What to look for when you are looking for Car Insurance (In Canada and US)
When it comes to auto insurance, you want to be adequately covered if you get in an accident but you don't want to pay any more than you have to. If you are shopping around for car insurance there are a number of things to watch out for when making car insurance comparisons. Price is only one thing you need to consider when comparing car insurance offers. You'll want to find out some information about the different companies, determine how much coverage you need, and of course you want to find the best price. Once you figure that out it's easy to make a decision with confidence as to which company to go with.Choosing the Right Company
There are tons of auto insurance companies to choose from out there, so how do we choose the right one? One of the first things you'll want to look into are some of the various companies themselves. Is the insurance provider you're looking at a brand-new company or have they been in business for decades? You'll want to do business with a strong company that will be around and have funds available should you ever need to make a claim. You'll also want to check on the company's background. There are a lot of websites that will have consumer ratings for various companies. If a company has good ratings and very few consumer complaints that company should be on your list of possible insurance providers. There a quite a few things one should look for when deciding whether or not to choose a certain company. One shouldn't solely make a choice on one single factor, but a combination of multiple important factors, and if you'd like to, you can add extra consideration on whatever you feel is most important such as price, quality, coverage or stability. One very important factor that we all automatically take into consideration is price. With good reason, we all want to pay as little as possible for the coverage we need. Instead of determining whether a carrier's rates are competitive by comparing them to your current or prior rates, you should compare the rates of multiple companies. Many times, consumers obtain two to three quotes from different carriers and believe the lowest one of the three to be competitive. It's important to understand that the rates of auto insurance companies can widely vary for different drivers. If one company is cheapest for one driver, it's not automatically going to be the cheapest for all drivers. It is recommended to compare the rate quotes of at least five companies in order to ensure a competitive rate. Among the simplest way of completing an auto insurance quote comparison is to visit OnlineAutoInsurance.com, InsWeb.com or Netquote.com. By completing one simple form, you can compare the rates of multiple carriers instantly and quickly instead of contacting companies individually. The stability of a company is a very important factor. If you find a great price from a company having great customer service and they go out of bankrupt before they pay your claim, you're on the same boat as not having insurance at all. The stability of a company is called financial strength. There are independent agencies that issue letter grades to companies based on their financial strength such as AMBest.com.How Much Coverage Do You Need?
You'll want to have a good idea of how much coverage you need before you start shopping around. If you're driving a brand-new car you'll probably want to go with full coverage so that your car can be repaired or replaced if you're in an accident. On the other hand if you're driving an older car you'll probably want to go with whatever the minimum coverage is allowed by the laws in your state. It doesn't make sense to spend close to $1000 per month to ensure a car that may only be worth $3000 or $4000. If you have a vehicle with very low value, you may consider waiving comprehensive and collision coverage which is what covers your vehicle in case of damage or theft. Additionally, you can experiment with high deductibles to see price differences. Get quotes for all different types of coverage. Don't be afraid to quote a certain coverage just out of curiosity and remember that quotes can be obtained online totally free with no obligations at OnlineAutoInsurance.com. You may be surprised to find out that some valuable coverage can be quite inexpensive. Anyone who drives a car knows that auto insurance is an unavoidable cost of driving. It can be very expensive, or relatively painless, depending upon the kinds of coverage you choose, and rates your driving record makes you eligible for. While different states require different types of coverage, one type of coverage is universally required: liability coverage (also known as bodily injury). The importance of having liability coverage on your car cannot be overstated. Not only can it save you money in the long wrong, it can also spare you hefty fines and other unpleasant consequences. In some states, you can receive a good number of points against your driver's license, and in others, it can be a cause for the complete revocation of your license. Many states require that you show proof of insurance before they will allow you to even register your car.Service and Claims assistance
If a company is offering the coverage you need for a reasonable price, you can begin to look a bit further into other factors such as service. Customer service is a very important factor that should definitely be taken into consideration when choosing the right carrier. If one bases their choice only on price, it is pointless to pay for insurance if you're not going to receive the service you deserve when it comes time. A good way of determining the service factor is to ask someone that you know has the company. Ask them if they're satisfied with the carrier and if they recommend the company regardless of price. Also you can contact the customer service number and ask a simple question such as "Do you offer discounts for married drivers?" just to see what hold times you can expect and to see the friendliness of the representatives. Claims assistance is as important as any other factor. It's the main reason you insure your vehicles; to help you get through a loss or liability claim. Making sure companies do provide good claims assistance can also be determined through anyone you know who's had a claim with the company in question. You may also contact you state's Department of Insurance to get a claims complain history. Obviously, if a company has tons of complaints, you're likely to end up complaining upon a claim; Vise versa, low complaint records indicate satisfaction from large percentages which likely will be you as well.Insurance Premium
The premium is the amount of money you pay periodically to keep your insurance coverage. It is possible to lower your overall premium by doing a few things. You can set lower limits on your other coverage, as well as set higher deductibles. Some companies offer discounts for more than one car on the policy. If you purchase policies for other types of insurance, like home or renters insurance, you can also receive a discount on your premium. The truth is that there is not one company that is always cheaper for everyone. Some companies only provide great prices for people with high credit ratings and perfect driving records, while other companies don't mind giving competitive prices to people with slightly less stellar pedigrees. But, by searching car insurance reviews ahead of time, you will know what companies will give someone like you the rate that you need. When you're doing your car insurance comparisons, once you've found a number of strong companies and determined the type and amount of coverage you need you'll want to find out which company offers you the best price. With all other things being equal you will obviously want to go with a company that offers the lowest price. If you find more than one company that's been in business for a long time, has good consumer reviews, and provides the coverage you need then it all comes down to how much it's going to cost. Fortunately, in the information age that we live in today getting multiple insurance quotes is fast and easy. You can spend just a few minutes, enter a little bit of information, and quickly have multiple insurance quotes from a number of different providers making your decision of which company to go with fast and easy. Don't hesitate, there is absolutely no obligation to purchase a policy; however, you can choose to buy you policy online and receive instant proof. You can also try getting quotes from some of the insurance companies listed on the Edmunds.com Web site - Liberty Mutual, Geico or Progressive. These forms will take about 10 minutes each to complete. A small price for saving hundreds of dollars! Once you have exhausted your online options, it's time to work the phones. Those companies you haven't been able to get an online quote from should be contacted. At times, doing this process verbally can actually go faster than the online counterpart, providing you have all the information regarding your driver license and vehicle registration close at hand. When you get a quote, be sure to confirm the price. Also, ask them to fax or e-mail the quote to you as a record. While talking to the insurance companies' telephone salespeople, make sure you explore all options relating to discounts. Insurance companies give discounts for a good driving record, favorable credit score, safety equipment (for example, antilock brakes), certain occupations or professional affiliations and more.Insurance Cancellation
You may choose to terminate your auto insurance policy for any number of reasons. Maybe you're moving to another province/state, getting rid of your car altogether, or maybe you're just dissatisfied with your existing company's service. Beware, however, that if you don't give your insurer sufficient notice, it could end up costing you money, or negatively affecting your credit history. Standard practice for most insurance companies is to allow you to cancel your policy at any time during the policy term by sending written notice stating the date of cancellation. Your car insurance policy does not necessarily terminate at the end of each policy term, so it isn't safe to assume that you can just cancel by failing to pay your next bill. If you don't send notice of cancellation, your insurance company will automatically bill you in advance for the next term's premium payment. If you don't pay it, they'll cancel your policy and it will go on your credit report. Don't expect this information to be made explicit in your policy; while insurers are quick to inform you that your coverage will terminate at the end of the policy period if you don't pay your next premium, they don't always inform you of the repercussions you may face for not giving formal notice of your policy termination. Here's what to do: Call your insurer, let them know that you want to cancel your policy and give them an effective date. They will then send you a cancellation request form - review this form carefully before you sign and return it to your insurer. If you're switching to another insurer, and you plan on driving your car throughout the process, you want to make sure there is no lapse in your car insurance coverage. Therefore, be sure to coordinate the effective starting date of your new policy with the termination date of your old policy. The last thing you want is to get in an accident during an uninsured interim - how stupid would you feel if that happened? As long as you are considerate about giving your insurance company plenty of notice when you want to cancel your auto policy, and then go through the official termination process, you should avoid any negative repercussions.Checklist
- Determine your state's/province insurance requirements.
- Consider your own financial situation in relation to the required insurance and consider buying more to protect your assets.
- Review the status of your driving record - do you have any outstanding tickets or points on your driver license?
- Check your current coverage to find out how much in premiums you are paying.
- Get competing quotes from an Internet insurance Web sites
- Make follow-up phone calls to insurance companies to get additional information about coverage.
- Inquire about discounts you might qualify for such as a multiple policy discount.
- Evaluate the reliability of the insurance company you're considering by visiting your state's insurance Web site.
- If you have chosen a new insurance company, remember to cancel your old policy.