Car insurance is required if you want to own and drive a vehicle anywhere in the U.S. However, you have a lot of flexibility to purchase a plan with the coverage you want and need. And of course, the budget tends to be a major priority when it comes to car insurance since lowering your car insurance payments can help free up your finances.
When you’re shopping for car insurance, there are several things to consider. Most importantly, ensure that you have all the information you need to make the best decision. This means asking a lot of questions.
So, here are some questions you should ask before purchasing a car insurance policy:
#1 Does the policy cover other drivers?
All car insurance policies cover you driving your car. However, you also need to know if your policy covers other drivers. If you have driving-age children, friends, family members, or a spouse who sometimes drives your car, you should purchase car insurance to accommodate these drivers as well.
#2 Will you be covered when driving another person’s car?
Just as you want to know if other people are covered driving your car, it’s also important to know if you are covered when driving another vehicle. This is especially relevant when you rent a car since some car insurance policies do not cover rental vehicles.
#3 How much do you drive?
Policies can be adapted to your driving habits. If you rarely drive, you may be able to reduce your costs by purchasing a policy that covers you for driving fewer miles. However, if you drive more regularly and long distances, your plan needs to cover you for more mileage.
#4 Do you use your car for work?
Car insurance plans for individuals may not cover work activities involving your car. If you work in a job that requires the use of your car, you may need additional coverage. Common examples of work that might affect your policy include sales jobs, delivery work, or driving for a ridesharing company.
#5 What kind of car do you have?
The type of car you drive plays a major role in the cost of your insurance premiums. Premiums may increase if your car is:
- More valuable.
- Expensive to repair.
- Brand new or an antique.
Conversely, some types of cars may play a role in reducing your monthly premiums. For example, premiums may be lower if your car is:
- Less costly to repair.
- 3-5 years old and in good condition.
Cars that are costlier to repair usually result in higher insurance premiums, while vehicles that are less costly to repair may result in lower premiums.
#6 How is the policy premium affected by the repair process after an accident?
When your car is being repaired after an accident, what happens in the shop is important to you. There are a few things to pay attention to with your policy, including:
- Will you be provided a rental car while yours is repaired?
- Does your policy cover the cost of new parts, or will they only pay for used parts?
- Can you take your car to any repair shop?
Knowing the answers to these and other questions can give you peace of mind in the event of an accident.
#7 How is the policy premium affected by your location?
Sometimes your insurance premium increases based on the area you live, work, and park. In an urban area with side street parking, you may be at higher risk for theft of valuables from the car or damage from sideswiping. Drivers with a personal garage space to park may have lower premiums because of the safer conditions.
#8 What are the state insurance requirements?
Each state has specific minimum requirements for car insurance. If the policy does not meet your state’s minimum requirements, it needs to be changed.
Florida car insurance requirements are here: Florida Insurance Requirements.
Remember that each state has its own set of requirements for car insurance, so check with your agent to make sure you meet the requirements of the state in which the vehicle is registered.
#9 Do you need gap insurance?
If you have a loan on your vehicle, or you’re leasing a vehicle, you may need gap insurance. If the vehicle is totaled in a covered accident, gap insurance covers the difference between what the vehicle is currently worth (i.e., what your standard insurance will pay) and the amount you owe on it.
# 10 Do you qualify for any discounts?
Insurance providers offer a variety of discounts, such as safe driver and good student discounts. So, always ask your agent about car insurance discounts.
#11 Which policy provides the most value?
The car insurance policy you choose should provide you with the best value for your money. Lower monthly premiums can result in higher overall expenses in some cases, and not offer the most value.
Also, consider policies that provide benefits such as 24/7 roadside assistance and uninsured motorist protection. While this type of coverage goes beyond what is required by the state, they can reduce your costs by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in the event of an accident or breakdown.
ABC Dennis Insurance Agency
ABC Dennis Insurance is an independent insurance agency established in 1997 that provides car insurance to its customers. If you have not reviewed your car insurance this year, please call our office at (813) 949-7765 or email us.
Besides car insurance, we can help with all your insurance needs. As an independent agency, we find the best insurance coverage with the most competitive rates.