By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
If you’re driving an automobile, or are about to purchase a new or used vehicle, it’s smart to make sure you have the proper amount of auto insurance at the best price available.
Unfortunately, many people are paying far too much for auto insurance, simply because they’ve not taken the time to educate themselves or to shop around for the cheapest auto insurance rates being offered. But thanks to technology at AutoInsurance.com, you don’t have to spend hours on end making phones calls or searching online for low-cost auto insurance.
Here are three easy ways to help you quickly and conveniently find auto insurance at a price you can afford.
Understand the Basics
To know what coverage you truly need, you first need to understand the basics about auto insurance.
In the broadest sense, an auto insurance policy provides three main types of coverage: property, liability, and medical coverage.
Property coverage: pays for theft of your car or damage to your automobile in the event you get in an accident, or if some other incident occurs that requires repairs to your vehicle.
An example of property coverage is collision insurance, which protects you if you collide with another vehicle, flip your automobile, or hit an object like a guardrail, lamppost, or pothole.
Another form of property coverage is comprehensive insurance, in case you hit a deer; or if things like fire, falling objects, flooding, or vandalism damage your car.
Liability coverage: pays for bodily injury to another person or property damage to another person’s property when you’re at fault in an accident.
Examples of this coverage include: property damage liability insurance, in the event you hit someone’s car, home or other property; and bodily injury liability insurance, which kicks in if you hurt someone while you’re behind the wheel.
Medical coverage: pays for physical rehabilitation or the cost of treating your medical injuries, or those of passengers in your car.
With medical payments insurance, otherwise known as personal injury protection or PIP insurance, you can also receive financial reimbursements such as money for lost wages or even funeral costs.
Know Your Legal Requirements and Other Insurance Options
As of today, every state in the country, with the exception of New Hampshire, requires drivers to have auto liability insurance before they can legally drive a car. Each state sets its own liability requirements, and these mandates can vary greatly.
Since auto insurance is typically sold with a per-person limit and a total per-loss maximum as well, let’s assume you have a policy with coverage amounts of 100/300/50.
This means you are covered with a maximum of:
- $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person;
- $300,000 in total bodily injury liability insurance per accident; and
- $50,000 in property damage liability per accident
If you own a home or business or you have other assets you’d like to protect, it’s wise to have auto liability insurance in excess of your state’s minimums. This will safeguard you and your family in the event you are ever sued as a result of a car accident.
In some states, you might also consider getting other forms of auto insurance coverage, such as uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage can compensate you, your relatives or a designated driver, if any of you is injured by a hit-and-run driver or someone who is uninsured. Unfortunately, about 1 in 7 drivers nationwide don’t have auto insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council.
Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in whenever a driver who caused an accident doesn’t have adequate auto insurance to pay for all your losses. This coverage will also pay you if you’re walking on a road, as a pedestrian, and a vehicle strikes you.
Use the Internet to Find the Best Auto Insurance Rates Available
Doing some online comparison shopping is the fastest, easiest way to find the most affordable auto insurance premiums in the marketplace. Start your comparison shopping with AutoInsurance.com.
At AutoInsurance.com, in just a few minutes you can get competitive, real quotes from multiple insurance carriers. You can buy auto insurance right on the spot and do so in an informed manner. That’s because one unique feature of AutoInsurance.com is that the site can actually pull your own existing policy over the Internet. This allows you to make a direct apples-to-apple comparison of your current coverage so you can see if you could save money by getting a different policy with a new insurer.
Also, on AutoInsurance.com, you can customize your coverage options, and see those options reflected in the comparison quotes provided on the site.
By being a smarter consumer, educating yourself about the basics of insurance, and shopping around, you could save hundreds of dollars on your annual auto insurance bills.
A version of this article by Lynette Khlafani-Cox appeared on her website, AsktheMoneyCoach.com. Lynette is a brand partner for AutoInsurance.com.