Auto Insurance Shopping Tips

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Buying a car is always an exciting time but you should never purchase a car without checking to see what it will cost you to insure. It pays to take a moment to shop for the auto insurance coverage that best meets your needs.

How  to reduce your auto insurance premiums while still getting all the coverage you need:

  • Shop around when buying or renewing insurance. Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars. It pays to do your homework.
  • Consider the rates for the vehicle that you are buying. Expensive cars, those that are costly to repair, and those that are stolen more often will have higher premiums.
  • If decent public transportation is available to you, consider using it from time to time. This cuts down on commuting miles, which affect your premiums.
  • Check your proposed insurance carrier for discounts. Insurance companies offer numerous discounts based on age, safety devices, airbags, anti-theft systems, being a non-smoker, driving classes, or good grades for students.
  • Consolidate your insurance policies. Insuring both your house and all your vehicles with the same carrier entitles you to multi-policy discounts.
  • Set a realistic deductible. Increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your comprehensive/collision cost by 15-30 percent.
  • Why have collision and or/comprehensive coverage on older cars? If your car is worth less than $1,000, it may not be cost effective to purchase these coverages.
  • Don't duplicate your coverage when you rent a car. If your policy covers you while driving rental cars, consider waiving the rental agency's coverage.

Do's & Don'ts of Wise Insurance Shopping:

Don't let the excitement of buying a used car (new to you) cloud your vision. When shopping for insurance, it pays to be just as prudent as you were when buying the car.

  • Do shop for the best price.
  • Don't simply choose the first carrier you contact. This may be convenient and save you time, but it may also cost you money.
  • Don't buy a car before checking to see what it costs to insure. Many people discover the car of their dreams is simply too expensive to insure. They consequently end up selling it shortly after purchase.
  • Do read your policy before you purchase it. It pays to understand your policy and what it covers. Know your limits before you actually need them.
  • Don't choose limits that are too low.
  • Don't leave you exposed to a lawsuit that could potentially cost you everything you have-car, house, possessions, savings, etc.
  • Do make sure and get a multi-policy discount. Having your homeowner's policy with the same carrier saves money. If possible, use a single carrier.
  • Don't end up with a policy that doesn't cover all the drivers in the household. It can be a costly mistake to leave a family member off of your policy. If someone has an accident and isn't covered, you're still responsible.

And finally, use good judgment sprinkled with a little common sense! The rewards and more importantly, the avoidance of auto insurance nightmares are worth it.