When it comes to auto insurance, if you want to make sure that you are getting great auto insurance coverage at an affordable price, then you need to run a check with the “To do or Not To Do” practices. Auto insurance can be very expensive, but what’s worse is if you do not get the right policy, it can be expensive and inadequate at the same time. So to avoid getting into such situations, here are some Dos and Don’ts for auto insurance policies.
Some of these tips would be for people who have not got auto insurance coverage, and some would be for people who already have one. Some might be for people who are about to buy a new car, and some might be for people who are getting a second car. Let’s get started with the article, but before we get into the details, here’s a table that summarizes the gist of this article.
|To Do||Don’t Do|
|Compare Prices, Select the Best Policy that fits your needs and budget.||Going with Recommendations from Friends or Family without Comparing Prices Yourself|
|Getting the Coverage Limit Above the State-Mandated Minimum Coverage Limit||Getting an Insurance Policy with the Minimum Coverage Limit|
|Getting Add-ons Based on Your Needs and Usage||Getting Add-ons When There’s No Need|
|Bundling Different Insurance Policies||Getting Separate Policies from Different Companies|
|Getting Usage-Based Auto Insurance if Mileage is Low||Getting General Auto Insurance even if Mileage is Low|
|Avoiding Unnecessary Insurance Claims||Making a Claim even if it’s not Needed|
Compare Prices, But Don’t Make Price the Only Factor
We all know that the first thing people consider when buying anything is how much damage it will cost to the wallet. While this is a genuine concern, sometimes making price the only factor can lead to a lot of trouble. Ironically, choices made with just price as the factor will make you spend more in the long run, and the best example of this would be an auto insurance policy.
The first thing that you should consider when getting auto insurance coverage is how much it costs. Is the policy affordable, and if it comes with low premium rates. But do not stop here. Look at the coverage policy. Make sure it covers all the damages to your car, how good is the company’s presence across the country, and does it offer other add-ons such as uninsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, etc.
Your goal should be to get an affordable auto insurance policy with great coverage that fits your needs.
Minimum Coverage is Mandatory, but Not Enough
Every state has its minimum coverage limit for liability coverage. This is the amount your insurance policy must cover for the other driver in case of an accident. But there’s a difference between minimum coverage limit and adequate coverage limit, and in almost all the cases, these two are not the same.
Always get auto insurance with a higher coverage limit than your state’s minimum coverage limit. The cost of repairs is high, and the cost of medical treatment is so high in the US that there needs to be a new metric for its estimation. If your liability coverage is lacking, you will have to pay the rest of the amount from your pocket.
Get Usage-Based Insurance if Your Mileage is Low
Here’s a great tip for people with low mileage or people who are planning to get a second car that will be used occasionally; do not get general auto insurance as you will end up paying more for coverage that you don’t need. Instead, get usage-based auto insurance, also called pay-per-mile auto insurance.
In usage-based auto insurance, your per-mile rate will be decided based on your driving record and other factors. This will be then multiplied by your mileage which will get you your insurance bill. This policy is great for people who drive less or have a second car with little mileage.
But if your mileage is more than 800 miles a year, then getting pay-per-mile auto insurance will make you spend a lot more. You are better off with general auto insurance if your mileage is even moderately high. Before you plan to make a switch, look at your monthly mileage and multiply it by 12 to get your yearly mileage. This will be enough for you to make the decision.
Avoid Unnecessary Insurance Claims
Just because you have an auto insurance policy (collision or comprehensive) does not mean that you should make an insurance claim, even if the cost of repairs is more than the deductible amount. Why? Because making an insurance claim will increase your insurance rates, and it applies to all auto insurance companies.
Let’s say that you get rear-ended by someone or there’s a minor crack on your windscreen. If the cost of repairs comes to around $1,300 and your deductible is $1,000, do you think is $300 worth hiking your insurance rates forever? Even if the hike is not too high, over time, you’d end up paying a lot more than $300.
If the cost of repairs was $2,000 or more, then claiming your insurance makes sense. Another pro tip would be getting accident forgiveness. This add-on will prevent any price hike even if you make an insurance claim. Contact your insurance company to know more about it as different insurance companies have different rules regarding accident forgiveness.
Follow these dos and don’ts and you’d be saving not just a lot of money, but a lot of hassle and legal troubles. Get auto insurance that’s not just affordable, but gives your car the right coverage.