Did you get taught at school about liability, collision and comprehensive cover? What about deductibles and all the tricks on how to save money on car insurance? You probably didn’t, but if you’re one of the majority of people that drives a car, you’ve either learnt fast, took whatever insurance your family or friends advised or you’re going to learn the difficult way one day. Remove the guess work from choosing car insurance and read up so you can make an informed choice.
Many drivers pay extra on their premium for a low deductible, and yet they take the minimum liability coverage. You could probably afford that $500 deductible if something happened, but could you afford being sued for $400,000 in damages? Use your car insurance budget wisely to protect yourself and your assets. Think about increasing your deductible and using those savings to raise your liability protection. If you’re worth more (you have a good job or you’re studying for one) or you have a lot of assets obviously you’ve got more to protection than someone who doesn’t. If you do have significant assets an umbrella policy may be worth considering to make sure all your assets are protected.
Review your health insurance policy, if medical bills after an accident are covered you can eliminate personal injury protection off your car insurance policy.
Maintain a good credit rating, many companies use it to decide how much to charge you and even whether to insure you at all.
If you don’t have an extra car ensure your insurance company will pay for a rental car if you have an accident. The cost of renting a car for a week while your car is being repaired could be significant.
Shop around for quotes, a good place to start is a comparison website. Compare quotes from a few different companies and review the policies to see how they compare. If you do change policies ensure you notify your previous insurance company immediately and ensure there is no gap in your cover before your new one kicks in.
Car insurance can be expensive, fortunately there are a lot of discounts that you can be eligible for. Maintaining a good driving record is the best way to get your premiums down. Other discounts available include; low-mileage, safety features, multi-policy, senior, taking a safe driving course and paying annually. Take advantage of all the discounts you can to get the cheapest rate.
Teenagers can add significantly to your car insurance premium. Think about having your teenager drive the family’s cheapest car and exclude them from other policies. Don’t forget if your teen moves out to remove them from the policy. Just ensure you don’t lend them the car when they come to visit! If you still want your teenager on the policy, find out if your insurer will give you a discount when they’re away at school.
If your car has seen better days, and it’s not worth much, think about dropping collision coverage. The cost of your collision coverage might not be worth it when your insurance company will only pay out your vehicles worth.
Make sure you understand what will occur if you have an accident and what choices you have. Will your insurer pay for original or only generic parts to repair your car after an accident? Can you select your own mechanic or body shop if you have an accident? Read through your policy and ensure you’re happy with it.
Make calling your insurance company your number one priority after an accident. Many insurance companies have a time limit, usually around 48 hours for filing a claim.
If you are unlucky enough to need to make a claim, get a copy of the accident report, save all your receipts and ensure you record all the details of who you speak to. Make sure you include everything in your loss estimate. You could be entitled to claim sales tax and registration fees if your car has been written off.
Put a bit of effort into getting your claim processed to speed up the process. Get some estimates and follow up your insurer regularly to review progress.
Work with your adjuster to get the best outcome. If you disagree with the amount offered, ask the adjuster for the reasons in writing. If you can’t get a satisfactory answer keep your cool and investigate your other options. Speak to the manager of the claims department and request that your case to be reviewed, consider filing a complaint with the state insurance department.