Better be prepared with car insurance before you buy your car and drive it off the lot. But finding the right car insurance coverage is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. There are many parts to the policy and many different types of coverage and limit options. Here are seven tips you can use when considering the car insurance that’s right for you.
1. Know Your State’s Minimum Required Limits for Auto Insurance
In most states you are required to carry auto insurance and establish minimum liability limits. This protects you and the public. States do not generally require you to insure for physical damage. You should ask your independent agent what your state’s minimum required limits are and whether owning just the minimum is the right solution for you.
2. Think about the Liability Limits You Buy
Most states typically have minimum liability limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,000 for property damage. Just think about how little that amount is should you cause an accident and seriously hurt others or cause serious damage to someone’s property. How much liability limit you should purchase depends on a number of factors, such as the value of your personal assets. Your best bet is to discuss the appropriate limits for your needs with your independent agent.
3. A Combined Single Limit is Better Than Split Limits
Just think about the split limit scenario above. Let’s say you injure four people in a car accident and two of the injured require $25,000 for medical care. If you have a $25,000 per-person limit with a maximum per accident of $50,000, you may be personally sued by the other injured parties. But if you had purchased combined single limits, you would then have a bucket from which to pay all injured parties up to the limit purchased. So, it may make sense to purchase a combined single limit.
4. Purchase Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Just think of the minimum state limits most people purchase. If they cause an accident in which you are severely injured, would $25,000 be sufficient? Or what if they had no insurance? To protect yourself and your family, consider buying both uninsured and underinsured coverage with your car insurance.
5. Protect the Value of your Car with Physical Damage Coverage
If you have an automobile loan or are leasing your car, you will be required to purchase physical damage coverage to protect the lending institution. If something happens to your car, physical damage coverage will pay to repair or replace your car. So whether you are required to by your lender or not, you should consider purchasing this coverage.
6. Select a Suitable Deductible for Car Damage
The physical damage coverage portion of car insurance has a deductible. This means if any damage is done to your car, the insurance company will pay the amount to repair or replace your car and you pay the deductible. If you take a low deductible, like $250, the insurance company will have to pay more to have your car repaired and, consequently, you will pay a higher premium. The higher your deductible, the lower the premium. Consider choosing the highest deductible you can afford, but realize you will then have to pay if your car needs a minor dent repaired.
7. Ask for Car Insurance Discounts
There are a number of car insurance discounts available to drivers. There is a discount for insuring multiple cars, for taking safe driving courses, for good student drivers, and there may even be a discount for having your car insurance policy with the same company that insures your home. To find out about all the discounts you may be eligible for, ask you independent agent.
Not having the right limits and coverage on your car insurance policy can lead to the loss of your assets in case of an accident. As your independent agent, we can help you select the appropriate coverage and limits for you with the most competitive premiums from a variety of insurance companies we represent. Contact us today.