It may seem obvious, but anyone who has ever tried to secure their own auto insurance policy knows how challenging it actually can be. There is actually a great deal to know about buying auto insurance before trying to secure a policy. Taking your age, your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive and even your zip code into consideration is important when it comes to getting an auto insurance policy, not to mention the amount of coverage you need in addition to the amount of coverage you may want.
The first thing to begin with is – understanding what factors really can help shape the rates you may have to pay when it comes to your car insurance policy. Use this guide on how to buy car insurance and make the task you have been putting off that much easier.
Important Factors to Consider
So, what exactly does go into figuring out what your premium rates for your new auto insurance policy will be? Everyone realizes the obvious answer is your driving record, but what about those who have no driving record? Besides that, what other factors make your rates go up or down?
- Your age – Younger drivers are immediately categorized as high risk, which makes premiums top out at the highest rate. With age comes lowered rates; other contributing factors include getting married. Once you get up in years and manage to keep your driving record clean, you can expect to experience lower premium rates.
- Your driving record – The better your driving record the lower your rates when you finally buy your auto insurance policy. There are many factors that can contribute to being considered a high-risk driver, which can drastically increase your rates. It is important to avoid getting multiple tickets in a short period of time, having an at-fault accident without insurance, being cited for operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license or car insurance or driving under the influence as these are all issues that can cause you to have higher car insurance premium rates.
- The car you drive – The main thing is to realize if you have a car that is still financed by a lender, you will have certain requirements you must follow. It is always a good idea to get an idea of what your auto insurance rates will be per month before financing a car. Make sure both the car loan payment and the monthly premiums for the car fit into your budget. Sports cars, convertibles and even the color of the car you drive can influence the rates you may be paying for your insurance policy.
- Where you live – It is more than just the state you live in that impacts your prices. From zip code to zip code, you will see your insurance rates change. Much of this depends on what the traffic, construction and crime rates are like in the area where your car is housed and where you drive the most. For some policy providers even where you house the car at night, a garage versus the street, will impact your rates.
There are several other details that will affect your policy rates, but these are some of the most common and biggest influences. When in doubt, you can ask your policy provider what details may help you save a few extra dollars on your policy and be sure to update your carrier when changes occur. For instance if you get married or if a ticket or accident comes off of your record be sure to alert your insurance agent about these changes. Better rates may be in store for you.
Learn About Some Coverage Options
- Full Coverage Auto Insurance
- Gap Insurance
- PIP Insurance
- PLPD Insurance
- Temporary Car Insurance
- Comprehensive Insurance
- Collision Insurance
- Commercial Auto Insurance
- Broad Form Insurance
Deciding What’s Right for You
After meeting the guidelines set in place by your car loan lender or your state, the rest of your coverage is up to you. If you are not under any car loan obligations, you have even more freedom when it comes to what you include when you buy your car insurance policy. One of the best rules to live by for your policy coverage is not to skimp when it comes to what you have. While you also do not want to pay more than you need to protect your vehicle, having too little coverage can end up costing you a great deal more in the long run.
Keep in mind certain basic guidelines:
- Having just liability insurance at least keeps you legal but may leave you covering high bills in the event of an accident if you are at fault. Many drivers make the mistake of saving a few dollars on monthly premiums and then end up paying expensive car repair or hospital bills in the event of a collision.
- Find ways to save. Even when you get your auto insurance quotes you should find out if there are ways you could drop the rates even more. There are usually driving courses you can take, volunteer organizations to be involved with or other ways to cut costs that you may not be aware of unless you ask.
- Don’t put off having car insurance. Not only is driving without an auto insurance policy in place illegal in almost every state, it can be a high risk gamble that can cost you more than you may be able to cover. Also, if you go with a lapse of 30 days or more in your auto insurance coverage, when you do try to secure your policy you are likely to pay much higher rates.
Want to Save Money?
When you get ready to buy auto insurance, getting quotes to compare is one of the best ways to make sure you save cash. Also, consider raising your deductible to lower your premiums. If you are able to pay your premiums more often than on a monthly basis you will probably see big savings. Set up your payments to be quarterly or annually and see how that influences your rates. Get started today by comparing auto insurance quotes by providing just your zip code and find out how to save money.