10 Things to Know About Car Insurance

Image of woman in a car.
When it comes to our cars, safety and reliability can be important. Car insurance is required by law, although there are different types of coverage available. We make payments every month whether there is an accident or not in exchange for a document that proves we are insured. If you are pulled over by police even for something not related to a car accident they will still ask to see proof of your vehicle registration and insurance.
It’s important to know some basic information about your policy like if it’s minimal coverage (which is generally just pays for the legal document to say you are insured) or full coverage, which might cover someone for a rental and pay a percentage of damages made to your vehicle (as well as the other vehicle if you are found to be at fault for the accident). We also usually look to our own insurance company if we’ve been hit by an uninsured driver.

1. Know the law

It may seem tedious but checking on the laws related to driving in the state you live is recommended. Knowledge is power and it’s important to know the laws where you live to have a better chance of them working for you instead of against.

2. Rating system

People are evaluated for coverage based on a rating. While there are some generally universal factors that most insurance companies will use to determine a rating, companies each have their own standard to uphold against that rating system along with a few personal touches exclusive to their policies. Accident history, age, and where you live are just some things an insurance company considers when quoting a policy.

3. Get Discounts

It doesn’t hurt to ask an agent if they offer discounts for things such as military service or an association with a financial institution.

4. Do Your Research

Before hopping on what seems to be the cheapest or easiest policy, remember that in the event of an accident, you’ll be relying on this company to some extent to make things right. Choose wisely.

5. Types of coverage

Ask providers about all the types of policies they provide and what each package entails based on your vehicle. You may find a better fit with a package you otherwise would not have known they offered.

6. No-fault States vs Tort State

Another important thing to check for the state you live in is whether it keeps  “No-fault” or “Tort” laws for car insurance. No-fault means the insurance company sends you a check for overall damages regardless of who was at fault, tort offers three types of insurance related to bodily injury, vehicle damage, and uninsured motorists

7. Finding insurance

There is a saying that word of mouth is the best advertising a business can have. Finding out which insurance company is easily accessible in your town might be something to consider when deciding on a company. The internet will also aid in the search.

8. Fact checking

Although the more known insurance companies may be unlikely to be cited for a scandal, it’s a good practice to be familiar with your insurance agent and ask any questions. Verifying a company is legal with the state will also be a good precautionary measure.

9. Read the fine print.

Insurance policies can seem like lengthy wordy documents that surely no one is ever going to read but don’t you want to know what you’re paying for? Read insurance policies carefully to make sure you are fully aware of what you are signing.

10. Policy anniversary

If you’ve had your policy for a year, before you renew, make sure you don’t suddenly qualify for a better policy that perhaps was not available when you first started out.
Staying well-informed about automotive insurance is imperative to get the most value out of one’s policy. Staying informed and being familiar with your insurance policy will make things easier in the long run should the unthinkable happen.