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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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There is no doubt that auto insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make. It provides you with financial protection if you are involved in an accident and meets one of the primary legal requirements to register your car and drive.
When looking and buying cheap car insurance, it is important to understand what kind of insurance you need and compare rates and benefits from at least three different insurance companies before making a purchase decision. Use our FREE search tool by entering in your ZIP code!
Complete Car Insurance Coverage
For many people, the idea of buying complete auto insurance coverage is one they never really question. Complete coverage includes liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. It may also include other types of coverage, such as additional medical payments or personal injury protection insurance.
Liability Coverage – Liability insurance is mandatory in most states in order to drive legally. In fact, you may not be able to register your car if you do not provide proof of insurance and many car dealerships will no longer release a car into your possession if you do not provide proof of insurance.
Property damage liability insurance provides coverage for repairs that results from an accident you cause. It does not include payment for damage to your car. Bodily injury liability coverage includes payment for medical treatments for injuries to the other party and their passengers. It does not pay for your injuries. Most liability car insurance policies contain both components of property and bodily injury damage coverage.
Collision Coverage – Collision coverage pays for repairs to your car if you are involved in an accident. Additionally, it also provides coverage regardless of who is driving your car.
Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive coverage pays for events other than accidents. Examples include your car being stolen, damaged due to being hit by tree limbs or hitting an animal.
Medical Payment Coverage – Medical payment coverage goes by several different names, including “no fault insurance,” personal injury protection and PIP. It is mandatory additional coverage in some states. It pays for medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in an auto accident. It also can be used for legal expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation expenses.
If you have a car loan or your car is leased, it is worth buying gap insurance. If your car is declared a total loss, you will only be paid the value of the car at the time of the accident. This amount is a depreciated value and will be less than the amount of your lease or your car loan. However, your lender will expect you to pay the full value of your lease or loan to them, regardless of the condition of the car.
Gap insurance pays the difference between the declared loss value of your car and the amount of money you owe your lender.
As a result, you are free from the financial obligation and do not need to come up with additional funds to pay your lender for a car you cannot drive.
Online Car Insurance Quotes
There are a few places you can go to find instant online quotes for auto insurance. One of the best places is insurance comparison websites. Comparison websites allow you to see rate quotes from several different companies within a short period of time. Some quotes will be provided to you directly on the website. Other premium rate quotes will be sent to you via email. One advantage of using insurance comparison websites is that they give you the opportunity to make immediate comparisons of rate quotes without making a great deal of extra effort.
You can also get instant online quotes directly from most insurance company websites. Websites are a good source of additional information, such as what other types of insurance they offer and any potential discounts available.
Ways to Lower Your Insurance Rates
When you are looking at online auto insurance quotes, you can lower your rates several different ways.
If possible, ask about payment options. Many insurance companies offer lower rates if you pay your full premium amount when you buy your policy. Additionally, you may get a break on rates if you elect to set up automatic payments rather than paper bills monthly or quarterly.
You can also save money on your premium rates by only buying the coverage you need. If you have an older car, you may not need to buy full coverage. You may need to only carry liability and medical injury coverage.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are expensive and only worth the premiums if you have one of the newer, more expensive cars. This is because insurance companies will only pay to repair your car if the repair is less expensive than the value of the car. Since the value of cars older than eight years old is largely depreciated, many insurance companies will simply declare the car a total loss rather than pay for a repair. In many cases, you can save a great deal of money by putting aside what you would pay in premiums as a “just in case” fund should you need to buy a new car.
You can also save money by having a higher deductible amount, which will lower your premium rate. Insurance companies recognize that you are taking on a larger amount of the repair bill with a higher deductible level. As a result, they lower your premiums significantly if you are willing to take on that expense. Again, you can set aside the money you are saving so that it is available if you have an accident and need to pay for a repair.
When buying car insurance, you should compare rates from at least three companies before making a purchasing decision. Make sure you are comparing the same kind of coverage, the same level of coverage and the same deductible amounts for an accurate rate comparison.
With your online quote in hand, you can quickly and easily make a decision about what company to use for your car insurance needs.
Then you only need to complete an application and submit your payment to get your auto insurance coverage started. If you are interested in a FREE car insurance comparison, enter in your ZIP code!