Your auto insurance is not only about protecting your car. It is also about protecting the people inside your car, on the road, in other cars, and the property around it. It is also about protecting your financial interests if someone gets injured in an accident in which you are determined to be “at fault.”
Finding the right auto insurance can be quite challenging. That is why it is so important to ask questions before you buy and always make sure the answers make sense to you.
Understand key features of insurance policies
Different auto insurance policies offer different kinds of features. All of them are important to different drivers for different reasons. The following are some of the more common and desired types of features people want from their auto policies.
- New car replacement. It is discouraging to have a car for a very small amount of time before an accident or theft only to find that the value the insurance company pays for the car is considerably lower than they may even owe on the car. Certainly not enough to pay the car off nor enough to purchase a new car to replace the one that was destroyed or stolen.
- Vanishing deductible. Some insurance carriers are offering a reducing deductible for every year drivers go without an accident. Drivers appreciate that this gives them some degree of power over their costs – by remaining safe, defensive drivers. Of course, it can be frustrating when accidents that are not your fault take place.
- Accident forgiveness. This feature means that insurance companies are not penalizing drivers for a first accident by raising rates or dropping their coverage. It is a huge boon for drivers who have long histories of safe driving before getting into a first accident.
These features aren’t available through all insurance carriers and you may need to shop around in order to find these exact or very similar features.
Identify which features are important for you
Most drivers want to find an insurance provider they can feel confident about having and be loyal to for the long haul. Before you do that, though, you need to decide what’s most important to you. Getting the right insurance coverage can make a world of difference for you and your family when it comes to financial security and peace of mind.
- Types of coverage. Make sure the policy you purchase provides the type of coverage (accident, liability, medical payments, theft, collision, uninsured drivers, comprehensive coverage and more) that is most beneficial to you and your family.
- Amounts of coverage. You want to feel confident that all your needs will be provided for by your insurance coverage if an accident occurs. Choose policies that tend to the obvious needs and set aside money for things like deductibles, rental cars, and other features.
- Reputation of the provider. Check out the reputation of the company before you buy insurance no matter how great the features appear to be. Find out what others are saying about the claims process, the fairness of the company, and the integrity of the company through reviews, blogs and social media.
- Available discounts. Finally, ask the agent you are working with about available discounts. Some are available but only if customers ask for them. They are unadvertised, so the only way to know is to ask the agent about them.
Little things can be important when accidents occur and can make a big difference in your financial outlook afterward. Make sure you set the stage for a good outcome if you are ever involved in an accident.
Comparing prices and coverage
While it may seem like a simple concept to compare prices from one insurance policy to the next, it is not always so cut and dry. Not all policies are created equal, so you’ll need to break down the policy into bite-sized pieces to see what is covered and why the prices are so different.
Make sure you take the time to know what the policy offers for the price before choosing the lowest priced policy. Those deeply discounted policies often fail to offer the type of protection and coverage you are expecting for the money.
Auto insurance is one of the most important types of insurance coverages to purchase today. It is doubly important to get the coverage and coverage amounts on these policies right to provide invaluable protection. Working with an independent insurance agency can help you do that and more – so that you never need to worry about having the right protection again. Just remember to choose a reputable agency with a history of doing the right things for its policyholders.