Owning a car for the first time can be an exhilarating time! Freedom!
Unfortunately, for first-time car owners, the importance of car insurance is an often-overlooked part of owning a car. Most people are always looking to save a few dollars, and new drivers are often tempted to scale back their car insurance coverage. While it’s a good idea to do some shopping and try to find the best deal, it isn’t a good idea to cut back on valuable coverage. If something were to happen, discovering that your coverage is inadequate could be devastating.
To keep you from falling into this category, here are a few tips to help you get the right insurance coverage.
Decide How Much Coverage is Needed
The first step in obtaining adequate coverage is to understand just how much insurance coverage you need. The first place to start is by checking into your state’s requirements, since most states have a minimum for liability coverage. In Texas, the current liability coverage minimums are $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 coverage for property damage per accident.
You should also understand what areas of coverage your insurance policy will offer, and how much of each you will need. Some important coverage options include:
- Collision – Valuable coverage in case of an accident.
- Comprehensive – Important coverage for damage that didn’t occur in a collision and includes fire or theft, as well as damaged windshields.
- Liability – Basic coverage that protects the other people and their property if you cause an accident. This coverage contains bodily injury liability, and property damage liability.
While certain car insurance coverage policies offer coverage in all these areas, it’s important to understand how much coverage is offered for each category and decide whether or not this is enough or if you need additional coverage.
- Understand Your Policy
The biggest mistake in purchasing car insurance is failing to understand your policy. Read through your policy, and if you don’t understand something –be sure to ask your insurance agent. Not understanding something can lead to devastating results such as being underinsured after an accident.
- Check for Discounts
We understand that you want to save money –but cutting out valuable coverage isn’t the best way to save. Consider checking for discounts instead. Many insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts. Don’t forget that a clean driving record is another great way to keep you insurance low.
- Understand the Deductible
Finally, make sure you understand your deductible. In the event of a claim, the deductible would be the amount that you would be required to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. While a higher deductible can mean lower insurance payment –it’s also means that if something happens, you would be required to come up with the amount of your deductible. Be sure to ask yourself “Can I afford this?” before choosing a deductible.