Whether you're buying auto insurance for the first time or looking to renew and save, the following car insurance questions and answers will help.
How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?
Your state will dictate the most basic level of insurance that you need, known as "minimum coverage". You can add to this as required, and may want to increase your coverage if you have a lot of valuable assets (in which case it helps to have more property damage coverage) or drive an expensive car.
If you are not sure how much auto insurance coverage you need, speak with your agent and they should be able to help you out.
How Can I Get the Cheapest Car Insurance Coverage?
There are a few things that you can do to ensure you get the best price:
- Check whether you need collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. If not, you can settle for minimum coverage and save some money.
- Look for car insurance discounts. There are many of these available and multiple ways to qualify.
- Compare quotes for many different car insurance companies. You are not obligated to accept any of these and can keep looking until you find the cheapest one.
- Remove coverage options such as roadside assistance.
Why Am I Being Quoted so Much for an Auto Policy?
Insurance companies are in the business of dealing with risk and if you are deemed to be a greater risk, one that is more likely to require a payout, then your car insurance premiums will be higher.
Everything from your, location, and driving record will be considered. They will check your personal information, as you a bunch of questions, and then run this through an algorithm to detect your level of risk.
Can I Lie On My Auto Policy Application?
You should never lie when applying for any type of insurance. It might save you a little money now, but it could lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the line.
What is the Cheapest Auto Insurance Company?
It depends on your state, driving record, applicable discounts, collision/comprehensive coverage needs, and the extent of liability coverage required. GEICO and State Farm are usually near the top of the list in most states, but coverage costs differ considerably.
What Kind of Car Insurance Discounts are Available?
Discounts differ from state to state and company to company. Generally, however, you can save money with the following:
- Maintaining a good driving record
- Keeping a high grade point average (known as a good student discount)
- Completing a defensive driving course
- Driving a car with multiple safety features (including air bags)
- Combining your car insurance with your home insurance
- Being part of a qualifying organization
Speak with your insurance agent to see if you qualify for a discount on your auto policy.
Why Do Car Insurance Premiums Change?
Car insurance premiums are not always set in stone and they may change from year to year. If car crime increases in your state and there are more uninsured drivers and accidents, the policy may increase as well.
Auto repair costs, inflation, and medical costs will also impact your premiums. After all, repair costs and medical bills are a major consideration for bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
If the cost of your auto insurance policy has increased, it could be the result of an accident, vandalism, or a ticket.
What is Collision Coverage?
As the name suggests, collision coverage will payout when you collide with a crash barrier, wall, or something else. It generally covers collisions that don't involve other vehicles.
What is Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage will cover you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision.
One of the quirks of collision and comprehensive coverages is that the former won't cover you if you hit an animal and you'll need the latter for that. Comprehensive insurance will also cover you for weather damage.
Can Someone Drive My Car If They Are Not On My Insurance?
Yes, as your car insurance coverage applies to your vehicle. However, there can be exceptions to this rule and you should check with your car insurance policy for more information.
Why Does my Zip Code Matter So Much?
Your state and your zip code are used to determine the cost of insurance as they are a major consideration for property damage liability and medical bills.
The insurance company focuses on risk above all else, and statistically, some states are much riskier than others. States that are more built-up, have more drivers/cars, and record more incidents of vandalism and theft, are more likely to produce expensive insurance premiums
The cost of auto repair and medical care in that state will also factor into the equation.
It's not just on a state level, either. The insurance company will also look at where you park your car, before checking it against the crime rates to determine the cost of comprehensive cover.
How Long Do I Have to Put Auto Insurance on the Car?
It depends on the state, but you usually have about 20 days to purchase insurance cover after you buy a new car.