Shopping for car insurance should not be an after thought. Accidents do happen and insurance coverage goes the extra mile to smooth out the bumps in the road, but only when we are informed consumers. Informed consumers understand the different types of coverage, the factors that determine a person’s car insurance rate, and the different discounts that are available in order to keep costs low while maximizing coverage.
First of all, there are different types of insurance depending on where you live. Further, whether or not you are financing your car will determine the type of coverage you are required to maintain by law. Collision insurance covers the damage to your vehicle when you are involved in a car accident while comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, and / or natural disasters. Medical coverage (also known as PIP or No Fault insurance) covers medical expenses for you and your passengers. No Fault insurance refers to how your medical bills are paid in the event of an accident. No Fault states include: Utah, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New York, Kansas, Hawaii, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Florida. There is uninsured / under insured motorist’s insurance. This comes in handy when someone who does not maintain adequate insurance coverage hits you. Finally, there is supplemental insurance for things like car rental or towing coverage. These different types of insurance are not the only factors that determine your car insurance rate.
Your rate is also determined by your age, marital status, zip code, your driving record and experience, whether or not you use your car for commuting or doing your job not to mention the age, value, and type of car you are driving. Younger drivers are more expensive to insure. Certain zip codes are more expensive to insure. These things add up quickly, but there is hope. Discounts may apply to you.
There are discounts available to those who qualify. Most car insurance companies will help you determine this when compiling a quote for you, but it never hurts to ask. Discounts include: college degree discounts, vehicle safety discounts (i.e.: low jack or alarms), good student discounts, senior discounts, multi-car discounts and safety course certification discounts. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. In this case, those who ask, get the discount.
Doing your homework, being prepared and informed before you shop for a car insurance quote will only help you. Understanding what kind of coverage you actually have takes the guesswork away and saves time when there is a question on a claim. While we don’t ever want to actually use our insurance, it’s nice to know that you’re covered when the unforeseen happens.