If you are like most people, you probably grimace when you are writing out your check every month or every quarter to make a payment on your car insurance policy. On one hand you hate to do it but on the other hand, you realize that a car insurance policy is something you absolutely need to have, even if it is not required by your state's laws, where it is required in most states.
While it may seem counter-productive to some to pay for a car insurance policy that only springs into action when something bad happens, that insurance policy is also buying you peace of mind and protection. In an accident, the aspects of personal liability, personal damage, and property damage can quickly add up to a healthy six figure number, and sometimes even more.
But it is interesting to note that while most people understand that they need to have a car insurance policy, very few people understand how car insurance works. Instead of obtaining the information they need, they continue to write out those monthly or quarterly checks like clockwork. As a result of this mentality, many (and some say "most") consumers are paying more for their car insurance than they need to.
One of the most important coverages you can have with your car insurance policy is bodily injury liability. This type of coverage will pay for injuries to yourself or another person as a result of an accident. The fact that you consider yourself a very safe driver has almost no bearing on this aspect of it. Even if you are not at fault in an accident, many states have no fault policies in place, where an accident is nobody's fault, and either party can be sued. And if an accident IS your fault, well, that is why they call it an "accident". You did not cause it purposely, it was an accident, but you caused it nonetheless.
You also have comprehensive coverage, which pays for other things like fire or theft. If your car is not paid off, you will also want to have collision coverage, and in fact your car loan lender may require this coverage until your car is paid off. There are various other types of coverages you can elect to get with your car insurance policy, such as rental car reimbursement if your car is in the shop for an extended period of time, or towing coverage.
Then you have a deductible amount on each of those coverages. The lower your deductible amount, the higher your car insurance policy premiums will be, simply because chances are better that that insurance company will need to pay money out. For example, the premium different between having a $500 deductible and a $100 deductible on collision coverage could be as much as two or three times different.
You should periodically shop around for your best rates on a car insurance policy. Rates and coverages change all the time, and just because the insurance company you signed up with 10 years ago had a good deal at that time does not mean that they are still your most cost effective option.
Do not ignore or dismiss online car insurance quotes. Many times an online source will provide very aggressive car insurance policy quotes.
It costs you nothing to get quotes from various companies, both online and offline, to see where you can get the best bang for your buck. Take time to invest the effort to compare policies and you may find that you could save a bundle by switching.
Ideally, you should start comparing insurance policies before your current policy expires. Once you have allowed a lapse in coverage, there may be additional difficulty getting new coverage at a fair price. Remember, insurers look at many factors to figure premium, and these include: age, gender, occupation, credit history and current insurance. A gap in coverage will raise questions that will need to be answered. Did you simply forget to pay a bill, or is there something more serious? Do you frequently allow insurance coverage to expire, and what is the length of the gaps? Longer gaps may indicate that you drive without insurance, which makes you a higher risk person.
If you can plan a change, there are some good times to change auto insurance providers which should net you a reduced premium. For instance, your rates will go down at age 25, so if your insurance is set to expire the month of, or after your birthday, start shopping with your new age in mind. If you know that you are about to move or change jobs, consider changing your insurance provider before hand. It might be harder to get insurance if your move was over a long distance; you will now be an un-established person in a new town, which equals higher rates. Your new occupation can change your rates as well, especially if you begin work in a high risk category, or if you will use your vehicle more than you did before.
But, if your driving record is spotless, you are 25 or older, there have been no major changes, and your rates have either stayed the same or gotten higher, than you might consider now the time to shop for a discount. Some companies will match a policy and its price if you tell them upfront that you are doing this. Smart research and some basic knowledge will assure that you are getting the best insurance coverage for the best price.
Trying to find a way to save a few extra bucks? Tired of your car insurance rates rising month after month? Are you ready for a change in car insurance policies? http://www.squidoo.com/switch-car-insurance has the answers you are looking for.
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