How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

car-insurance-needsThe amount of car insurance that you actually need depends on several factors, including how much you drive and what kind of car you own. If you have an old clunker you don’t need to insure it for the maximum coverage you can get, because the value of the car doesn’t warrant that. If you’re driving a brand new vehicle, though, you’ll want to have full coverage insurance on it. If it’s financed that coverage will probably be required anyway, but even if it’s not required you should carry it. It’ll help to protect your car and your finances.

Some states also require coverage for uninsured motorists and for other issues. Your state will regulate how much insurance you need to some extent, but you’ll still have options.

Most people only go for the minimum coverage because they don’t want to pay a lot of money, but if you travel a lot you might want to consider other options like breakdown insurance, towing, rental car reimbursement, and similar options. These can be very valuable to you if you have a problem on the road somewhere and you’re not close to home. They’re worth getting if you generally go far from home quite often. If you never leave your hometown, they probably won’t benefit you very much.

What To Look For With Auto Insurance

auto-insuranceWhen it comes to auto insurance, there are several things that you’ll want to look for. You shouldn’t just pick the cheapest one, although price certainly does matter. If there are two reputable companies and you can save money by choosing one over the other it would certainly make sense to do so. However, keep in mind that not all companies are reputable and you need to be sure that the company will be there for you if you have an accident, if your car is stolen, or if there is some other reason that you need to make a claim.

Look for reputation first and price second. When judging the price, also be aware that how much you’re paying isn’t the only issue. What you’re getting also matters, because it’s not a good value if you’re paying a fair amount but aren’t being offered good coverage.

There are a lot of companies out there, so you shouldn’t feel like you have to take the first one that offers you insurance. If your credit and/or driving record is bad you’ll be more limited on the car insurance companies you can use because some of them check your credit and they all check your driving record. You’ll be able to get insurance, but you’ll pay more overall, so be aware of that. Still, you have options and should check around to see what you get for the money.

Buying Car Insurance

buying-car-insuranceIf you’re planning on buying car insurance, there are a few things that you should know. You can’t just run off and buy from any company – not if you want to get the best deal and the most reliable insurance. There are a lot of companies out there offering car insurance and some of them are great, but others are very questionable. They might have good rates and a nice-looking Web site, but will they be there when you have a claim? If they won’t, it’s time to find a different company.

The best choice is to make sure that you’ve found a good company before you sign up and get insurance. It’s much easier to do that as opposed to signing up with a company and paying money for insurance coverage, only to find that you quickly need to hunt down another company. You can lose money and time that way, but you can also put your car and your finances at risk.

Insurance is required in most states, so you don’t want to get caught without it, either. Don’t just assume that you can get around the requirements for a while because you won’t get stopped or have an accident. Always buy good, appropriate car insurance for any vehicle you own. It’s a good investment.

Sports cars cost more – think before you buy that speedster

1169486_motorwayCar insurance companies compile statistics about accidents, driver’s age and experience, and speed to make equations to determine premiums. It should not come as a surprise that cars that cost more and have higher top-speeds also cost more to insure than small economy cars.

To generalize, sports cars that go fast are driven by people that like to go fast. These drivers tend to take more risks, drive faster, and get in more severe accidents than other drivers and insurance companies have the statistics to back it up. Just high speeds alone will make accidents more severe, and therefore more expensive.

Sports cars, too, tend to be more flashy than normal cars and are therefore more prone to vandalism. Car thieves don’t want to steal some old rust bucket that looks like it won’t start or go over 55mph, they want to take your new candy red speedster for a joyride. It’s all in the statistics and your insurance premium proves it.

If you still want a fast car, know that insurance will be more affordable the more driving experience you have. There are specialty insurance companies that insure the really expensive sports cars, so shop around before you buy insurance. You can also save money if this isn’t your only car and you don’t drive many miles in a year.

Combining house and car insurance? Your company might not be the cheapest

1169640_rolls-royce_silver_shadowYou are looking to save some money every month and want to combine your insurance policies. You have homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, and maybe even motor home or boat insurance all with different providers. If you insure everything with one insurance company, you can probably save money.

Which insurance company to go with isn’t an easy decision. Go online and do a comparison. Since you already do business with these companies, you know about their customer service, deductibles, and claim process. Read the testimonials and see if there are consistent complaints. Perhaps one company is great at auto claims but all the homeowner testimonials talk about how long those claims took. If there are consistent negative complaints, take them seriously. For the companies you haven’t used before, look at how their insurance rating compare to the companies you currently use.

Most companies offer discounts if you purchase multiple policies and some offer discounts if you’ve been with them a long time. Get quotes and make sure your needs will be met if you do switch. Also, ask how else you can save money. Maybe by getting an alarm installed, taking driver’s safety classes or dropping collision insurance on your old beater car. Saving money can be easy, just make sure you still have all the coverage you need.

Which car insurance company is best for you? Check rates before buying

1170975_koda_octavia_superYou’ve seen the commercials and think you can save hundreds of dollars if you switch car insurance. So you go online and get quotes from lots of companies. Now what? Go with the cheapest monthly premium? While it may be tempting to just purchase the cheapest auto insurance, you have some more research to do.

Compare the companies you think you could use. Look online for the company’s insurance rating and then at customer testimonials. You want to know that your new insurance provider will treat you professionally, respond in a timely manner to claims, and not cancel you or raise your rates if you make a claim. Also look at things like how many authorized repair technicians are on their list and in your town.

To know if you are getting the best rate, look at the annual premium. Some companies only make you pay 8 or 9 times a year so they may look more expensive but the overall cost is less. You might also be able to get a discount if you have the payments automatically come out of your checking account or do paperless billing.

It is best to do your homework and really compare insurance companies when looking to save some money. While you hope you never use your insurance, it is nice to know you will have a prompt and hassle-free claim process where everything is covered.

Do you need to buy rental car insurance, or are you covered?

1171711_classic_car1You just landed from an exhausting flight and are now at the rental car counter and the fast-talking salesperson is telling you that you need to buy their insurance. You think you are already covered because you are putting the rental car on your credit card and you decline. Not so fast, you may not be covered.

Most credit card companies offer collision insurance on rental cars, but there are exceptions so check before you rent. Some companies have restrictions with certain types of vehicles, some only cover rentals in the US or Canada, some don’t offer liability insurance, and some offer none at all.

If you are going out of the country especially, call your credit card company before you leave and find out exactly what they cover where you are headed. This can save you a lot of time and frustration at the rental car counter after your long flight. Remember, the rental car agent wants to sell you insurance, so they will tell you to buy insurance with them. If in doubt, buy the insurance then call your credit card company. You should be able to cancel the extra insurance if you are already covered.

Put the entire car rental and any deposit on your credit card. That way there’s a paper trail if something does happen.

Need insurance for a motor home? Check with several companies

979258_bikerBuying insurance for your motor home is a must, but should you buy home insurance or auto insurance for your motor home? Neither, you need a special motor home policy that covers collision, fire, smoke, flood, landslide, hail and storms, animal attacks, vandalism, theft and lightning. It should also cover attached accessories like satellite dishes and awnings.

In an emergency, these policies can also offer rental car and hotel room if you are 50 miles or more from home. You may also opt to buy campsite coverage which is a liability insurance, in case someone slips while visiting your motor home.

If you already have auto insurance, see if your company will insure your motor home. Be realistic about your needs- how often you drive it, how often you sleep in it, and how much stuff stays in it. Make sure you are getting adequate coverage for all the accessories you have attached to the motor home.

After your first quote, shop around. You may find a smaller or specialty firm that offers cheaper or more comprehensive insurance. You can lower your monthly premium by raising your deductible, but be careful when doing so. While you save money every month, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher if there is an accident. Protect your investment and yourself by getting the right insurance.

Friend borrowing your car? Make sure insurance covers them!

old white trabant carI have cheap auto insurance considering everything that I am covered for, my age, driving record, and my car. However, I shopped around and did my homework. And, one of the reasons I am blessed with such a low price is because my auto insurance company actually excludes my roommates from my auto insurance policy. This means, if they were to ever drive my car and something happened, the insurance company would not be responsible. So, I don’t let my roommates drive my car. It works out. However, occasionally, my friends do drive my car. Are they covered? That depends.

If you borrow your friend’s car once a month than you are most likely covered. The policy is probably written allowing the insured to give permission to a relative or other driver. However, what if you borrow the car for longer than a day or two? If this is the case, you would be considered a regular user and your friend would need to add you to their policy.

Lastly, make sure if you do borrow your friend’s car you are not using it for business reasons if they have a personal policy. If something happens, the insurance company will not cover you.

Traveling With A Rental Car: What Does Your Insurance Say?

koda octavia superEvery time I have to rent a car, the rental car company always asks me if I want insurance. I always answer no right away. The truth is, I do not want their sales pitch. I think car rental companies just offer insurance as a means to make extra money. And, I already have insurance, so why would I need theirs?

However, what if I am wrong and something were to happen when I was driving their rental car? The good thing to do is ask your insurance company before you rent a car. This way you do not end up paying for more insurance than you need.

There is a reason why insurance is an optional feature when you rent a car. This reason is not because the car rental companies are greedy and looking for something else to sell us like I was suggesting. It has more to do with the type of coverage your current policy has, and usually the policy you have transfers to your rental. For example, if you have liability insurance, you are only covered for the costs of the other person’s vehicle if you are at fault in an accident. If this is the case, you might want to pay extra for car insurance when you rent a car, especially if you are renting a brand new car from them.