Know your Car Insurance Policy

If you have a car, you likely carry car insurance (or at least you should). Unfortunately, many people don't put the proper amount of thought and planning into the purchase of an auto insurance policy. They typically walk into a car dealership and fall in love with a particular vehicle, and once they decide that they must have it, everything else becomes secondary. If they're required to buy car insurance, they'll either take a policy that the car dealership sells or call a company they've used in the past or one that a friend or family member recommended. Most of these people don't even seriously consider the particulars of the plan; they just want coverage so they can drive that new car off the lot.

Needless to say, this is not the way to go about it. Car insurance is a very serious purchase, and the type of coverage you get could make a big difference in whether you're able to fix or replace your vehicle if you're ever in an accident. If you know that you're going to be in the market for a new car, you should complete your car insurance research before you even begin paying visits to the local dealerships.

First, you need to know what's required in your area. Many states have different rules and regulations for car insurance coverage. The information won't be difficult to find. If you already have an insurance company in mind, simply call them and ask; if they're licensed to provide coverage in your state they'll know what's required. You'll also be able to find this information at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or online.

Next, compare rates. With today’s world of Internet research, comparison shopping of auto insurance policies and prices is relatively easy. Most people have a pretty good idea of the type of car they want before they begin shopping. The more you can tell the insurance company about the kind of car you're thinking of purchasing, the more accurate their quote to you will be. Some cars cost more to insure than others, and rates will increase accordingly if you'll be purchasing one of those vehicles. You'll also want to find out about any discounts that are available. Many insurance companies offer discounts for various safety features that your car may have, such as air bags, anti-lock brakes or theft-deterrent systems.

Finally, consider your deductible choices carefully. The higher the deductible you go with, the lower your policy's premium will be. Many people initially look for low deductibles, reasoning that they don't want to be stuck with very much of the bill if they're in an accident. After all, that's why you have insurance, right? However, by choosing, say, a $500 deductible as opposed to a $250 deductible might drop your monthly premium payment from $145 down to $125. Over the course of a year, you've recouped the difference.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to buying car insurance is to be prepared. Do your research. Know your options and look for all the ways that you can lower your premiums while still maintaining the coverage you need.

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