You most likely spend a lot of time comparing options when shopping for a new car to find the best deal. It could take the same time or even more when it comes to buying car insurance. A major issue is that many car owners skip the vital step of getting car insurance and end up spending more money than necessary.
For the same coverage, car insurance prices can vary greatly from company to company. Getting the best car insurance at a reasonable price isn’t hard if you know what to look for. Beem, America’s first Al-powered Smart Wallet App, can help you understand the process to get car insurance and the best deals in the country.
Do You Need To Get Car Insurance?
It is a legal requirement in most states (except New Hampshire and Virginia) to carry liability car insurance. According to New York law, all drivers are required to carry at least 25/50/10 liability limits. It means:
- One person is entitled to $25,000 for bodily injury ($50,000 for death).
- When more than two people are injured ($100,000 if a person dies), $50,000 will be awarded.
- Property damage of $10,000.
Buying Car Insurance
To get car insurance for the first time, drivers need to do thorough market research and gather all personal and vehicle information. They are advised to shop around for the best policy at the lowest price. With a little bit of searching, drivers can purchase the best car policy that fits their budget. Here are the necessary steps to follow to get car insurance in the US:
Information Needed To Get Insurance
If you’re ready to get car insurance, the basic information you are required to keep ready include:
- Details of the driver, including their name, address, and date of birth.
- A list of all the other drivers on the policy and their license numbers.
- Comprehensive information about the vehicle, including year, make model, odometer reading and identification number.
- Information on any at-fault accidents, traffic violations and safe-driving courses completed by all drivers on the policy.
- The coverage limits of your current insurer (if you have one).
also know about How to Get Car Insurance
What Kind of Car Insurance You Need?
It is important to determine how much car insurance you need before you buy a policy. In the event that you purchase too little coverage, you may be woefully underinsured. At the same time, overbuying will overcharge you.
You’ll want to consider the following types of coverage:
Liability Car Insurance
You can buy liability insurance in case of a car accident that causes property damage or injuries to others, such as car repair bills and medical expenses. Legal expenses are also covered in this insurance if someone sues you for an accident.
There is, however, one basic problem: The amount of liability insurance required by states is typically insufficient.
Despite being required to carry liability car insurance, not every driver does so. Additionally, some drivers do not carry enough liability insurance to cover expensive car accidents. If you’re engaged in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, what are your options?
You can file a claim for uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance to cover your medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses and pain and suffering.
There are some states that require UM. You can refuse UM coverage in writing in some states (if you live in one of those states). UM coverage is generally a good choice if it is available to you even if you don’t require it.
Insurance Covering Collisions and Comprehensive
A collision and comprehensive insurance policy is a must if you want to be covered for car repair bills on your own vehicle. In order to be covered, you must have collision and comprehensive insurance. Despite being sold together, these types of coverage cover two different types of problems:
- If you crash into another vehicle or back into a pole, collision insurance can help cover your car repair bills. As an alternative to using your own collision coverage, you may be able to claim the liability insurance of the person who crashed into you.
- If your car is stolen, comprehensive insurance pays your car’s value and covers damage caused by falling objects, crashes with animals, fires, floods, hail, and vandalism.
Most lenders and leasing companies require collision and comprehensive coverage when you have a vehicle loan or lease.
Protection Against Personal Injury
You and your passengers are covered by personal injury protection (PIP) if you are hurt in a car accident, regardless of who triggered it. There are 15 states that require personal injury protection insurance as part of their “no-fault” laws. There are four states and the District of Columbia that offer PIP as an option.
The following are generally covered by PIP:
- Bills for medical care.
- Cost of the wages lost if you are unable to work as a result of an accident.
- Costs associated with rehabilitation.
- Provision of replacement services, such as child care and housekeeping, for injuries that prevent you from performing those tasks.
- Costs associated with funerals.
- Coverage for medical payments.
Medical payments coverage is sometimes referred to as “MedPay” and pays medical bills regardless of who’s at fault. There are some states where MedPay is not available.
Types Of Optional Coverage
To ensure you’re fully protected, you may want to buy additional coverage in addition to standard auto insurance:
Renter’s insurance reimbursement: You can obtain rental reimbursement insurance if you need to rent a car or take the subway while your vehicle is out of service due to an issue covered by your policy.
Insurance for the gap: When a vehicle is totaled by a problem covered by your policy (such as a fire or crash), gap insurance pays the difference between what you owe on the loan and the depreciated value of the vehicle.
Insurance that covers roadside assistance: Towing, jump-starting or locksmithing services are covered by roadside service insurance if your car breaks down or gets a flat.
Get Car Insurance Quotes For Best Deals
You are advised to get the best car insurance quotes to save as much money as possible. You should compare quotes from multiple insurance companies once you’ve determined how much coverage you need. There can be significant differences in rates between insurers for the same coverage, so don’t skip this crucial step.
No matter which insurance you chose, you may have to follow the following methods to get car insurance for your vehicle:
- You can get free quotes through a comparative site that lets you compare multiple policies. It can help you find free car insurance if you prefer shopping from your couch.
- You can also contact an insurance agent for professional consultation. Rather than speaking with a captive agent who only sells policies from one specific company, it’s better to speak with an independent agent who offers multiple policies.
You will need the following information to gather the best insurance quotes:
Information about all drivers in your household, including age and driving experience, their license number and their ZIP code (where your car will be garaged).
Information about the vehicle, including the make and model of your car. You may also be able to get a discount if you provide information about anti-theft and safety features.
Obtain Auto Insurance
You need to fill out an auto insurance application once you have identified the company and policy you want. The full term can be discounted by up to 10% if you pay upfront with some insurers. A monthly payment plan is usually an option if you do not want to pay the full amount in one go. The use of automatic withdrawals might qualify you for a small discount.
Your insurance company will send you proof of insurance via email, fax or mail when you have a policy. Your proof of insurance can be downloaded from a mobile app from some insurers. New Mexico is the only state that does not accept digital proof of auto insurance.
The majority of states require proof of insurance before you can register and drive off a dealership lot with a new or used car.
Canceling Old Coverage
Prior to canceling your previous insurance policy, ensure your new coverage is active on your current car. If you have unused months left on your old policy, you are eligible for a refund. Don’t forget to confirm the cancellation of your policy by getting a copy of the dissolution.
Suppose you cancel auto insurance before the new coverage takes effect, in that case, your car remains uninsured for a certain period. It can result in serious legal and financial repercussions if you get into an accident as you will end up paying for all damages and expenses out-of-pocket. You could also get ticketed for driving without insurance. As a result of a lapse in insurance, you may also be charged more for your new policy.
As you continue to drive your vehicle and get more experience, you will qualify for better prices to get car insurance. Take the time to occasionally shop around for the best quotes. You can also revisit your current rate with your insurer to get car insurance at the best prices.