Whether you need insurance for your first car or are an auto owner shopping for the best deal, it helps to follow a few guidelines. Familiarize yourself with auto insurance, learn the types of coverage, determine how much coverage you want, and decide if you wish to buy online or in person. Shop around to get the best deal and look for discounts.
The Type of Car Makes a Difference
Your car’s make and model influence the insurance cost, so the ideal time to price auto insurance is before you choose a vehicle. It’s easy to investigate which cars are the least expensive to insure. The internet includes many sites that provide this information, and you can also check with insurers directly. For example, it’s easy to find out more at iisinsurance.
Several factors determine coverage prices. Untested models and new models can increase coverage costs. For instance, sports cars, trucks, and SUVs cost more to insure. It’s also wise to opt for a model that’s been on the market for at least five years. It’s also worth reviewing the Highway Loss Data Institute’s records and seeing which vehicles are most stolen, since that data also influences insurance prices.
If you have settled on a model that is at the high end for insurance costs, it’s still possible to save money. There are now many online insurers offering very competitive rates, or you can ask your current agent for the best price. Insurance companies can often find ways to lower premiums.
Gather Necessary Information
According to the financial website Nerd Wallet, insurance companies require certain basic information to provide a quote or provide coverage, so you’ll want to collect the following information and have it ready before you begin looking for coverage:
- The name, address, and birthdate of all drivers who will be covered
- Each person’s driver’s license information
- The car’s make, model, safety features, odometer reading, vehicle identification number, and the number of miles you expect the vehicle to be driven annually
- The name of your current insurance company and coverage details
Decide on Coverage Needs
It’s wise to understand auto insurance before paying for a policy. Auto insurance can seem complicated, and policies include detailed information, but you must understand the basics to make smart choices. The most important thing is to understand the types of coverage. Insurers’ basic coverages include liability, collision, comprehensive, and other types that may be state required.
- Liability. Pays if you damage other’s property, such as a fence or vehicle. It also covers injuries to others in an accident you caused and legal defense. Most states require liability, per Forbes Advisor. Drivers can choose the minimum required to drive legally in their state or opt for a higher amount.
- Collision Insurance. Coverage for damage to your car after an accident, regardless of fault. It also covers damage if you hit objects like guardrails. Collision insurance has a deductible, and you can choose the amount. Collision is usually optional if you do not finance your vehicle.
- Comprehensive insurance. Optional coverage that protects your car and includes a deductible. It pays for theft and damage caused by hail, fire, flooding, vandalism, animal strikes, and falling objects.
- Additional Insurance. Some states require car insurance to include uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection.
Every U.S. state requires owners to insure vehicles before they can be driven, and getting the right coverage is essential. The process is more straightforward if you are prepared. Before shopping for a policy, consider the price of insuring different types of vehicles, learn what coverages are essential, and gather the information required by the insurer.