A trip to the local grocery stores makes it obvious that we live in a time of options. A variety of the same product makes it difficult to choose just one. It is a time consuming event to decide which one of the multiple types of product a consumer really needs. Further, how do we decide if there is a noticeable quality difference between the generic brand and the name brand? Finally, is there enough of a price difference to justify choosing one product over another?
Auto insurance is much the same way. There are an overwhelming number of companies and products to choose. The good news is that, because there is a vast array of options, the market is very competitive. Consumers have to determine their need, shop around, and put the competitive market to work for them.
Determine Your Need
Each state sets minimum auto insurance requirements. These minimum standards are intended to guarantee that all drivers have some level of insurance protection. Rarely are these minimum standards sufficient to cover the assets of most motorists. Here are the basic types of insurance that motorists will want to consider:
- Property damage liability covers the repair or replacement of the other party’s car and property. – Consumers should make sure they have enough liability protection to cover the high cost of automobiles. – Uninsured motorist insurance will pay for the medical, rehabilitation, and suffering expenses of the victims in your car. – Personal injury protection covers medical, rehabilitation and related costs for household members. – Collision provides coverage to repair or replace the policyholder’s car after an accident. – Comprehensive insurance covers the automobile and its contents in the event of theft, fire, water or other unfortunate events.
A deductible amount will have to be determined along with the necessary coverage. A deductible is the amount of money that the insured will be required to hand over to a repair facility before the provider will pay.
The Internet has radically simplified the auto insurance shopping process. There are a number of companies that will present a quote through an online process. Some sites will allow consumers to compare rates across several companies at once. Be sure to check each company’s financial rating and ask around for referrals before selecting a provider.
Ask About Discounts
The highly competitive field of auto insurance has caused some companies to offer discounts for things like educational achievements, safe driving records, and vehicle safety features. Also, most companies will offer discounts for insuring multiple lines such as home, boat, and automobile. Ask a potential insurer what discounts are available before making a final decision.
It may be a good time to review any existing policies already in force. Have there been any lifestyle changes that require a policy modification? Do you need to add additional coverage such as rental car reimbursement or roadside assistance? Consumers can get a good deal on car insurance by determining the needed coverage, shopping around, and putting the competitive market to work for them.