Owning a vehicle is costly. You are responsible for paying for the vehicle, repairs, registration, taxes, and, of course, who can forget auto insurance? All policies are not created equally, and purchasing a policy that doesn’t deliver what you expect can have dire financial consequences in the future. Keep these five tips in mind when selecting your automobile insurance policy.
1. Look at reviews
Look up reviews for the insurance companies that you’re considering. Firsthand experience is the best way to see how the company handles policies, claims, billing, or other relevant information. Look into their methods of contact, customer service availability, and flexibility of payment options before making your final decision.
2. Examine coverage
A low rate looks great on paper, but it won’t be useful if it doesn’t offer the level of coverage you need or expect. Purchasing the minimum amount of insurance required can save some money in the short-term, but could create a financial disaster if you don’t have enough coverage if an accident or injury does occur. Know what you’re buying and ensure that you select a policy with high enough limits to protect you. You can set different limits for property damage and bodily liability for a more customized quote.
Look into the discounts each insurer offers. Vehicles with better-rated safety features such as anti-lock brakes or security features such as VIN etching or an alarm system can shave a few dollars off your quote. Make sure you receive all discounts that you’re eligible for. You may also qualify for a discount if you don’t put as many miles on your vehicle or if you’ve taken a driver safety course. Combining your auto insurance policy with another through the same company can also cut your rate.
4. Know your record
Your driving record plays a significant part in how much you’re going to pay for your policy. This includes both tickets and accidents. Expect to pay more money for your policy if you’ve got an at-fault accident or moving violation in the past few years. Companies tend to look at the past three to five years when evaluating how much of a risk you are as a driver. A low credit score can also cause your rates to be higher than expected. Paying down the balances on one or two of your credit cards could result in receiving a lower quote for your automobile insurance policy.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing your automobile policy to ensure it meets your needs at a price you can afford.