Auto insurance policies are complicated and will vary tremendously based on the options you choose. It is important to remember that premium is not the only thing to consider when you are comparing auto insurance companies. The terms you choose, the level of service you receive, the ease of your claims handling process and the amount of coverage you elect are all very important factors when you ultimately choose your insurer.
Auto Insurance Terms
The terms of your policy will largely affect your premium and coverage. The two main terms to pay attention to are your deductible and your limits. The deductible is how much you will pay before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible usually means a lower premium. With auto insurance, you will have a deductible per occurrence and a deductible per policy. You may also have a different deductible for liability claims and property claims. The same will go for limits. You will have a limit per occurrence, per policy, for liability and for property. As far as limits go, lowering your limits will lower your premium. When you decide on your deductible and limits, you need to consider how much you can afford to pay at any given moment. If you have a high income and cash in the bank, you may benefit from a higher deductible and lower limits.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Your coverage and your terms go hand in hand. You will be asked to elect different insurance lines, and these lines will factor into your terms and cost. For example, you may need to elect a line of coverage for uninsured or under-insured motorists. This is especially important in states where there are a lot of uninsured drivers on the road. You may also want to elect a line for driving other cars. This is key if, for example, you find yourself driving your roommate's or sibling's car with some regularity. If you do not specifically elect coverage for a certain type of incident, you cannot assume it is covered. Check your policy to see specifically what is covered, and compare policies on this criterion.
Auto Insurance Service
Customer service is a big consideration when you choose an auto insurance company. You will have to speak to your insurer regularly when you have questions about your coverage or bills. It is best to work with a company you are comfortable with. Often, you will want to use the same insurance company to cover many of your needs. You may share an insurer for renters insurance or home insurance. This means the insurance company you choose will become a big part of your daily needs and lifestyle. This will especially be obvious when you go to file a claim. You will want an insurance company that makes the claims filing process easy and straightforward. It is advantageous to keep an insurance company for a long time to continue to get discounts, so you will likely report many claims over the life of your policy. Finding good service should weigh heavily on your decision.