Though soaring costs for automobile insurance can seem out of your control, this is not always the case. Consumers actually do have some options on what kind of coverage to purchase and how much to pay for it. Read on here for some tips on what kind of questions to ask and what benefits you should be receiving for the money paid.
The first place to start in choosing the best policy for your needs is to actually take a close look at what those needs are. Many agents who issue vehicle policies will quote you a couple of options, usually with just the deductible amount being the distinguishing factor. However, you have the right to look at each and every element of coverage within that quote, and eliminate the ones that you do not need or want. This may not be offered to you upfront, buy you should ask to see every single item that is included in the quote before you decide whether or not to purchase it.
Look at the policy you currently have and see if there is any waste or unnecessary coverages. If anything has changed in your household, let your agent know, since this can sometimes lower your rates. Things could include if teenage drivers have moved out of the home, if you have added other insurance policies with the same company, and if your driving record has improved.
Before comparing rates for a new automobile policy, get a copy of your driving record. This can usually be done online for a nominal fee. It will give you the opportunity to see what infractions may appear on your record and to correct any information that is wrong. It will also keep you from reporting things that don’t actually show up on your record, such as tickets and violations from traffic cameras, as well as non-moving violations and parking tickets. If you are close to the time period when a violation will naturally drop off your record, typically three years, then you may want to wait before purchasing a new policy, as this can lower your rates significantly. If you have no violations on your record at all, you should expect – and ask for – a “good driver” rate from any company you are considering buying insurance from.
Use online calculators to make comparisons and get quotes from a variety of insurance providers. This can easily be done by inputting the information about your vehicle, your age, driving record, how the vehicle is used and the value of the vehicle. Make sure the company is a reputable one, since they will be asking for personal information about you. Though they will ask for it, refrain from giving out your social security number online until you know that you want to purchase the policy from them. Answering questions about your driving record should be sufficient to get a preliminary rate quote.
Know what discounts are offered and which ones you may qualify for, then ask for them. This could include a bundled rate for having your homeowner or renter insurance with the same company, lower fees for having a clean driving record, discounts for driving a low number of miles per year, credits for safety devices such as alarm systems, and many more things.
Knowing these simple steps to take can make you aware of the myriad factors involved in purchasing automobile policies. The days of trusting your hometown agent are long gone, with the dozens of options available with a click on your computer keyboard. It is now up to you to be informed and knowledgeable. Implement these ideas and enjoy the lowest rates on the market.