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There are many pitfalls of inadequate auto insurance to save a few bucks. Although you may be enticed to save money on a cheap car insurance policy, do not confuse “insurance bargains” with a sale at the mall. Inadequate car insurance has too many consequences to not take seriously. Skimpy auto insurance coverage can too easily come back to haunt you, where you find out too late you don’t have coverage for what you assumed you did. Here are a few ways to ensure that you, your family and your vehicle are properly covered:
Understand Replacement Value
Be certain the value your policy covers is a fair and accurate assessment of what your vehicle is actually worth. The “Actual Cash Value” method that car insurance companies use to calculate your car value can vary depending on what provider you use and what method they use to value your vehicle. If you are driving a newer car that is worth a lot to you, opt for extended Collision and Comprehensive coverage.
Match Coverage to your Lifestyle
Ensure your coverage accurately matches your lifestyle and vehicle, such as mileage to work or additional safety features on your car.
Understand Your Right to Sue
Choose “Full” vs. “Limited” Tort options. The three U.S. states of Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow policyholders to choose between “full tort” and “limited tort”. When choosing Limited Tort, you give up the right to receive compensation for pain and suffering if injured in a car accident, and also takes away full protection for your family members on your policy, such as if your children are injured as either pedestrians or as passengers in another vehicle. Alternately, Full Tort gives you the right to seek compensation for pain and suffering due to injury in a car accident that was not your fault. Although a Limited Tort option might save you approximately 15% on your premium, do not be naive in thinking you or your family will never be injured in a car accident.
Purchase more than the Minimum
Opt for coverage above the minimum liability limits. With the increasing costs of healthcare and legal representation, liability costs can quickly exceed your policy’s minimum liability amount, and if you are at fault in an accident, you may likely not be covered for the financial burden that could arise.
Pay Attention to Details
Take the time to read and understand the fine print for any hidden costs that come with cheap car insurance policies, such as increased mileage use or changes to your driving record.
It’s a smart choice to value proper auto insurance as seriously as you value the milestone of being a new driver.
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