Choose Car Insurance Based on What Matters to You Most






Every family situation is unique in terms of life events and circumstances. Perhaps your family is young and in the early stages of formation. Maybe you just got married and haven’t had any children yet. If you do have kids, and they happen to be teenagers, you are definitely familiar with the travails and rites of passage they go through.

Getting car insurance is one of those rites of passage. No matter what stage of life you are currently in, car insurance is probably a part of it. Choosing car insurance is not a simple matter; the number of options has expanded greatly.

You have to choose a policy and the features you want from it. Not only that, you want a company that is there for you in your time of need. It must offer good customer service for claims and be financially stable so it has the money to pay those claims.

The ideal is to choose it based on what matters to you the most. You have to carefully look at your life circumstances and decide which car insurance policy is warranted given them. Without the right policy, you could face paying for any damages that result from unfortunate events. The factors you have to consider include cost, coverage, service and financial stability. All four come together to create the right policy for you.

Cost

Price has become more prohibitive in the last few years, thanks to the financial collapse of 2008. Rising commodity prices have put pressure on consumers’ wallets as they are struggling to make ends meet in a dismal job market. The cost of any car insurance policy is definitely an important factor to consider in trying economic times. You can avoid spending more money than you need if you shop around before purchasing a policy. The total cost of the premiums and any deductibles will vary depending on your coverage amount.

Your state’s insurance department mandates specific minimum coverage amounts for various types of damages. Check the website of your state insurance department to find out your minimum coverage requirements. You can use them to figure more realistic estimates based on your situation. Insurance specialists usually recommend that you purchase enough coverage to cover your assets. Attorneys for the other party in a car accident can go after your assets if the other party’s damages exceed your coverage amount.

A good coverage plan is 50/100/25. That is $50,000 bodily injury liability, $100,000 for all people injured in an accident and $25,000 property damage liability. This should cover you pretty well in all cases, although you can lower the amounts if you have little or no assets. Aside from coverage amounts, another element going into cost calculations is your driving record. Do you have any points assessed against you? If your state uses the point system, your premiums could be higher. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for your driving record to find out.

Coverage

All insurance companies have special features and offers that can sweeten a deal. Whether they are relevant to you depends on your particular considerations. Every company offers standard coverage types such as bodily injury and property damage. Other types of coverage include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Your state insurance department has minimum coverage amounts specified for each of these categories. Major big-name car insurance companies like Progressive, Allstate and Nationwide have special deals of their own detailed below.

Progressive: Name Your Own Price – Progressive allows you to tell them what monthly price you want to pay. They offer the policy closest in price to the price you specified, and then you can further customize it to meet your needs. After you’ve customized it, you can either purchase the policy or tweak it a little more to fit your needs. This approach puts customization to work for you, making your policy more affordable.

Allstate: Your Choice Auto – Allstate offers a variety of rewards programs that make the policy easier for you. Under their accident forgiveness provision, the company will help keep your premiums low even if you are in an at-fault accident. You can earn a Safe Driving Bonus of up to 5 percent of the premium for every six months of accident-free driving. Allstate also offers $100 off your collision deductible when you sign up. $100 more will come off every year without an accident, up to $500 total. Allstate will give you a new car if yours is totaled within three model years.

Nationwide: Vanishing Deductible – Similar to Allstate’s benefit, Nationwide will take $100 off your deductible for every year of safe driving with no accidents. The precise rules will vary based upon what state you live in. The maximum amount is set at $500.

Service

Not all insurance companies are equal. You have to discriminate between each one by discovering which one has the highest qualifications. A good place to start is your state insurance department. Check the company’s complaint ratio, which tells you how many complaints the company received for every 1,000 claims filed. Also take time to check the company’s rating from J.D. Power and Associates, a well-known consumer research firm.

Financial Stability

Finally, check the company’s financial ratings. Ratings agencies like A. M. Best will tell you if the company has enough funds on hand to pay all the claims it expects. Choose only a company with a BBB or B+ rating and higher. Only financially secure companies can pay guarantee that covered claims are paid.


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