Auto Insurance: what you need to know
Auto insurance varies
widely from state to state and even from company to company. Companies
compete aggressively to get your business, especially if you have
an accident and citation free record. Here are some tips to help
you get the best possible bargain without sacrificing coverage.
Some states have minimum coverage limits for things like uninsured
motorist, personal injury, and so forth. Check out your state.
comparisons: Autoinsurance companies have widely varying
rates. These rates can change from one year to the next, so don't
be afraid to switch if you have a clean driving record. When you
compare rates, be sure you are making your comparison based on the
same coverage amounts.
Be alert for
discounts: When comparing the top 10 or 15 companies,
ask about discounted premiums. The following items are some of
the possibilities for an inexpensive, discounted premium.
occupations, such as teaching, nursing, and others
presence of anti-theft devices and safety devices such as anti-lock
brakes and air bags
with above average grades
more than one vehicle with the same company.
your home owners and life insurance with the same company that
insures your vehicles
a certificate for a driver’s training course.
accident and citation free for three or more years
The deductible is the amount you pay if you should have an accident.
The larger your deductible, the smaller your premium will be.
The average deductible is 500, but you can lower your premium
even more if you can afford a $1000 deductible.
Collision coverage is the most expensive part of your insurance.
If your car is ten or more years old, or is valued at less than
$2000, collision is hardly worth paying for. A relatively minor
accident could result in an adjuster declaring the car a "total
loss," and then you will only get the value of the car, not the
amount needed to repair the damage. Of course, if you have a loan
on the car, most banks will require you to carry collision.
Liability coverage is the portion of your insurance that is required
by law. It pays for the damage to another vehicle if you are responsible
for the accident. Most states have required coverage limits, so
you may not have much choice in coverage amount.
out the insurance before buying the car: People often purchase the
car of their dreams only to find out that they have chosen a model
that is costly to insure. Companies want the VIN number of a car
to give you a quote, but if you give them the model and year, they
should be able to give you a general idea regarding the premium.
Check out the
company ratings: You can find the rating of a given company
through or . You can also check with your Better Business Bureau
to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.
Finally, talk to your friends. A company that has given them years
of satisfaction will be more likely to do the same for you, especially
if you tell the agent that one of their own clients recommended
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