Auto Insurance 101: What you need to know

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( — May 10, 2019) — Auto insurance can be quite expensive, and you should know whether you are getting to choose the right kind of insurance cover for your vehicle. Shopping around is the only way to keep expenses within your budget and get the best coverage for your money provided you know the right way of doing it. To find car insurance that helps to save money, you must know what influences the premium because your auto insurance can go up despite not making any claims. 

Start the process by knowing the kinds of auto insurance coverage available.

Decide on your coverage

For automobiles, it is mandatory to take an insurance cover for liability insurance that some people also call one-way insurance which is a legal requirement. Some prefer to call it third party-insurance too because the insurance helps to meet your liabilities should any injury happen to others. However, the insurance policy does not provide any coverage for the vehicle or the driver.

In addition to the above, you can take separate policies for additional coverage of risks associated with your vehicle which are available in two basic types – comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. The extent of coverage determines the premium payable. The insurance policies entail some deductibles which are the amount that you need to pay from your pocket in the event of any claim. Additional coverage like emergency roadside service and gap insurance are also available at extra cost.

Selecting an insurance company

After deciding the coverage, you must focus on choosing the insurance company that provides the required coverage at attractive rates.  In addition to the premium payable, you must look for some other things too like how much time it takes to settle claims and the claim settlement ratio. The claim settlement ratio tells you about the probability of settling claims, and the higher is the ratio lower are the chances of claim rejection. It also points to the financial strength of the insurance company.  Some insurance companies use your credit score to determine the premium, and you must know how they make use of it, if at all. The better you understand what impacts the insurance cost, the better will be your choice.

Know about discounts

Having obtained a car insurance quote from some shortlisted insurance companies, you must negotiate with them about possible discounts that they usually offer. They might provide some minimal discount upfront, but if you know the options, you can bargain for more discounts. From good driver discount to low mileage discount and from green car discount to retiree discount and even student discount and professional association discount, many kinds of discounts are available depending on the insurance company.

Read the fine print

Pay attention to the terms and conditions about the eligibility for making claims and the exclusions. It should not happen that you assume that you would get the claim whereas the item excluded and nothing is payable.

Having a clear idea about how car insurance policies work should help to pick the appropriate insurance policy for the vehicle.