A Car Insurance Buying Checklist: The Most Important Things to Note
Buying car insurance doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. If you go into the process with a basic checklist in mind, you can quickly sort through the quotes and coverage options and come up with the best combination of a good rate and the coverage you need. Bear in mind the items on this basic checklist and adjust it to your needs, and you will find the process of shopping for car insurance quotes much quicker and simpler.
- How much liability do you need?
Most insurance policies will meet the legal minimum requirements for third party liability. That doesn’t mean it’s enough coverage to meet your needs. Before you start shopping for car insurance, it’s good to take some time to determine how much liability coverage you want to carry before you start shopping around. A policy that carries the legal minimum will often be cheaper than one with higher limits; that doesn’t make it the best deal. It’s important to compare apples to apples, so discuss with your insurance professional and decide ahead of time what limits you would like and be sure to request all quotes with that same level.
- Do you have a loan?
If you have a car loan or the vehicle is leased, optional coverage such as comprehensive and collision are no longer optional in most cases. That’s because your lender will likely require that you carry both of these in order to meet the requirements of your loan. Before you start shopping for car insurance, verify what the requirements are, including the maximum deductible, if any, that you are allowed to carry on the policy.
- Know your record.
It’s important when shopping for car insurance to know what is on your driving record and when any tickets and accidents are set to fall off your record. There is no point in withholding this information from car insurance companies; when they process your policy they will obtain your driving record and find the information. This can result in a rate that is considerably different than what you were quoted. Being honest really is the best policy, and insurance companies can work with you better to get a good rate when they have all the pertinent information available.
- Know your options.
Which optional coverages do you want to add to your policy? It’s important to make a list of these before you obtain insurance quotes and make sure that you include them on every quote. The options you choose will really depend on your personal needs. If you have a new car, you may want to add waiver of depreciation. If you don’t have any other form of roadside assistance, that is an option worth considering. How often do you drive rental cars? If it’s frequent, rental car coverage on your policy is well worth it. It’s helpful to speak with an insurance professional and take the time to understand all of your options so you can pick the right ones for your situation.
- Know the insurance companies.
Your insurance shopping process should be about more than just the rates. It’s also important to find an insurance company with a strong reputation that you can trust to provide excellent customer service as well as top-notch claims service. As part of your insurance checklist, be sure to look into the reputation of any insurance company you are considering for your valuable business. Internet research is fast and easy and will allow you to quickly read reviews and learn the reputation of every company you are considering.
- Find out about fees
Before switching insurance companies, you should check on what fees or down payment amount will be due to start the policy. You should also find out what it might cost you to cancel your old policy. Some insurance companies will use a short-rating system when you cancel that penalizes you for early cancellation. Most companies charge some sort of new policy fee. These are things to make note of before you make the switch so you won’t run into any surprises on either your new bill or your final bill from the old insurance company.
Shopping for car insurance quotes with this checklist will make the process easier and more straightforward, and it will help you to avoid any surprises when it comes to your rates or your coverage. Shopping for insurance should be a simple process in which you determine what you need, compare the available options, and then select the one that best meets your requirements. Be sure to tick each of these important points off your list, and you won’t regret the decision you make.