If you are getting auto insurance for the first time, you may be confused about the process. It could be you just turned 18 and are off of your parents’ car insurance policy. Maybe you waited until later to get your driver’s license and car insurance coverage, as is common for people who grow up in ‘walking cities.’ It may also be a common issue for someone who was married for a long time to a spouse who generally took care of this kind of matter.
Whatever the reason, there is plenty of information available to help make this process easier. It can certainly be confusing at first to learn how to buy a car insurance policy. The good news is that these tips can really help you make sense of it all. Also, you now have the ability to get so much information from the internet, as well as quotes and even a policy, making it much easier than it once was.
Step-by-Step & Getting Through the Process
The first thing to know about how to buy a car insurance policy is to consider what type of insurance you need. If this is your first time buying insurance, even that can sound confusing. Keep in mind the bare minimum you will need is what the state requires. So, step one:
- Find out what your state requires. It will be either liability or no fault car insurance, which may also be referred to as PIP or Personal Injury Protection insurance. This isn’t difficult to find out, but it is crucial to have at least the minimum required. Without the state minimum you cannot legally drive.
- Another consideration would be if you are going to drive someone else’s vehicle. In this case it would be important for you to have at least non owner’s car insurance to be protected behind the wheel. Never assume the auto insurance policy of the owner of the car will also cover you as a driver. Also make it a point never to lend your car to someone you know unless you have seen proof of their own non owner’s car insurance policy.
- If you are planning on buying a vehicle and leasing or financing it, there will be some additional car insurance coverage to take into consideration. Learning how to buy a car insurance policy for a new, financed or leased vehicle is a slightly different matter. In addition to having what the state requires, you will also have to carry what the lender deems necessary. Generally this includes collision car insurance and comprehensive auto insurance coverage as well. In fact, you may also need to have gap insurance too. You won’t be able to leave a car lot with a financed or leased vehicle without this type or coverage, so make sure you shop around for policy rates before agreeing to a new car payment and the insurance prices.
- The best news is that when you use an online site to get your FREE online car insurance quotes, all you really need to get started is your zip code. This means you won’t even have to give any thought to many of the other details. The important part is to make sure you get the coverage required by your state and to satisfy the lender if you have a leased or financed vehicle. This makes the steps for how to buy a car insurance policy that much easier to understand.
Things You May Need to Know
This does not by any measure mean that you shouldn’t know a few other things about your car insurance policy, rates or other little details. For instance, if you are not a new driver, it is a good idea to know about your driving history. This will help you be realistic about the rates you may be expected to pay.
Obviously if you have a great driving record, you have nothing to worry about. However if you have a checkered past when it comes to your driving record, you should at least be realistic about how this will affect your rates. Keep in mind that accidents and traffic citations usually come off of your record in around a three year time period.
If something is showing up you feel should be old news, you may need to look into it. Also if you already have an insurance policy and think something may have come off your record since you signed up, don’t assume this will happen automatically. Be proactive and contact your policy provider to confirm the ticket or accident has expired and find out what your rates are now that this should be removed from your records.
The Importance of Having Car Insurance
There are many reasons why it is crucial to have auto insurance. If you are new to being a policy holder you may not already be aware of this. Here are a few of the reasons you should never go even a day without car insurance coverage:
- First and foremost the only way to be a legal driver on the road in almost every state is to make sure you have some type of coverage. You should have at least the state minimum. Even if you are merely borrowing a friend’s car, you should have non owner’s insurance.
- You do not want to end up being financially responsible for expenses you cause if you are the at fault driver in an accident. Without insurance, this is yours to pay out of pocket.
- If you go for a period of 30 days or more without auto insurance coverage, you can be considered high risk. When you try to get a policy the rates may be much higher.
The bottom line is that you need to get your car insurance in place, and getting quotes is the best way to get cheap insurance. You need nothing more than your zip code to get your FREE quotes, and then you can be on your way to finally getting your own auto insurance policy.