A car is perhaps the most essential feature of modern life. Getting a car for the first time is a sign of incipient maturity and independence. The latest model of a high-end brand is the classic status symbol of wealth and prestige. Cars are used all over the world to tell other people about the owner’s style of living. Fundamentally, however, a car is simply a means of transportation, no more and no less. The pride and care attached to a vehicle is largely superfluous when compared to its utility.
Buying a car, whether new or used, is a significant investment. Transportation is necessary to get food, go to the movies, the library or to another state (or country, in the case of Canada and Mexico). Since a car is so important, the risk that it could be stolen, broken or completely wrecked must be taken into account. The easiest way to compensate for this risk is to buy car insurance. Like home insurance and life insurance, auto insurance protects against the risk that something will happen to the policyholder’s vehicle, rendering it inoperable or in need of repair.
Knowing the Purpose of Buying Car Insurance
A car insurance policy will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing a car under certain circumstances. This is known as collision coverage, and this is only one type of coverage. Other types include liability coverage, which means the policy will pay another person who is involved in an accident with the policyholder. Any costs of vehicle repairs or medical expenses will be reimbursed by the insurance company to the other party involved.
The basic policy will provide coverage amounts for collision and liability scenarios. It will also protect the policyholder from uninsured or underinsured drivers. In some cases, if a person with insurance is involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance or is underinsured, the insured person may have to pay some of the uninsured person’s cost. Uninsured motorist coverage protects against this situation.
Finally, one of the most critical types of coverage is personal injury protection. This will pay for any medical expenses for personal injuries the policyholder suffers as the result of an accident. Personal injury protection, collision, liability and uninsured motorist coverage are essential for any well-functioning policy.
What is a Car Insurance Estimate?
A policyholder pays for his insurance policy through premiums. These are charged monthly, annually or bi-annually, depending on the policyholder and the insurance company. When shopping for car insurance, insurance companies will give a potential policyholder an initial estimate of their premium payments. Some companies allow a policyholder to pay their premiums in installments. Under this plan, the company may charge an additional fee for each installment, which can vary.
When comparing different policies, it is critically important to compare the same types of coverages with the same limits. Otherwise, different insurance companies will provide widely different quotes for what the policyholder thinks is the same coverage type. For example, ask the company the specific premium amounts for each coverage type, whether it is collision, liability, uninsured motorist or personal injury coverage.
Insurance companies also offer discounts, which can skew the estimates even more. Ask the company how much the discount amounts will be, how many discounts the company offers and if you are eligible for any of them. You should keep in mind that discounts are not usually factored into a car insurance estimate calculator on the internet. The additional savings are usually taken into account after you have purchased a policy. By applying the same discounts to the same coverage categories across multiple companies, a reasonable picture of the total premium can be obtained.
How to Get a Free Online Car Insurance Estimate
The easiest way for a potential policyholder to get an estimate is to go online. The websites of major car insurance companies like Geico or Allstate will take the customer’s information and produce free instant quotes (Note: Saying that you are getting a “car insurance quote” is just another way of saying “estimate”). These enterprises will want to know details about the primary driver, other drivers in the customer’s household, the automobile in question and coverages and limits desired. Obviously you can get a free estimate here at CCIG simply by scrolling to the top of the page, entering your Zip Code, and further investigating the best deals in your area.
Most companies usually give a car insurance estimate by age, car, location, and driving history. They may take other factors into account though depending on how comprehensive the estimate is.
Get a Free Car Insurance Estimate by Calling an Insurance Agent
Another way to get an estimate is to call an insurance company and ask for one. The agent handling the call will want the same information, but unlike a website, talking to a live agent enables the customer to clearly explain his situation. It also makes the experience more personal, and offers a good opportunity for the customer to evaluate the type of customer service he will receive from a particular company.
For customers who like the convenience of shopping online, several websites allow for multiple estimates to be displayed at once. The customer can clearly see the lowest estimate available. He can also adjust for different factors like discounts, deductibles and coverage limits. Also, keep in mind that car insurance estimates online are not always totally accurate, so don’t get discouraged if the price initially seems higher than you had expected.