Car insurance is a must-have for any driver. It’s mandatory in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia, but it’s incredibly important even in those states. Car insurance helps protect you in the event that you’re in an accident by helping to pay for car repairs or replacement in the event that a vehicle is totaled. Car insurance can not only protect your car, but also the cars of drivers that you collide with, so that you’re not financially responsible for the damage.
As with many important details in life, there are a lot of options to consider when purchasing auto insurance. The actual act of buying the insurance is straightforward, but you’ll need to figure out a few variables before making your purchase. In this article, Part 1 helps you determine what type of insurance you need, Part 2 suggests ways to figure out how much you can afford, and Part 3 recommends shopping around for the best deal.
Part 1 of 3: Determine what type of car insurance you need
There are three basic types of auto insurance: liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability coverage is the basic form of car insurance, and all types of insurance feature liability. With liability coverage, you are protected should you be the responsible party in an accident. If you cause an accident, your insurance company will cover the repair or replacement costs of the vehicle that you hit.
With collision coverage, your vehicle is protected as well, whether you’re in a multi-car accident or a single-car collision. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle in the event of a non-collision, such as storm damage or vandalization (hitting a deer also counts as a non-collision).
There are other add-ons that you can purchase to supplement your insurance package, but these are the three main plans. It’s up to you to figure out what’s best for your situation.
Part 2 of 3: Choose your financial plan
There are two aspects of budgeting for auto insurance that are important. First, you want to know ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend. Second, you want to determine what you’d like your deductible to be. In general, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums, and vice versa.
Everyone has different financial plans and is comfortable with different levels of risk, so you’ll have to determine whether a high deductible/low premium plan is best for you, or if a low deductible/high premium alternative is preferable.
Part 3 of 3: Shop around for the best car insurance rates
Now it’s time to start shopping. The important part of shopping around is to try lots of options. Check multiple different insurance companies (you can get a quote online) to see what they can offer you for the type of coverage that you’re looking for. Don’t get satisfied once you find a good plan for a good price; keep checking around, as you may find something even better.
Once you’ve found the ideal plan, it’s time to purchase it, which you can do online (you can also do this over the phone, if you prefer). In order to purchase an insurance plan, you’ll need the information of the vehicle you’re getting insured (year, make, model, license plate, and vehicle identification number), as well as all of the drivers who will be on the plan (full name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license). After you’ve input all of your information and made your first payment, you’ll be all good to go with your car insurance plan.
Purchasing car insurance doesn’t need to be a big deal, though you should always be thorough. The most important thing is to make sure that you get a plan that covers what you need, so that you can have security and peace of mind anytime you drive.