While car insurance is a requirement, paying an arm and a leg in monthly premiums is not. Each year, thousands of consumers across the country purchase car insurance blindly, without finding out the best ways to maximize monthly premium savings. Before you hand over your hard earned cash for car insurance, avoid the following five biggest mistakes you can make when getting quotes from agents:
Rushing the Process
Because the process of shopping and buying insurance can cause massive headaches, consumers understandably want to get it over with as soon as possible. Like any other major purchases, rushing through the process can be a mistake. Be prepared to answer a variety of questions and complete some tasks that can save you money prior to getting quotes.
- Get a printout of your driving record from the DMV. You’ll be able to have an accurate picture, and may be able to dispute any records that appear when you apply for insurance.
- Take defensive driving course. If you have a poor driving record, this will greatly reduce your monthly premium.
- Always ask for discounts. There are many discounts that both you and the insurance agent are likely overlooking. Remind them to look at any potential discounts that might be missing.
Choosing the Wrong Deductible
The deductible you choose plays a large part in how high or low your monthly premium will be. Choosing a higher deductible means your premium will be lower, but you’ll have to shell out more cash if you’re involved in an accident. A lower deductible means a high premium payment but will require less out-of-pocket money after a collision. Be sure to consider how the price of your deductible will work into your monthly budget before signing on the dotted line.
Always Read Before You Sign
Like any other contract, signing an insurance contract binds you to its terms and conditions. Take time to read through the paperwork. While it may take several minutes to complete, it could save you money in the long run. Finding out later after you’ve been involved in an accident that you’re not covered because of a clause in your contract can lead to a huge, unexpected dent in your expenses.
Buying Too Much Coverage
How much do you really care for your old beat up car? Do you really need full coverage or a large deductible? Buying too much coverage for your car is a mistake people make every day. If your car is more than a decade old, you’ll likely only need the minimum amount of insurance required under state law. Double coverage is also an issue that can cost you hundreds of dollars every year. Towing and vacation coverage clauses aren’t needed if you’ve got those covered when using your credit cards.
Everything Must Be in Writing
Some agents might promise everything under the sun, but may forget to leave some details out of the contract. Get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Not doing so could potentially leave you open for financial headaches down the road.
Saving money while getting enough coverage should be your top priority when purchasing car insurance. Ask for a policy and cost breakdown so you have a better chance of cutting out coverage that you don’t need. The more informed you are about your own policy, the more likely you are to save money.