Car insurance is one of those pesky things; you have no choice but to pay for it every month, and 99.99% of the time, you never even use it. Most people want to figure out how to buy the absolute cheapest insurance they can find - and in many respects, this is the right decision. However, depending on where, what, and with whom you plan to drive; you'll begin to realize that price isn't the only key factor of the equation. Take a look at some of the real defining factors of vehicle insurance, and then you can make the educated decision when it comes time to buy.
The cheapest care insurance you can buy is what's called "liability insurance". This means, it covers you against any liability (or what you might owe) if you damage someone else's vehicle, and are at fault. It's the bare minimum of insurance you must hold under the law, and always the cheapest. The time when this is going to be best for you is when you are driving a very old used car; with little to no resale value. Consider the increase in insurance cost you'll have if you want to add coverage to your own vehicle, and you could be talking about doubling the cost - even if you're vehicle is old and nearly worthless for resale (as many people's are.) The extra money you spend every month covering your junker will exceed it's worth in one year or less. If you own an old used vehicle, and are looking for car insurance it's time to start remembering those funny discount insurance ads now. If you own a nice car of real value, consider other optionsâ€¦
If you own a new, or even gently used car, your simply going to want to protect your investment with dual coverage car insurance. This type of insurance will pay you for damage to your car, even if the accident is your own fault. What extra your spending on insurance every month will not exceed the overall worth of your vehicle for at least 5 - 6 years. If you didn't have that insurance, and you crashed (which is statistically not that rare) all of your previous investment would be gone. Furthermore, if you are financing or leasing a car - dual coverage is mandatory. This is because if you stop paying for your car, the bank gets to own it - and they want their investment covered. While this insurance may cost you up to twice as much, depending on your vehicle and driving record, it's going to be worth it come accident time. If you never have an accident at all; that's a great problem to have. When you do have accidents, and all of this imaginary coverage becomes very very real; there start to be a lot more factors to consider other than price. In these situations, it's essential to consider the track record of your insurance provider.
Many people will think about the coverage their looking for (liability or dual) and start price shopping for insurance, as a fixed commodity. This couldn't be further from the truth. Look online at insurance review websites - you'll see that different companies, and even different insurance representatives handle accidents and "insurance claims" (when you try to actually exercise your coverage) very differently. Some try to fight you, and never pay for what you ask. Other providers will limit you to the cheapest and worst mechanics / auto body specialists to fix your damaged vehicle. Even two reps at the same company can have different reputations on their coverage; due to the fact that they get paid more the less they pay out on their customers claims. A good insurance agent will balance that fact against good customer relationships and loyalty. A bad agent will abuse customers vulnerability, and milk them for every dollar their worth - not caring if they leave after their first accident. If you meet somebody, grab their business card and ask around your community. World of mouth reputation is as good as gold.
The Choice is Yours
When you shop for car insurance, there's a whole host of factors to consider. The most important no matter what your situation is to find an agent with a good reputation that you can trust. Beyond that, find out what you're willing to pay vs. what you want covered - after that, the choice is yours!