Buying car insurance can be an extremely overwhelming process due to the sheer number of options most people have. If you’re not on a super-limited budget or looking for something very specific, odds are you’ll have quite a few options to choose from, but even if you do have a limited budget, the kind of insurance you choose (and how you look for it) can have a huge impact on how satisfied you are with your plan when it’s most important.
It’s often tempting to go for the bare minimum coverage, but it’s not usually a good idea. What’s important is that you understand what factors affect the end price of your policy, how coverage is determined, and what you might be paying extra for without realizing. Having more coverage will cost you more money, but things like how a business is run and who their target demographic is can have a huge effect on your bill and your coverage, so here are a few things to take into consideration the next time you’re shopping for auto insurance.
There are many, many options between state-minimum and full coverage auto insurance. Here are the most important ones.
– Company costs
You can probably list more famous car insurance companies than local ones, and a big part of that is the advertising the bigger companies put out. All of that costs money, from the lavish cost of filming and broadcasting commercials to the cost of hiring celebrity spokespeople. Even running a large company may generate a lot of additional costs, especially if a company has several officies across the country. That doesn’t mean you should swear off of bigger companies, but it does mean that smaller local companies should be included in your search.
– Number of clients
If you go with a bigger company, you’ll definitely get a less personal customer service experience, but the company – and, therefore, you – does have more “wiggle room” when it comes to paying out for policies without raising premiums. Large companies with bigger margins and more clients can afford to process a high number of claims at any given time, but a smaller company might become overwhelmed and be forced to raise their premiums.
– Bells and whistles
Many insurance companies don’t just offer insurance. Some offer services like roadside assistance, and they definitely don’t give these services out for free. Take into account all of the extra bells and whistles that are included in your policy and decide which ones are worth it to you personally. There’s no one right answer, so make sure that your insurance plan is tailored to your own needs, and don’t pay for an extra service that isn’t worth it.
– Target demographic
It’s easy to assume that having tickets and violations automatically means your car insurance rates will be higher, but depending on who your car insurance company is trying to appeal to, that may not be the case. Some companies actually provide competitive rates specifically for drivers who have a hard time finding better rates at bigger companies. If you drive a hybrid, you’re a student, or you’re purchasing your very first car insurance policy, check and see if there are any companies that offer special premiums for people in your situation.
There are all kinds of people out there, and there’s a plan out there that’s perfect for them. We urge you to make the best decision you can, because when tragedy strikes, you’ll want the best policy you can find. Depending on who you are, your situation, and even your car, there might be some hidden break that you don’t know to look for yet. These tips apply to all kinds of insurance, too, from motorcycle insurance to yacht insurance and more, so bookmark this and refer back to it if you ever need a refresher in what to look for, and share this article with your friends to save them the heartache of realizing that their coverage wasn’t all it was supposed to be.
What do you look for in an insurance policy? What are some tips you can give to first-time buyers? Let us know in the comments section below!