Choosing a Car Insurance Policy
Just when you thought buying a new car was stressful, you had to shop for new car insurance. There’s so much to choose from. There are so many different coverages, policies, and plans to choose from it’s nearly impossible to find what you want right away. Finding car insurance might not be anyone’s idea of a good time, but it’s essential. Once you know what you’re looking for, how to find, it, and what’s worth it versus what’s not, you’ll find yourself feeling much better about the entire process. Here’s what to look for when choosing a car insurance policy.
Full Coverage vs. Less Comprehensive Coverage
You can lower your car insurance rates if you buy a policy with less coverage, but it’s not a good idea if you need that coverage. For instance, if you have a brand-new car and you choose not to purchase full coverage, you could end up with a totaled vehicle you’re still making monthly payments on if the payout from the insurance company isn’t enough to pay off what you owe on the vehicle. On the other hand, if your car is older and you don’t owe anything on it, full coverage might not be so important.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs. Not
If you ever hear the term uninsured or underinsured motorist, you probably ended up in a situation you wish you hadn’t been involved in. If someone hits your car while you’re on the road, they are the at-fault party. Their insurance company is responsible for paying for the cost of fixing or totaling your vehicle, as well as your injuries. If that person hasn’t any insurance or hasn’t a policy that covers any of that, you’re going to find yourself responsible for the financial aspect of an accident someone else caused. It’s not your fault other people aren’t responsible enough to properly insure their vehicles, but adding uninsured motorist coverage to your vehicle’s insurance policy is a great way to protect yourself from people like that.
High Deductible vs. Low Deductible
It’s one of the most common questions drivers ask, and it’s a good one. You have two options here. They’re to pay more each month for a lower deductible, or to pay less each month for a higher deductible. It’s a personal financial choice for all drivers, but it’s one you must weigh carefully. Paying less each month means you’re saving money on your monthly expenses. It also means you’re going to pay far more out of your own pocket. Most coverage comes with a $250 to $1,000 deductible. Can you afford to hand over $1,000 for repairs if you’re in an accident, or is $250 more affordable?
Rental Car vs. No Rental Car
One way many people choose to save on their car insurance premiums is to forgot the rental car policy. Let’s say you’re involved in an accident, and your car is not drivable following the accident. Unless you have a secondary car at home you can drive or you can use public transportation while your car is being worked on, you’ll need a rental car. Can you afford to pay for a rental car yourself if you need one for a few days? What happens if your car has extensive damage, it occurs on a long holiday weekend, and you find yourself without a vehicle for two or three weeks? Can you afford a rental car in a situation like that? You must weigh these options before making a decision on your car insurance policy.
To File a Claim vs. Not Filing a Claim
Now that you’ve purchased car insurance, you must know how to use it. Before you file any claim, ask yourself if the damage to the vehicle is more than your deductible. If your deductible is $250 and someone runs into your car in the parking lot and causes $1,000 worth of damage, you might want to file a claim. If the damage is only $400, it might be worth it to pay for it out-of-pocket to keep the claims down. Each claim is added to your policy, and your rates go up based on that.
Car insurance is expensive, but knowing how to shop for it makes it just a bit more affordable. When you ask yourself what you really need versus what you think you need, you might surprise yourself with the answers. What you need is protection from anything that can happen on the road. If you can’t handle the financial ruin that comes along with an accident without sufficient insurance coverage, be sure to cover your vehicle.