4 Tips for First-Time Car Insurance Buyers

gtgtgrWhether you are putting a new car on the road or are a young driver who wants to move off your parent’s car insurance and into your own policy, buying auto insurance for the first time can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating experience. Perhaps your parents have always used an independent agent to handle their insurance issues but you want to use a company that offers online services and apps instead. No matter your needs, there are several strategies you can use to ensure you get the most coverage for your monthly premium.

1. Review Your Insurance Needs

Even if you have owned a car in the past, events in your life might change how much insurance you need and why. For example, if you are putting a new car on the road after getting married and having your first child, your policy needs may be vastly different from when you were single. Knowing how much insurance you need will help you buy a useful policy and avoid overspending on coverage you do not need.

To review your insurance needs, sit down and list what kind of car you have, whether there is a bank lien on it, who will be driving the car, and where you will be driving and parking it. Reviewing these details can be important because if you are still paying on your car, the bank may require you to carry certain types of insurance until it is paid off and you may also need certain kinds of insurance that cover additional drivers, especially if this is your first time buying auto insurance independently.

2. Decide Which Features You Want

When you start to shop around for an insurance company, there are several different ways to narrow down your choices. An affordable policy will probably be the biggest concern for you, but other factors you might consider is whether the company offers local agents that can help you decipher your new policy, whether you can report accidents or change your policy via a smartphone app, and whether you can pay your premium online or via direct debit from your bank account.

Some car insurance apps can increase the speed of filing a claim, according to a report from CNBC, but you may want to ensure that some features do not cost extra or come with additional fees. When choosing a car insurance company and reviewing their products, take the time to read the fine print so you aren’t surprised when your premium costs more than you anticipated.

3. Consider Your Driving Status

Not all drivers are created equal, and if you are buying insurance as a young driver or have more than one accident on your record, you should consider these factors before you a buy a policy. Typically, young first-time male drivers will pay the highest premiums, and if this is your case, costs should come down over the next few years, especially if you keep your record clean by avoiding tickets and accidents.

If you were previously on someone else’s insurance but are putting a new car on the road, your past driving record may also affect how much you will pay in premiums. Some car insurance companies specialize in offering policies to those with accidents on their records, but you should be especially diligent when considering them, as they may not be able to give you all the coverage you need. You may want to visit for assistance in finding affordable insurance.

4. Review the Differences in Certain Types of Coverage

If you are a first-time driver, you may want to take the time to learn about different types of coverage before you purchase a policy. There are three main types of coverage: liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability covers other drivers and damage to their cars in case of an accident. Collision covers your own vehicle, and comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by weather, theft, and accidents involving large animals, such as deer.

You may want to consider the age of your vehicle before buying a policy. The older a vehicle is, the more likely it may be that your insurance will not cover it under a collision policy, so this may be something to think about before you purchase collision or comprehensive insurance.

Buying car insurance for the first time can be daunting. However, the more you understand about coverage and how it affects you and your vehicle, the easier it will be to find a policy that suits you.

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