Car Insurance Quotes
There is a plethora of choices where you can receive car insurance quotes.
- On internet insurance sites
- Seeing an independent agent (They represent several insurance companies.)
- Seeing an insurance agent (They usually work with one carrier like State Farm or Allstate.)
But there is much more to consider when obtaining a quote for car insurance. You must consider your coverages, discounts, deductibles and limits, and the carrier.
Auto Insurance comes with a variety of coverages for you to select from. However, there is one that is mandatory in every state but one—liability coverage.
Personal Injury Liability: Every state has mandated auto liability coverage in each state but New Hampshire. For example, in Iowa, you have to purchase at least $20,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and up to $40,000 for all persons involved in an accident.
Bodily injury liability is to protect you if you are found at fault for injuring another person via an auto accident.
Physical Damage Liability: Using Iowa again, you have to buy at least $15,000 of property damage coverage to legally drive a car in Iowa. Physical damage is when you are found legally liable for damaging another’s property via a car accident.
These mandatory liability coverages read like this $20,000/$40,000/$15,000.
For liability protection, the minimums might not be enough if you are sued. You might want to consider purchasing a liability coverage amount that will cover your assets.
Collision: Let’s say that your car was parked in front of your home. In the middle of the night, it gets hit. The driver flees but not before he creates substantial damage to your vehicle. If the driver cannot be located and you have collision insurance, you will be covered. Your insurance will pay out after you make the deductible.
Comprehensive: This coverage kicks in when your car incurs damage or loss by something other than a collision. In fact, it is often referred to as OTC—other than collision coverage. The covered perils usually include theft, vandalism, and storm damage among others.
Medical Payments: This will reimburse you for medical payments (if necessary) if you or a passenger gets hurt while in your car and needs medical assistance. It also protects you and your family members if an injury occurs while in another’s car or while walking.
You may want to consider purchasing a reduced amount of this insurance if you have health insurance.
Rental Car: For a small amount of money, you can be reimbursed for a rental car (It is usually something like $30 per day for up to 30 days). Often, credit card companies offer this as part of their perks, so you may want to check on that before purchasing rental car insurance.
Roadside Assistance: This will cover you for any towing charges and repairs (like fixing a flat or filling the car up with fuel) while on the scene. For towing, the coverage will be limited to a certain mile radius.
You want to make sure you know about and receive all of the discounts you are entitled to for car insurance. For example:
- Good student: This is usually when a student maintains a B average. You generally have to get a form signed by a teacher or counselor.
- Multi-policy: If you have more than one policy with the same carrier, you can receive a small discount (maybe 5%).
- No losses/safe driver: If you maintain a good driving record without any tickets, you can usually receive some money off the premium.
- Senior citizens: Some companies allow a discount if you are over the age of 55.
There are discounts for anti-theft devices and other things. Make sure you are aware of all of them so you can select accordingly.
Deductibles and Limits
Deductibles are how much money you are responsible for paying prior to when the insurance kicks in. Limits are how much the total payout is capped at. The higher the deductible, the more financial responsibility you take on yourself, the less the premium. The same with the limits. The smaller the amount you pick, the less the premium will be.
The Insurance Carrier
All insurance companies are not created equal. You will want to find out about their ability to pay claims and their financial strength. There are firms that rate insurance companies on their financials and other factors. You can search for them on the internet.
Always shop for several quotes before you buy. You might be surprised by how much different companies can vary in their quotes.