance coverage, it is recommended that you get more than the state’s minimum. Even better, make sure that you get enough liability insurance to cover your assets. If you have a lot of assets, get additional coverage. If you don’t have excessive assets, you really don’t need additional coverage (you still, however, need insurance).
Does My Driving Record Affect My Rates?
In understanding how to buy car insurance, you need to know that your driving record is going to affect your rates. A bad driving record is going to raise those insurance rates just like a good driving record is going to lower them. You should know how many recent traffic violations you have had and how many accidents. If you can’t remember exactly, check with your states Department of Motor vehicles for a copy of your record.
Should I Get Quotes From Different Companies?
Absolutely. Just like shopping for anything else, you want to compare prices and get quotes from different companies. A good place to start is to go to online quote sites like Progressive and type in all of your information. They can respond back with quotes from different companies.
Do Insurance Companies Offer Discounts?
If you like a company’s policy but before you make that final decision, ask them if they offer any discounts. Some companies
Geico) offer discounts to customers with good driving records, certain occupations, credit scores, and specific safety equipment. You are basically considered less of a risk so you might be able to save some money.