Automobile insurance is considered one of the more important aspects of owning a car. A large part of the household budget, it is a necessity for any car owner.
Similar to life insurance policies, you need to pay constant premiums to maintain the policy. This protects you in case you get into any accidents. It covers the car so that you are compensated in case of repairs and theft.
The best car insurance gives you the coverage you need with premiums you can afford. Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can do find the right one.
- Determine the coverage you need. There are few differences in car insurance coverage. Since there are several companies offering the same basic service, you are liable to find exactly what you are looking for. Before you start looking, list all the particulars you are looking for in car insurance. Begin with the price range you want for the premium, and the coverage you want. Then list the additional coverage you think you need. Insurance companies can include pets in the accident coverage, or you can insure the custom parts you order for your car.
- Get quotations from different companies. You can use the Internet to immediately shop for different prices. Most reputable insurance companies already have websites so that car owners get a quotation. This allows you to easily check their basic rates and the added features you can add to the coverage. Even if you decide to go to a local office, show that you know the standard rates of other companies. This deters the insurance agent from trying to give you a higher premium than you are prepared to accept. Do not commit immediately to the first low quote you get. Look around and make sure you have canvassed all the insurance companies available. Some insurance agencies will try to pressure you at the first meeting to purchase your coverage from them. Delay the decision as long as necessary.
- Check for discounts. There are some cases wherein you can get a discount from an insurance company. Ask the insurance company if they offer any of the following:
- Good credit rating and driving record - Companies are more likely to bet on a sure thing. If you have a good credit rating, it means you will be able to pay premiums on time consistently. If you have a clean driving record, this lessens the chances that the company will have to pay for accidents.
- Car organizations - Membership in car groups and organizations can result in auto insurance discounts. Most members are able to troubleshoot their own car. This lessens the payment going to mechanics and car shops. Some groups also have tie-ins with insurance companies to provide members with discounts.
- Profession - Some insurance companies offer discounts for specific people. Engineers are supposedly considered more knowledgeable about cars. Teachers, government employees and military personnel may get discounts because of their service to society.
- Employers - Some companies offer their employees discounts for auto insurance coverage. These may be tied with the health benefits you get from the company. Check with HR to see if there is a particular insurance company offering discounts.
- Group policies - You can also get discounts if you buy several policies. If you are not the only car owner in your family, try to see if you can buy in bulk for the discount.
- Change the car or the coverage. If the policy still does not suit your requirements, try changing your car (if you have not bought it yet) or the coverage. Coverage for high-end cars is more expensive, because they are primary targets for theft. You can also customize the policy to remove certain add-ons in the coverage. But make sure you still have the basic coverage for accidents and theft.
- Pick a reliable company. Even if you get an affordable policy, getting it from an unreliable company can still work against you. The company may not be able to offer you benefits when you need them. It may suddenly go bankrupt, rendering your inexpensive payments useless.