Driving off the lot with a new (or new-to-you!) vehicle is always exciting—but wait. You’re not quite done with the process yet. In addition to buying a car, you also need to buy auto insurance. In most states, this is legally mandated. And even if you’re not required to have vehicle insurance, it’s still a good idea, and an important facet of responsible auto ownership.
But how do you know you’ve found the right policy and that you’re paying a fair price? Here are a few tips for shopping for your auto insurance coverage.
Finding the Right Vehicle Insurance
- Shop around. First, don’t ever jump on the first policy you find. We’d recommend comparing at least three to five different policies, just to get a basic price point in mind and ensure that you’re not overpaying.
- Research the insurance carrier. As in any other industry, some companies are more reputable than others. And also as in any other industry, you can read online reviews and ratings to get a sense of each carrier’s track record.
- Set the right deductible. Setting a high deductible can keep your premiums lower, while a lower deductible may lead to higher premiums. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer here but do be aware of these important distinctions.
- Know your coverage. Not all coverage is created equal, and you’ll want to make sure you are well protected for both bodily injury and property damage. A “cheap” policy may ultimately be a bad value if it doesn’t cover very much!
- Consider adjunct policies. If your collision coverage is insufficient, something like an umbrella policy can enhance and extend your protection—without breaking the bank. Ask your insurance agent about some of these adjunct policies.
- Maintain a positive credit score. Your credit history can dictate the terms of your auto insurance, and a good credit score can help you secure lower rates. If you know you’re going to be getting a new insurance policy in the near future, avoid opening any new lines of credit.
- Choose the right car. Some vehicles are going to cost more to insure than others, which is something you might want to keep in mind as you shop at the dealership. Vehicles with robust safety features tend to lower the cost of insurance. Ask your dealership about the general cost of collision coverage for a particular vehicle.
- Review your rates annually. It’s smart to double check every year and see if you can find better rates anywhere else. Don’t feel like you’re locked into a particular insurance carrier!
Get the Best Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is part of the vehicle ownership experience—and as you consider buying a used car, you’ll also want to consider your options for collision coverage.
Remember that insurance can inform the decisions you make at the dealership. Don’t forget to ask about the approximate insurance rates for any vehicle you consider.
And as always, to learn more about the best practices for vehicle ownership, stay tuned to the Get My Auto blog.