For most people, getting car insurance can be one of the most daunting parts of owning a car. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself and the insurance company.
The best car insurance companies understand your personal situation better than you do. But you still have to do the work to make sure you’re getting the right coverage for your budget. We’ll help you choose from the best options, shop around and manage claims.
When you want to buy car insurance, you’ll usually see many different ads that all promise a great deal of insurance coverage at a reasonable price. However, which one is best for you?
In today’s article, I’m going to explain how to buy car insurance at the lowest possible cost. If you’re going to spend money on car insurance, you should make sure that you get the absolute maximum benefit out of that money. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting it.
You don’t want to end up with a car insurance bill that you can’t afford. So, let’s get started…
1. Obtain information about your vehicle and driver
The following information will help you start your car insurance search:
- You will need to provide basic information for each driver on your policy, such as name, address, and date of birth
- A list of all drivers on the policy along with their license information
- Information about the vehicle, including the year, make, model, vehicle identification number, and current mileage
- Each driver on the policy will have their driving history reviewed, including accidents they were at fault for, traffic violations they committed, and any safe-driving courses they have completed
- If you have an insurer, please provide your current coverage limits
2. Determine the amount of coverage you need for your car
A good first step in buying car insurance is to determine how much coverage you need. You do not want to buy too little car insurance coverage, because you will be underinsured.
On the other hand, you don’t want to buy too much coverage, because you will be overpaying.
You should consider the following types of coverage.
Car insurance with liability
When you cause a car accident, your liability insurance covers property damage and injuries to others, including car repair bills and medical expenses.
A lawsuit arising from an accident is also covered under this policy.
The majority of states (except New Hampshire and Virginia) require you to carry an amount of liability car insurance. The minimum liability limits for New York drivers are 25/50/10, which means:
- One person is entitled to $25,000 for bodily injury ($50,000 for death).
- Those who are injured by two or more people are entitled to $50,000 ($100,000 for those who are killed).
- For property damage, $10,000 will be awarded
Nevertheless, states generally require insufficient liability insurance amounts as a minimum. In New York, if you caused a car accident that resulted in multiple injuries and more than $50,000 in medical bills, you’d be responsible for the excess amount.
When it comes to liability insurance, the best rule of thumb is to buy enough to cover what you can lose in a lawsuit.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Some drivers buy liability insurance, but not enough to cover a major car accident. So what happens if you’re involved in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver?
In the event of a car accident, uninsured motorists insurance (UM) or underinsured motorists insurance (UIM) pays for medical bills and other expenses including lost wages, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.
UM is generally a good coverage to have if it is available to you, even if you are not required to have it by your state.
A collision and comprehensive insurance policy
Buying collision and comprehensive insurance for your own vehicle will cover car repair bills. Although these coverage types are often sold together, they cover two different groups of problems:
- For accidents involving other cars or backing into poles, collision insurance helps cover your car repair bills.
Rather than using your own collision coverage if someone else crashes into you and causes your car to be repaired, you could claim their liability insurance.
- Having comprehensive coverage will protect you against theft, collisions with animals, fire, floods, hail, vandalism, and theft of your car.
Lenders and leasing companies typically require collision and comprehensive coverage if you have a car loan or lease.
Personal Injury Protection
Regardless of who caused the accident, personal injury protection (PIP) pays for your medical bills and other expenses if you and your passengers are injured in a car accident.
In 15 states, PIP is required by law, while in four states and the District of Columbia, it is optional.
The following are generally covered by PIP:
- Bills related to medical care
- When an accident prevents you from working, you lose your wages
- Costs associated with rehabilitation
- Services such as child care and housekeeping that you cannot perform due to an injury
- Car insurance Costs associated with funerals
Medical Payments Coverage
There is also a coverage type called MEDPay, which pays for the medical bills of you and your passengers regardless of whether they are at fault for the accident or not.
MedPay is generally sold in small amounts between $1,000 and $5,000 and is not available in all states.
Coverage types available as options
In addition to the standard options for car insurance, you may wish to buy additional coverage in order to ensure you are fully protected:
- In case your car breaks down for a reason covered by your insurance, rental reimbursement insurance pays for extra transportation costs, like a rental car.
- When you have a loan or lease, gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe on the loan and what the car is worth after it’s depreciated (such as a car crash).
- If you break down on the side of the road or if you get a flat tire on the side of the road, roadside assistance insurance pays for services such as a tow truck, jump-start, or a locksmith in case of an emergency.
3. Get multiple quotes for car insurance
Once you figure out how much car insurance you need, compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. Rates can vary from insurer to insurer for the same coverage, so don’t skip this step.
Get a quote What you’ll need to get a car insurance quote Personal information Name, date of birth, address Vehicle information Year, make & model or VIN* *Don’t worry, we’ll help you find this.
You can get free car insurance quotes:
- Get it online. Check out an insurer’s website to find free car insurance. You can also use a comparison website that lets you compare multiple policies at once.
- Insurance agent. The best way is to talk to an insurance agent. It’s better to talk to an independent agent who sells policies from multiple companies than to a captive agent who only sells policies from one company.
In order to obtain a quote from an insurance company, the following information will be needed:
- Personal info. All the drivers in your household, their driver’s license numbers, and their ZIP codes (where you’ll keep your car).
- Information about the car. Additionally, you might be able to get a discount if you have information like safety and anti-theft features.
4. Invest in auto insurance
After you have decided on which company and policy you want to purchase, it is time to fill out an application for car insurance.
As a rule, insurers will offer as much as a 10% discount if you purchase the full term upfront. If you do not want to pay the full term up front, you can usually pay monthly installments. You may be able to get a small discount if you use automatic withdrawals.
The insurance company will email, send you a fax or mail you a copy of your proof of insurance if you have a policy. Some insurance companies have mobile apps that will allow you to download your proof of insurance.
The majority of states, with the exception of New Mexico, accept digital proof of insurance. Most states require proof of insurance before you can register or drive off a dealership lot with a new or used car.
Get an auto insurance quote online and personalize your policy today. Your auto insurance policy consists of multiple car insurance coverages. Coverages provide protection in different situations.
Auto insurance coverage options to better fit your needs When it comes to car insurance, you’ve got plenty of coverage options. State Farm can help you find the right coverage.
5. Let your old coverage expire
Before canceling your previous policy, make sure your existing coverage is active. You should get a refund for the unused months.
If your policy was canceled, make sure you get a confirmation.
Getting into a car accident can have serious legal and financial consequences if you cancel car insurance before the new car insurance policy takes effect.
It could mean you’re ticketed for driving uninsured, and you’ll have to pay for all damages and expenses out of pocket. A lapse in coverage can also make your upcoming policy more expensive.
Tips for Car Insurance Buyers
If you’re looking for car insurance, whether you’re new to it or an expert, here are a few helpful tips that you should keep in mind when choosing a policy.
1. Reduce your car insurance costs
There are ways to save on car insurance, such as:
Bundle your insurance.
Buying more than one policy from an insurance company can get you a discount. For example, you can bundle auto and home insurance together.
Ask for discounts.
Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts, like discounts on multiple cars, vehicle safety features, anti-theft devices, good driving, good students, and occupational and professional memberships.
Increase the deductible.
For comprehensive and collision insurance, you’ll pay less in premiums if you raise your deductible. This is because your insurer won’t pay you as much if you make a claim.
You can, for example, raise your deductible from $500 to $1,000 (or more). Remember, if you choose a high deductible, you’ll have to pay it out of pocket if you need to.
Minimize optional coverage on older vehicles.
You might not need collision and comprehensive insurance if your car is old. Here’s a guide.
2. Make sure you have options when it comes to coverage
The policy you bought 10 years ago may not be adequate or competitively priced anymore. It’s good to review your auto insurance coverage regularly.
“Everyone’s needs vary when it comes to auto insurance. It’s important to talk to your agent about your coverage throughout your life, whether you’re a young driver, commuter to work, carpooling to soccer practice, or approaching your golden years, to make sure you’re covered and not missing anything,” says Jon Bloom, vice president of Erie Insurance’s product management.
3. Price isn’t everything
There’s no question you want the best deal on car insurance. But you also want an insurance company with a solid reputation for customer service if something goes wrong.
Car insurance companies that offer good service at a good price are the best.
There are four things you need to do when choosing your car insurance policy: ask for the right coverage, pay the right amount, review your policy often, and shop around.
A good quote from a local agent is better than a bad one from an online site. A good policy is cheaper than a bad one. You might be able to save money by shopping around for better rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it hard to get car insurance?
Getting car insurance is not as hard as you may think. There are plenty of companies that offer auto insurance.
However, it is important to know what your coverage needs are. Once you know what your requirements are, you can shop around for a company that has the right coverage for your vehicle and budget.
In some states, such as Florida, it is illegal to drive without liability insurance. Having car insurance can protect your assets from theft or accidents.
Having insurance can also help protect you from large medical bills if you were to get into a major accident.
How to get car insurance in the USA?
In the USA, car insurance can be very expensive. If you are not careful you could spend thousands of dollars per year.
The best thing you can do is to contact a reputable insurance company in your state. You can find a list of them online, and see how much they will charge. This will give you a good idea of whether you should buy insurance or not.
Can I get insurance on a car that is not in my name?
Yes, you can. In fact, you can get car insurance even if you do not have your own vehicle. This is a great option for college students or people who just don’t want to worry about getting into an accident while still under the age of 25.
If you don’t have a car, it is easy to get insurance through a parent or guardian. You will need to sign a form giving permission for them to provide proof of insurance. After that, you will be able to get car insurance for a period of time.
Do you get car insurance for yourself or for a car?
If you are planning to buy a car in the future then it is important to get car insurance. car insurance protects your vehicle from any damage, theft, and accidents.
It also helps cover the cost of repairs and replacements in case of an accident.
Many people think that only parents need to get insurance for their cars but this is not true.
Everyone who drives a car should get car insurance, especially if the car has been in an accident. If you are a teenager, you should get insurance for the car that you use for school, work, and extracurricular activities.