Lets check out the simple steps that we may follow while buying auto insurance policy:
1.Decide what coverages you need Think over and buy the coverages which you think are important. And the importance greatly depends on your situation and preferences. For example, if you drive a less expensive car, then you can exclude the comprehensive and the collision coverage because these will pay for the damages of your inexpensive car. You could buy only the Liability and the Personal Injury Protection coverages. Again, you can also go for a lower liability coverage if you are a confident driver. In that case you can buy the minimum amount of liability coverage required by your state law. But it is advised not to keep it so low if you have other assets such as home or business because if the damages in an accident exceeds your liability coverage, you could have to lose those assets to pay for that.
2.Shop around and compare different companies This will let you know the rates of and the benefits provided by different companies. Getting a lower rate is not the only important thing. Services provided by the insurers do matter a lot.
3.Choice of deductible: A deductible is the amount that you must pay for a part of your losses before your insurer pays for the rest. If you choose to pay a higher deductible, your premium amount will be low. You have to pay the deductible amount out of your own pocket if you have an accident. If you drive cautiously and are not likely to have accident, you should choose to pay a higher deductible because the chances of accident are less.
4.Give correct information :When you apply for insurance, the insurance company officials may ask certain questions. Answer all the questions truthfully.
5.Check out the Financial strength and Complaint index of the company :The financial strength of a company indicates whether it would be able to satisfy your claims on time. It gives you an insight of the financial stability of a company. One can find out the financial strength of a company from an independent rating organization. Such independent rating organizations can also tell whether the company is licensed or not. Buy only from licensed companies.
What is auto insurance?
Auto insurance is an agreement with your insurance provider where you pay the premiums regularly and your provider agrees to pay for the financial losses in case of an accident.
None of you may want to think that you will ever have a car accident, but when you do, are you prepared for that financially? If not, then it is time you think of getting an automobile insurance. You may contact your insurance agent and ask him to provide you with a policy that suits you. Whether it is cheap auto insurance or an expensive one that you need can be determined by your insurance agent.
For those of you who are bound by a budget may go for cheap car insurance, but it is suggested that you buy a policy that covers you well.
What does a basic auto insurance policy cover?
To get a proper coverage, understanding automobile insurance is very important. Your basic state auto insurance policy covers the following:
Bodily Injury Liability : This means that if the driver or the policyholder or the policy holder's family member caused any bodily injury to someone else, this coverage would protect.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) : If the passengers and driver of the policy holder's car happen to be injured, this policy covers the cost of treatment and may also cover lost wages, cost of replacing services and funeral costs.
Liability for Property Damage : If you or someone driving your car with your permission damages another person's property, this policy provides coverage. It also covers damage to lamp posts, telephone poles or any other structure hit by your car.
Collision coverage : This policy provides coverage for damage to your (policy holder) car as a result of collision with another automobile or any other object. There is generally a deductible. Even if you are at fault in an accident, this policy will cover the repairing cost of your car minus the deductible. If you are not at fault, then your insurance provider will try to recover the cost from the faulty driver's insurance company.
Comprehensive Coverage : If you suffer a loss due to theft or a damage caused by something other than collision with another car, like fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, and the like then this policy provides coverage. This policy is also available with a certain amount of deductible.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage : If an uninsured or underinsured or a hit-and-run driver hits you or your family member, this policy will reimburse the cost of damage. This usually happens when people go for cheap motor insurance. You will also be protected if you are hit as a pedestrian.
What if you don't own a car?
Non owner auto insurance provides coverage for:
- Liability - When you hurt someone else while driving a car
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - To protect when you hurt yourself in an accident regardless of who is at fault
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection - To protect when you get involved in an accident where the other party is an uninsured or underinsured motorist
- Medical Payments - Any medical bills incurred from an accident.
However, non owner auto insurance does not cover:
- Reimbursement for rental
- Reimbursement for towing
- Comprehensive or collision damage
Save money on auto insurance
There are discount auto insurance schemes that you can take advantage of from your insurance provider. You will surely find a cheap auto insurance that will also allow you to save some money while also protecting yourself from damage. Take a look at few of the ways in which to save money.
1.Few states may offer discounts for anti-lock breaks. You must find out if this discount applies to 2 or 4 wheel anti-lock break vehicle.
2.Sometimes automatic seatbelts as well as airbags are also discounted.
3.In addition many states offer a defensive driver class discount. This means that if a driver over 55 years of age completes a class for defensive driving, a class discount could apply.
4.If you have multiple vehicles, then you may get budget car insurance where some providers may also offer discounts.
5.In some cases, the insurance company may offer a safe driver's discount if you happen to have a safe driving history for the last 3 years at least.
6.If you have been with an insurance company for long, they could offer you a renewal discount.
7.Even students can get affordable auto insurance. If you are a student (unmarried) under the age of 25 years and you meet the grade requirements, you may become eligible for certain student discounts.
8.The type of car that you buy may also be a factor for what affects the cost of auto insurance. The auto insurance quotes that you get for a luxurious car may be much higher than what you get for a simple automobile.
Getting a quote is very easy. Online auto insurance quotes are also available in case you do not have the time for an agent.
What to do in the event of an auto insurance claim?
Filing a claim with an insurance company (insurer) can sometimes be confusing under the best of circumstances. Understanding the claims process may help ensure that your claim can be handled in a timely fashion and that you will receive all the compensation due to you under the policy.
Understand your policy. Read your policy before a loss occurs. Know what kind of losses it covers and how much it will pay. It’s important to know your policy deductibles—those are the part of a claim that you are responsible for. If you have questions regarding your policy, talk to your insurance agent or insurer representative.
What to do after an accident. At the scene, stay calm, report the accident to the police, and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Report the accident to your insurance agent or insurer representative. Also notify the other driver’s insurer if the accident seems to be the other party’s fault. Insurers usually have claim hot lines that you can use. You should do this as soon as you are able after a loss has occurred. Generally, policies require you to give prompt notice of a loss. Maine law allows claimants to use any repair or glass shop they wish. Insurers also usually have repair networks whose work they guarantee.
Provide complete and correct information. Giving incorrect or incomplete information will delay the processing of your claim. Be sure to give the insurer all information relevant to the loss.
Document your claim contacts. Keep records of all your communications with any insurer, adjuster or other person involved with the claim. This includes e-mail and letters. Keep a log of your telephone calls and in-person contacts, including the date and time of the conversation, the name and title of the other person, and a summary of the discussion. Also keep a record of your time lost from work and other expenses resulting from the accident. Insurers must explain the basis for claim denials or settlements in writing. They must also pay agreed claims within 30 days.
Take steps to protect the vehicle. Protect your vehicle from further damage and limit your loss. You must also make the vehicle available for your insurer to inspect before you have it repaired. If you do not, the insurer might not cover some of the damage or it might deny the entire claim. If possible, take photos or videos of the damage before making any repairs.
Obtaining a rental. If your policy includes rental coverage, your insurer will pay a specified daily amount for the rental, to the extent of your coverage. Although some insurers pay directly, the law does not require them to do so. If another insurer accepts liability for the damage, that insurer must reimburse you for reasonable rental expenses.
Storage fees. If your vehicle cannot be driven safely because of an accident, and was towed to a garage or storage facility, a daily storage fee might be charged. Generally, the insurer will pay reasonable storage fees or offer to move the vehicle to its own facility. You should pay attention to these fees because they can rise quickly, especially if there’s a lengthy dispute over liability or the cost of repairs. In that case, the insurer might notify you that it will no longer pay for storage. You must either start paying the fees yourself or move the vehicle to a location where you will not incur storage fees. If there is a dispute over liability or the cost of repairs, you may be responsible for storage fees that accumulate while you resolve the dispute.
Evaluating a total loss. Maine law does not require a particular method to calculate a vehicle’s value or to determine when it is considered a total loss. You are entitled to the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. ACV is the cost to replace your vehicle with another vehicle of like kind and quaility. Several factors affect ACV, including the vehicle’s mileage, its condition, and prior damage, if any.
Several resources are available to assist claimants and insurers in establishing a vehicle’s value. One is the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guide. Market value companies will compare sales of similar vehicles in your area for a fee. It’s also possible to survey local auto dealers.
Salvage of total loss. Maine law requires an insurer to obtain a salvage title when it declares a vehicle a total loss. If an insurer will let you keep the vehicle, it will turn the salvage title over to you. In exchange, it will deduct the salvage value from the amount of the settlement. The vehicle may not be operated on the road until it has been repaired, inspected and rebranded with a title indicating “rebuilt salvage,” “rebuilt,” or “repaired” by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Appraisal. Most automobile insurance policies have an appraisal clause. This allows disputes between the policyholder and insurer over the amount of loss to a vehicle to be resolved by appraisal. You and your insurer each choose an appraiser at your own expense. Each appraiser states the vehicle’s ACV and the necessary repairs. If they cannot agree on the amount of the loss, the parties then choose an umpire to make a final decision. The parties share the umpire’s fee.
Appraisal is not available if your dispute is with another driver’s insurer. In that case, it may be necessary to resolve the dispute in court.
Payment of medical claims and lost wages. If you need medical care because of an accident and believe that another driver’s insurer should pay for, you should be aware that the insurer generally will not pay for ongoing medical expenses until a settlement agreement is reached. This also applies to lost wages.
Contact the Bureau of Insurance. If you have a dispute about the terms of the claim settlement or there is a claim denial, the Bureau of Insurance may be able to assist you.
Tips To Reducing Car Insurance Costs
One of the first things insurance companies look for when it comes to assessing your premium is the type of car you drive. Fair or not, different types of cars mean different levels of insurance premiums. The reasoning behind this comes down to the statistics. Different types of cars attract different types of people with different types of risks.
Sports cars, for example, will usually be involved in more accidents than the family minivan. Sports cars are also more likely to be stolen, which also raises insurance premiums.
Your insurance agent can let you know which cars are cheaper, and which are more expensive, to insure. Make sure to consult with your insurance agent when you're in the market for a new car. The right car can lower insurance rates by hundreds of dollars!
Always look online for a competitive quote. Most of the major players and brokers are represented online and it is extremely competitive. It is very easy to get an online quote, just go to Google and search for car insurance quote and start looking.
Safety and anti-theft devices can reduce insurance costs. Talk to your insurance company and find out if there are any safety or anti-theft devices you can install to reduce your premium. Then consider installing them making sure that you notify your insurance company once you have done so. And why not ring up your company and make sure that they are aware of any safety and anti theft devices you already have.
Have a look at other insurance policies you have with other companies. Many insurers offer discounts for combining all your family insurance with their company. Find out who they are and get a quote on all your policies combined.