Agency Blog

Getting the Right Car Insurance? How Can You Know for Sure?

Aside from your insurance agent, who’s an expert in car insurance? It’s a necessary purchase for anyone who drives, and it is also complicated and not always the easiest to shop for. But car insurance is also extremely important—not only because it is required by law—because you need it to protect you from the financial consequences of getting in a car accident or having your car damaged by some unforeseen circumstance.

Since so few of us are experts, how can you be sure that you are getting the right coverage for the right price? What should you do to make sure you are making an informed purchase?

Know how much coverage your state requires.

Most states require that drivers carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance, and sometimes states require certain other types of coverage. Know what your state laws are and what all the requirements are before you buy a policy. Then keep in mind that your state’s minimum coverage requirement is likely insufficient coverage for most drivers. You will want to purchase the most comprehensive coverage you can within your budget.

Know how much coverage you need to properly protect yourself.

Make sure you have enough liability coverage to protect your assets in the event that you are sued. Consider how risk-averse you are. Do you want comprehensive coverage for every possibility, or can you handle the idea of having to pay out-of-pocket in certain circumstances? In addition, be honest with yourself about your driving habits. Do you have a lead foot? Have you been in more than your share of accidents? Do you drive long distances to work every day? If so, you might need the best coverage available.

Do you have protection from uninsured drivers?

You need to be protected if you are in an accident and the at-fault driver is not insured. In these cases, your insurance needs to protect you, or you will have no means of being reimbursed for the damage done to your vehicle, or for any medial expenses that you incur.

Compare quotes from multiple carriers.

Never assume you are getting the best value for the best price. And not all policies are created equal. Before you decide that one policy is better or less expensive than another, be sure you are comparing quotes for the same or very similar coverage. You can shop online, but remember that working with an independent agent is the only way to get personal advice and service, and to make sure you can get quotes for the same coverage from more than one carrier.

Pick a quality insurance company with a good track record.

Your auto insurance company should be financially stable and have a good track record with customers. Find out how it is rated for claims payments, customer service and fairness. Use the Web, your agent and recommendations from family and friends as part of your research. You can find out more about an insurance company from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, your state’s department of insurance, A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s (for financial strength ratings), and consumer satisfaction reviews from sources like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports.

Review the policy carefully before you buy.

Make sure you understand what is covered and what is not, what the terms and conditions are, how the claims process will work, and so on. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. You don’t want to be surprised later on.

Make sure that you are getting all of the discounts you are eligible for. Inquire about multi-policy discounts, anti-theft discounts, safe driver discounts and more. And don’t forget to ask about any additional coverage that might be available, like towing and roadside assistance coverage. These are typically fairly inexpensive but add a lot of value and convenience if you are in an accident or need assistance while you are out on the road.

Do you have more questions about auto insurance coverage? We can help! Contact us today for information and quotes from reputable car insurance companies, and unsurpassed personal consultation and service.


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