3 Important Considerations when Buying Auto Insurance

In almost every state, auto insurance is a requirement. However, in today’s economy, most people are looking to save money wherever they can. When it comes to buying car insurance, it is definitely possible to get a reasonable rate without sacrificing the coverage you need.  You just need to know what coverage is needed because you may not have thought of them before.  This is why you want an agent you can talk to, not one at an 800 number where you will never speak to the same person. You just need to follow a few important principles.

Know How Much Coverage You Need: In the quest to save money, many drivers opt for the state’s bare minimum coverage. This could be a big mistake – especially if you have assets that you want to protect. For example, if you live in Maryland, your minimum liability coverage for bodily injury is only $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and only $15,000 for property damage. How many cars do you know that you can buy for $15,000?  Therefore, if you hit another car and do damage, this is where the coverage comes from.  A small bumper tap can cost $2,000 and up.

However, if you are at fault in an accident where the injuries and damages far exceed these amounts, you will be required to cover the rest out of your own pocket. For people with assets to protect, $300,000 or $500,000 per accident may make more sense. And beyond that, you may want to consider an umbrella policy.

Shop Around: It should be understood that it pays to shop around when looking for auto insurance, or anything else for that matter. However, many people are hesitant to change insurance companies. It could be they are loyal to the brand, they have had the same carrier for many years, or in some cases it is just laziness. The thing to keep in mind is that carriers change their guidelines quite often, and it pays for you to comparison shop annually to see if there is something better out there.

Shop with an Expert: Shopping for car insurance online is quite popular these days, and this is one way to find a cheap deal. Nevertheless, for many, the assistance of an agent can be invaluable. An agent can help you decide how much coverage you need and see to it that you get the discounts to which you are entitled. In addition, it is best to work with an independent agent that has access to several different carriers. This way, they ensure that the agent is loyal to your best interests, rather than one particular insurance company.