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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Auto insurance is a fact of life if you want to register a car or drive legally. If you buy a new car from a dealership, you will be required to supply proof of insurance before you are allowed to take possession of the car.
Finding cheap car insurance is much more convenient with the accessibility of the internet. Get started now with finding a FREE car insurance comparison by putting in your ZIP code!
As a result, you may want to get a quick car insurance quote so that you can get your car or at least get it registered and start enjoying your car. However, before buying a car insurance policy, it is important to understand what kind of insurance you need and ways to cut your premium rates to keep your costs as low as possible.
Kinds of Car Insurance
There are several different kinds of auto insurance. Some forms of car insurance are required by law, others are required if you leased your car or have an auto loan. It may not be necessary to purchase every type of car insurance coverage available, but it is important to understand the basic types of coverage when shopping for car insurance.
Liability Auto Insurance
Liability car insurance coverage is the most basic type of car insurance. It is required as mandatory auto insurance by almost every state in the United States, although the level of coverage you are required to carry varies by state.
Auto liability insurance provides coverage for both property damage and bodily injury. Property damage liability coverage pays for repairs to the other person’s car or property if you cause an accident.
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries to the other driver or their passengers. Liability coverage only pays for the other person’s damages. It does not pay for damage to your car or for injuries you or your passengers receive.
Although liability auto insurance is the most basic type of car insurance, it may be one of the most important kinds of car insurance you can buy. In most cases, required state liability levels are very low. As a result, they rarely provide enough coverage to pay for the entire amount of damages caused in an accident.
However, if you cause an accident, you are expected to pay for the damages, regardless of whether your insurance provides enough coverage to pay the full costs or not.
Unfortunately, if you only carry the state minimum amount of liability insurance, you probably are opening yourself up to a lawsuit.
If you own your home or have other valuable assets, they may be forfeited in a lawsuit simply because you did not buy enough liability insurance to pay for an accident.
If at all possible, consider buying additional liability car insurance beyond the minimum requirements to protect yourself as much as possible.
Collision Car Insurance
Collision car insurance is one of the second most common types of insurance coverage. Although collision coverage is not required by law, you may be required to purchase this kind of coverage if you have a lease on your car or an auto loan.
Collision coverage provides payment for repairs to your car if you are involved in an accident. Unlike liability coverage, claims do not apply to the other person’s property. Covered damage includes accidents in which your car hits another car, buildings, guard rails and other structures.
Also, collision coverage travels with both the driver and the car. This means that you have collision coverage regardless of who drives your car and what car you are driving. If you allow a friend to drive your car and they get in an accident, you have coverage. Also, if you drive a rental car and get in an accident, you should also have coverage with collision insurance.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance
Comprehensive car insurance is another type of insurance that is not required by law but may be mandatory if you have a leased car or an auto loan. Comprehensive coverage pays for repairs caused by things other than accidents. Examples of claims covered by comprehensive insurance include hitting an animal, fire, flood, hail or being hit by a tree. If your car is stolen, it is covered by comprehensive insurance.
Finding Auto Insurance Quotes
You can get quick quotes for auto insurance coverage from a number of different places. Before buying car insurance, it is a good idea to compare rates from at least three different companies. Also, for an accurate comparison, make sure you are comparing the same type of coverage, the same level of coverage and the same deductible levels.
Insurance Comparison Websites – Insurance comparison websites allow you to request insurance quotes from several insurance companies with a single request. Comparison websites often contract with numerous insurance companies and brokers so you can receive premium rate quotes from a wide range of sources. Also, comparison sites may have information about car insurance rankings and recommendations about preferred insurance providers.
Independent Insurance Brokers – Independent insurance brokers can also often provide you with multiple car insurance rate quotes. Many brokers represent up to 20 or more insurance companies, making it possible for them to compare rates for you and provide you with information about the companies that will give you the best rates possible. Brokers can also help you understand your specific car insurance needs and make recommendations on ways to lower your rates.
Saving Money on Car Insurance
Before buying car insurance, you should be aware of ways to lower your rates further. Most insurance companies have ways you can lower your insurance costs if you ask the right questions.
Ask about discounts. If you have safety equipment installed on your car or anti-theft devices, many insurance companies will offer you lower rates. Also, ask about discounts if you have a good driving record or are an older driver. Other common discounts include lowered rates for multiple cars, multiple insurance policies and driver improvement courses.
You may also be able to save money by paying your entire policy premium when it is due. Many insurance companies are also offering lowered rates if you arrange automatic payment through your credit card or checking account.
Armed with the right information, you can save money on your car insurance and get car insurance quotes quickly and easily. If you are buying car insurance, compare rates from at least three different companies and ask about potential discounts or other ways to lower your rates.
Once you decide on what company you want to use, you will be able to submit an application and soon be on your way. Use our FREE car insurance comparison tool by entering your ZIP code!