auto shopBuying car insurance can be a stressful process for some people. You may want to purchase quality coverage, but you need a policy within your budget. There are a few simple things to remember when buying auto insurance that can ensure you are not over-paying on the protection you need. Here is where to start.

#1: Know the Actual Value of Your Car

New or used, you will likely want to insure your vehicle for the full value of it. There is no benefit in insuring it over this for collision or comprehensive insurance. However, there is little value in insuring it for less than this value, either.

If there is an accident and the insurance company totals the vehicle, you want it to be enough to help you replace the car. It is important to have enough coverage to pay off the loan you have on the car if you have one. To achieve this coverage, you might need gap insurance, or a replacement cost value policy.

#2: Apply the Discounts Available to You

Most people will qualify for a few car insurance discounts. These are simple ways to save. For example, you may qualify for lower car insurance rates in these situations:

• You have a security system on your car.

• You have anti-lock brakes.

• Your vehicle has a GPS location device or a service like OnStar.

• You have no points on your driving record.

• You bundle multiple vehicles together on the same plan.

• You are a member of the military, a student or a retiree.

Ask about discounts you may have. Talk to your auto insurance provider about ways you can save otherwise, too.

#3: Buy the Types of Coverage You Need

Most drivers need to maintain a quality auto insurance policy. One key mistake to avoid is buying just liability insurance. This is all that is legally required in most areas. However, it provides no protection to you for damage to your vehicle or your medical losses. It does not cover damage from storms, theft, and vandalism, either.

Usually, you get vehicle damage coverage through collision or comprehensive coverage. Buy coverage that fits the value of your car, but that also recognizes your specific needs for protection.

Be sure to compare policies and insurers well. Your agent can help you with this process. The goal is to insure your vehicle, get all of the discounts available to you, and then to make sure you compare rates among numerous providers. It’s possible to get coverage you can afford within your budget, but that also minimizes risks to your finances should an accident or another loss occur.

Posted 4:29 PM

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