Twists and Turns of Auto Insurance

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By Frank N. Darras

Are you in the market for car insurance and don’t know how to navigate? In these times of single adult households (currently 13.7 million single parents), often the burden of finding the right car insurance falls on one set of shoulders along with many, many other decisions that affect the family income. Whether you are single, divorced or widowed, the weight of such decisions can be stressful to say the least. Often these decisions get pushed aside because insurance is confusing and time consuming. Let see if we can help steer you in the right direction.

The Car and Getting Quotes

The first thing to consider is the car. If you are purchasing a new car, avoid those in the high-risk range because they are stolen more often. If you already own a high-risk car, you might want to consider trading it in on something else or installing antitheft devices to decrease the high cost of insurance.

Now let’s talk about coverage. Most companies have standard deductibles that range from $250 to $1,000. You can decide how much of the damage you cause you want to self insure.  The higher the deductible the lower your annual premiums.

Standard automobile coverage is usually 25/50/20 which means $25,000 of liability coverage if only one person is injured in an accident you caused and  $50,000 total coverage no matter how many people are injured.  Standard property liability coverage is $20,000 for an accident you cause. Again, this is just standard. You can decide for yourself the amount of coverage you think you need.  Does your state or financial institution require you to have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage or carry liability or property damage limits greater than standard? Once you know the answers to these questions, make a list of the requirements and you are ready to search for comparable quotes.

Finding quotes through the Internet can save you a lot of time and you can search when it is convenient for you. Remember, the lowest cost may not be the best coverage so be careful to stick to your list. Recent studies show that 92% of people who insure their car, pay too much for the insurance, so cheap is also not necessarily bad. Make sure the policy gives you the coverage and protection you need and that your agent/broker has carefully and thoroughly explained how to use it if a loss occurs.

If the Internet is not your thing, choose at least three companies with good reputations for paying claims and get quotes from each.

Are you a Senior Citizen?

If you are a senior citizen, there are a few things you can do to keep your insurance rates down:

-Take a mature driver safety course. It can help you keep your insurance rates down and is a good refresher to help you keep your driving skills sharp.

-Make sure the vehicle you drive is right for you; not to big, has light-weight doors, adjustable seats that are easy to move, seat belts that are easy to get to, visibility is not restricted and a dashboard that is easy to read.

-Get regular checkups from the doctor to ensure your in good health and you are fit to drive.

-If there are particular times during the day that you are not comfortable driving, simply avoid those times and drive when you feel safe.

-If at any time you feel uncomfortable driving, don’t feel bad asking family or friends to help out.

-If you suffer from health problems, seek a doctor’s professional advice before driving.

Try to keep an open mind and keep your safety and the safety of others in the forefront of your driving decisions. Independence is important, but safety should always come first.

Company Cars and Personal Coverage

Do you have a company car? There are a few things you should know about personal use of a company car. Some personal use is allowed by most employers; a trip to the grocery or to Jimmy’s soccer game after work. Liability and personal coverage will more than likely cover anything that might happen, but make sure it does.

You are more than likely covered, but family and friends may not be covered under a policy insuring your company car. Make sure you know under what circumstances you aren’t covered driving your company vehicle.  Know whether your spouse or kids are covered if they have to use the car.

Company cars are a terrific perk so be sure you understand the rules.

For more information, visit www.darraslaw.com.

 

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