When it comes to buying car insurance things can get confusing very quickly. Do you need personal injury protection? Do you need collision insurance? What’s more important, a small deductible or lower monthly payments? With all of these questions swirling around in your head, it’s difficult to make a good decision about purchasing the right insurance for your needs. Below, I’ve put together some helpful car insurance tips that you can think about when it comes time for you to buy an auto insurance policy.
Savings Tips for Car Insurance Buyers
Although the requirements for automobile insurance vary from state to state, every state requires you to carry at least the minimum amount of insurance. Shopping for that insurance takes time and patience. One of the best ways to start is to shop online. There are quite a few web sites available to help you shop for the insurance that you need. Most of these sites ask for some information, so you should have that handy when you get on your computer.
You will need your driver’s license, the make and model of your vehicle, your VIN number (usually found on the inside of the driver’s door), the average number of miles that you drive in a year and of course an idea of the number of tickets or accidents you have had while driving. A list of your car’s safety equipment, especially things like daytime running lights and theft alarms will also be helpful. These options can sometimes lower your premium costs.
Additional Helpful Tips for Buying Car Insurance
Know what type of policy you want
Once you’ve looked into some of the policies available to you, you will need to decide if you want full coverage or the minimum amount of coverage or something in-between. If you have an older car, you’ll likely do the best with a minimal policy. A good rule of thumb to follow is: if your car is worth less than ten times the policy’s premium, it’s probably not cost effective to buy the policy. This rule only works if your car has a clear title. If you’re still making payments on the vehicle, you’ll need to have comprehensive coverage. It’s required by most lenders.
Choose the higher deductible
If you do choose to buy comprehensive car insurance and/or collision coverage and you want to save up to 40% on your payments, go with the higher deductible. In most cases, the higher the deductible is, the lower the insurance premium. Keep in mind that if you do have an automobile accident, that deductible is the amount that you will be required to pay to fix your car. The entire deductible has to be satisfied prior to the insurance company making any payment. If you have an accident and your car receives $3000 worth of damage, you will have to pay the first $1000 before the insurance company pays the final $2000. If you carry a deductible of $1000, it’s a good idea to keep at least that amount of money handy in case of an accident.
A Few More Useful Car Insurance Tips
Save money by driving less: carpool
You can also save money on car insurance by carpooling. Most companies give a pretty substantial discount to someone who drives minimally. Keep your mileage low and you’ll keep the cost of your insurance low. Plus, you’ll have a much smaller chance of having an insurance claim on your car if it’s parked in the garage. Another easy tip for keeping car insurance costs low is to make sure you keep a clean driving record. The fewer accidents or tickets you have gotten, the lower your insurance cost.
Improve your credit score
Your financial credit score can also affect the cost of insurance. Are you a low risk driver or higher risk than average? Some companies will also give a lower rate to a person who has completed a driver’s safety course. These courses are not expensive and can benefit you in the long run. There are a lot of good tips for buying car insurance, but most importantly, shop around. Insurance company rates can vary greatly. Take your time and choose the policy that benefits your driving habits the most, and of course, drive safely!