Some Things to Consider When Considering Car Insurance
- Remember always. You are statistic.
To a car insurer, you’re not Ricky Jones, 27 years old from Bethesda Maryland, you’re statistical risk profile, a policy number coded A067YY56. Put simply, a car insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your “risk factors,” including some things that may seem unrelated to driving a car, including your occupation, who you are and how you live.
- Car insurers differ.
As with anything else you purchase, what appears to be the same product will have different prices, depending on the company. Be smart, shop around.
- Don’t just look at price.
Like car shipping, a low car insurance price is no bargain if an insurer takes forever to service your claim or worse, denies you. Research the insurer’s record for claims service, as well as its financial stability.
- Go beyond the basics.
Most states require only a minimum of auto-insurance liability coverage, but you should look for more coverage than that.
- Ask for a discount.
Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk. However, Americans waste some $300 billion a year because they forget to ask for them!
- Ask for the real thing.
Insurers cut costs by paying only for car parts made by companies other than the car’s manufacturer. These parts can be inferior. Demand parts by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
- At claims time, your insurer isn’t necessarily your friend.
Your idea of fair compensation may not match your insurer’s. Your insurer’s job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.
- Before you file a claim, be prepared.
Keep your policy current, and re-read it before you file a claim so there are no surprises.
- Always carry car insurance
- If you own a home, see if you can bundle (umbrella) your home and car insurance with one carrier.
Many offer sizable discounts to those who combine home, auto and health.