Dont let the search for inexpensive, quality car insurance give you a headache. A little preparation can ease worries that often nag many motorists.
I think people dont always understand all of the terms, says Gordon Mize, a State Farm Insurance agent in Alpine, Calif. If they dont really understand everything, it puts a tremendous weight on the back of their minds.
A little preparation and asking the right questions not only gives you confidence but also the best price and coverage tailored to a buyers needs, Mize says. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers several tips to guide folks to the right deal:
- Ask insurers about price breaks they offer to safe drivers. Each company has different guidelines to determine prices based on a drivers number of accidents or violations.
- Price matters, but its not everything. Shop around and consider factors such as service, dependability, and the financial condition of the company.
- Ask about discounts. Possibilities include having two or more cars on a policy, participation in a driver education course, and having airbags or other safety equipment on a car or truck. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 65 or student drivers younger than 25 may earn breaks for good driving records. Buying home insurance and auto insurance with the same company also may earn a discount.
- Check the accuracy of the information an insurer uses to determine your premium. For example, make sure your private car isnt accidentally listed as a commercial vehicle. Confirm your mailing address and the age of all drivers, which can affect price. Finally, check to see if the insurer gave all applicable discounts.
- Review your deductiblesthe amount you must pay before insurance kicks in. Some drivers might reduce their insurance costs by paying higher deductibles. But make sure you can afford to pay the higher out-of-pocket costs if there is an accident.
- Think about insurance costs when buying a car. Insurance companies charge more for cars that cost more to repair or that are considered less safe. They also may charge more for vehicles responsible for more damage to others when involved in an accident, such as some sports utility vehicles.
- Dont just buy a policy and forget about it, because some changes can lower or increase the expense such as adding or removing a vehicle, adding a driver, or changing the number of miles driven annually.
Over time, paying attention to the details can make a difference where it matters mostthe wallet.