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Auto Insurance Tips

With this wide variety of prices and policy options offered by the insurance companies, buying a car insurance that best meets your needs and budget is often a difficult task.

Here are some things you should know and consider when choosing an auto insurance plan:

  • What should I consider when buying auto insurance?
    • Consider your financial or personal situation (marriage, parenthood, home-buying, etc.) to determine appropriate liability limits, which will protect you if you are ever sued.
    • If you can afford higher deductibles, it means you have to pay lower premiums.
    • Review optional types of coverage to evaluate whether or not you may need extra protection.
    • Don't let the price be the most important factor when you make your purchase decision. The best insurance may not be the cheapest. If an insurance company offers you a low monthly premium, be sure that their policy includes adequate coverage in the event of an accident. Ask your friends and colleagues about their experiences with the insurance company or check the standard industry financial ratings, which help you evaluate its financial strength, i.e. its ability to pay claims.
    • Ensure maximum protection, while lowering your monthly premium payment, by selecting the highest liability limit and deductible you can comfortably afford.
    • Ask your agent to list frequent passengers in your car such as friends, family, and/or a regular car-pool pal on your policy.

  • What factors may affect my auto insurance costs?
    • Driving history. Maintaining a clean driving record, meaning no tickets or accidents, will keep your insurance costs lower.
    • Age, gender, marital status. Insurance companies use statistics when forming your rating. There is statistical evidence that some drivers (for example, young male drivers) will have more accidents than others, which makes them a higher risk for insurers, so they are charged a higher premium.
    • Driving patterns. Generally, the more you drive, the more you pay. If you use your car in business and drive over 25,000 miles a year in a heavily populated area, your insurance will cost more than a driver living in a rural area with low annual mileage.
    • Your car. Some cars will cost more to insure because they are more expensive to repair, are more easily damaged in an accident or are stolen more often.
    • Amount of insurance. While higher policy limits will cost more, you can lower your premium by increasing your deductibles.
    • Credit history. Some states may use your credit as a factor in determining your rates. If you have excellent credit, you might pay less.

  • How can I lower my auto insurance rates?
    • Shop around but make that the quotes you compare are for the same coverage.
    • Request higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision.
    • Ask about discounts.
    • Maintain a good driving record and credit history.
    • Consider removing coverage for services that are included in your motor club membership such as towing and roadside assistance.

  • What discounts are available? You may be eligible for a discount if you:
    • Insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
    • Are a homeowner.
    • Have homeowners and car insurance through the same company.
    • Have recently taken a defensive driver course.
    • Have a car alarm, airbags, anti-lock brakes, or automatic seatbelts in your car.
    • Pay in full or through EFT (electronic fund transfer).
    • Attend college over 100 miles from home and don't have a car with you.
    • Are a full-time student with a grade point average "B" or higher.
    • Participate in a shared-vehicle car pool.

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