Every year, there are more than six million car accidents on U.S. roads. Even minor fender benders can do serious damage to your car.
Luckily, having the right car insurance coverage in place can help reduce the cost of those repairs. But choosing auto insurance isn’t always as simple as you might think.
There are tons of benefits you have while considering an auto insurance company for the best policies. Here are a few key factors to think about before you invest in coverage.
The Types of Coverage You Need
Before you can start looking at different auto insurance providers, you need to think about what types of coverage you need. Believe it or not, there are several types of insurance that can help you better protect your car. And not all of them are required by the state.
Collision coverage helps pay for damage done to your car and medical care you need after experiencing a collision with another vehicle or an object. But it won’t cover you if something else damages your car. That type of damage is only covered by comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive coverage covers the cost of repairs and even replacement due to theft, vandalism, falling limbs, and even hail.
To fully protect your vehicle while, you’ll need to invest in state-required liability coverage, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance. This does mean your premiums will be higher, but you’ll end up paying less out of pocket for repairs.
Your Driving Record
Having a history of accidents or speeding tickets won’t keep you from getting car insurance. But it can make choosing coverage a bit harder.
Insurance providers want to reward safe drivers with clean records. They’ll be more willing to offer better prices and more affordable deductibles to those safe drivers.
Why? Because safe drivers are statistically less likely to need to file a claim. The fewer claims that drivers file, the less the insurance company has to spend on those claims.
If you have accidents on your record or tend to drive over the speed limit on a regular basis, be ready for higher rates. Check your record and see when the points from those tickets and accidents expire. If you can wait to shop for car insurance until at least some of the points are gone, you’ll get better rates.
Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, your credit score can actually influence how much you spend on insurance each month. The higher your score is, the better your monthly premium rates will be.
Before you start looking at different insurance providers, check your credit score. If it’s on the low side, find ways to boost it up before you buy a policy.
All you have to do is avoid taking out new loans and start paying down your existing debt. Even shaving a few hundred dollars off of your debt total can make a huge difference in your score.
The Reputation of the Company
When you file a claim with an insurance company, you expect them to help you get the money you need to make the necessary repairs. You also expect their insurance agents to guide you through the process.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies are better at this than others. And the online reviews from their customers will tell you everything you need to know.
Research each company’s reputation online before you accept a quote or sign on the dotted line. If most of their insured drivers seem happy with the coverage and the costs, you’ll probably be happy with the company, too. But if they report issues with claims or had trouble getting settlements after an accident, avoid working with the company.
View here for more information on what to look for in the best insurance companies.
The Prices They Offer
Sticking to your budget is always important no matter what type of cars you’re trying to insure. And insurance companies will offer drivers different rates for the same coverage options.
Before you make a decision, shop around. Get quotes from at least four insurance companies and compare those quotes in detail.
Comparing insurance costs isn’t as simple as looking at the price you’ll pay each month. You need to look at the types of coverage they offer, the deductible amounts, the premium rates, and any other costs.
Keep in mind that you may not want to choose the cheapest coverage on the market. You want to choose a policy that protects you on the road without breaking the bank. That means you may need to pay more for higher quality coverage.
The Discounts Available
Though you will have to pay for the coverage you buy, many insurance companies offer discounts on their policies. You just have to ask for them before you enroll in the plan.
When you’re getting quotes, find out if there are any discounts you might be eligible for. These could include bundling multiple policies together, having a safe driving record, or even discounts through your employer. Every company is different, and their discounts will be different, too.
How Responsive Their Agents Are
Though you never want to need your insurance policy, there may come a time when you have to file a claim. This process can be incredibly stressful even if the damage is minor.
That’s why you want to make sure the insurance agents you’d be working with are responsive, kind, and take the time to understand your concerns.
If the agents you’re talking to are rude or unhelpful, keep looking. If they can’t treat you right when you’re shopping for coverage, they won’t be helpful if you need to file a claim.
Consider These Things When Choosing Auto Insurance
Choosing auto insurance is the best way to protect yourself and your car on the road. Consider these key factors when you start shopping for coverage.
As long as you take your time and choose a policy that works for your needs and budget, you’ll be in good shape.
Investing in great car insurance is just one part of being a responsible car owner. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you better take care of your car.