What Does Basic Auto Insurance Cover?
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According to studies, the automobile industry recently generated close to $300 billion in a single year.
As the industry grows, it’s more possible than ever to purchase a plan that fits you to the fullest. These policies protect you every time that you drive, so it’s important that you look for the plan that is best for you.
Read below to learn more about basic auto insurance policies and how they can help you with your vehicle ownership.
What Does Basic Auto Insurance Cover?
Motor vehicle drivers in every state are required to have basic auto insurance at the very least. The amounts vary state by state but you need to be sure that you have a plan that will cover the necessities.
Here are a few pieces of coverage that you need to be certain that you have:
1. Make Sure That You Have Liability Coverage
The first thing you will need to ask yourself is whether you just need liability coverage or full coverage for your car.
In most states, you’re required to hold a liability coverage plan at the very least. This means that you are paying for any damages that you cause to someone else’s property or if the other driver is injured and requires medical care.
You can face legal consequences for driving without auto insurance, so make certain that you at least have liability coverage whenever you get behind the wheel.
2. Consider Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Comprehensive and collision coverage are also important to consider. While this type of coverage isn’t always required by certain states, most states require you to have them if you are financing your vehicle.
Since most people buy their vehicle at an automobile dealership in the form of a car loan, you’ll definitely need to make sure you get the appropriate insurance to go with it.
3. Account For Medical Payments
You’ll need to take medical payments into account as well if you want to be properly insured.
This is a natural byproduct of car accidents and can be quite costly in many situations. With car accident injuries, an injured person will often be paying these bills down for long periods of time, since their medical treatment requires followup visits with the doctor and physical therapist.
Whether you are worried about having to pay your own injuries or those that you cause to someone else, you’ll need to have medical payment coverage included in your policy. It’ll save you from being personally liable for potentially expensive bills.
4. Get Property Damage Liability Coverage
There are all sorts of property damage at stake when auto accidents occur. For example, the wreck might take down light poles, interstate markers, bus stop stations, private business property, and other sorts of property.
Vehicles might also be carrying expensive property like laptops and tablets, which could be filed in an auto wreck damage claim. Because of this, you will need to be sure that you have property damage liability coverage included in your policy.
5. Coverage For Uninsured Motorists
Most basic auto policies come with an uninsured motorist plan.
While you’re doing the legally responsible thing and maintaining an insurance policy, you can’t be sure that every other driver is doing the same.
What Should I Look for in an Insurance Provider?
Now that you have an understanding of what goes into an insurance policy, it’s up to you to start shopping for the best plan. This boils down to finding the most qualified insurance professionals and doing your research into the kind of plan you need.
Here are a few things you should know about looking for an honest insurance provider.
1. Read Into Their Background and How Long They’ve Been Operating
You should do your best to learn more about the insurance provider that you’re planning to choose.
One of the biggest variables is how long they’ve been in business. While this doesn’t say it all, it does say a lot about a company if they’ve been around for several years. There are insurance companies that have been around for decades, and this shows that they have a strong reputation and have learned to adapt with the times.
Learning a lot about how they have operated will let you know if you should feel comfortable taking out an account with them.
2. Check for Lawsuits and Conduct a Better Business Bureau (BBB) Search
Be sure that you check the court system to see what kind of lawsuits, if any, have been recently filed against the company. While lawsuits are part of any business, it should bring up red flags if the company is constantly being sued over certain egregious issues.
You can also use the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as a resource for looking into a company’s reputation. Each company is given a grade, and companies with subpar grades have usually been accused and found to be guilty of poor business practices.
Companies often file Better Business Bureau disputes and complaints when they feel misled or taken advantage of by a company. Research the Better Business Bureau profile of whatever business you’re thinking about doing business with.
3. Ask People in Their Life What Insurance Provider They Use
One of the best ways to find a great car insurance provider is by asking the people you know.
Whether you turn to co-workers, friends or family members, you should be able to rely on the people closest to you to give you a recommendation. They’ll let you know which auto insurance providers have the most affordable coverage, along with their experience working with them.
Pay particular attention to how they said the insurance provider responded to claims. The last thing you would want is to do business with an insurer that is unhelpful or unresponsive during these sorts of claims.
4. Have a Price Range for Your Auto Insurance
It’s important that you get several price estimates when you are in the market for an auto insurance plan. After you have gotten numerous car insurance quotes, you will also have a clearer idea about how much it should cost.
Once you know how much these insurance policies cost, you’ll be able to create a price range that fits your budget. This will narrow down your options and make it a bit easier to find the right policy.
5. Consider the Value of Your Vehicle
To make sure that your auto insurance plan is properly issued, you need to get to know the actual market of your vehicle. Get an inspection and valuation of your car prior to shopping and it will let you know how much the car is worth.
This way, you can expect your auto insurance claim to be more accurate.
How Can I Find the Best Deals on Car Insurance?
It’s also important that you find the best car insurance deal to suit you specifically. You have a lot of insurance providers to choose between.
1. Look Into Bundling Whenever Possible
One of the best ways to find a great deal on car insurance is by bundling with other plans. This is more possible than ever since insurance companies often wear a lot of hats and offer a plethora of services.
You can often bundle things like renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policies with your vehicle in order to save some money.
Be sure to ask your car insurance provider whether they offer any sorts of bundling opportunities.
2. Consult With Several Different Insurance Companies
It’s important that you talk to as many insurance providers as you can to find the policy that will be best for you. Once you’ve spoken to at least five different companies you’ll have an idea of the industry as a whole.
Compare their prices, the types of policies they offer and more.
3. Consider Any Professional or Social Organizations You Belong To
You can also find certain discounts when you take the time to reach out to insurance providers. This could mean discounts that you are subject to when you belong to a social organization, fraternal order, credit union or other types of membership.
Reach out to insurance agents individually to see about these discounts, or to see what kind of special deals they offer that might not be advertised.
4. See If the Company Will Match Prices
It’s important that you reach out to different insurance companies as well to see if they’ll price match. Finding a company that price matches can be a difference-maker, particularly when you are choosing between two different companies or policies.
In many cases, the insurance providers won’t immediately price match but will be willing to if you ask. Many of these professionals also have price-matching policies laid out in their terms of service, so be sure to check.
5. Improve Your Driving Safety
The best way to keep your insurance rates low is to make sure you are always driving safely. When you are a less risky driver you will always be given less expensive rates as well.
Consider taking a driver’s improvement class or some other sort of continuing education to show yourself to be a capable driver. Doing this can get some demerit points knocked off of your driving record as well.
Most importantly, do your best to stay safe when you drive and avoid any accidents. Getting into accidents can make your insurance rates more expensive overall even if the accident wasn’t proven to be your fault.
Insurance companies show appreciation to safe drivers by providing discounts to people with exceptional driving records.
6. Pick and Choose What Kind of Coverage You Need
The last thing you will want to do is sign up for coverage that you don’t know. This way your insurance plan will be more expensive than it should be.
Mix and match different kinds of coverage and be sure that you are fully aware of every item on the policy.
7. Think About Some Extras That You Might Enjoy
Aside from just saving money, you should also strive to craft the exact type of insurance plan you need. This includes adding extras like a roadside service plan.
With a roadside service plan, you are able to get help with things like tire changes and tows when you most need them. You can also opt for a policy that lets you get a rental car for whenever your vehicle is out of commission during an accident.
8. Re-Evaluate Your Insurance Policy Before Your Term Is Up
Remain an informed policyholder by considering the terms of your insurance policy each term. This way, you will get a clear picture of what you need and whether or not you are still satisfied with the service.
It’s better to re-evaluate and consider whether you are willing to accept the likely hike in prices as well.
Whenever you are in the market for a new car insurance plan, it might also make sense to look into things like promos and seasonal discounts. After you have gotten coverage from a couple of different insurance providers, you’ll see the lay of the land and can decide who you’d like to do business with.
Always vet their customer service and professionalism, and only choose a policy that you feel comfortable with.
Find the Best Auto Insurance That You Can Find
Whether you need basic auto insurance or something more comprehensive, it’s important that you shop around for a quality policy. There are several companies that you can do business with, so don’t limit yourself.
We would love to show you why we have the best service around.
Take the time to reach out to us for an insurance policy that suits you.