Maybe you’ve bought your first car, or maybe you are a young person who needs their own auto insurance policy. Working with your insurance agent will be a big part of your buying experience.
Yet, this process also requires your individual input. By considering your unique aspects of vehicle ownership, you can help your agent create a strong policy.
Before You Buy: Understand that You Are Unique
Auto insurance policies are not uniform. Every driver and vehicle is unique, and they face exclusive operating risks. Therefore, each policy must meet the specific needs of individual drivers. When you look for coverage, it is best to work with your insurance agent to determine the best coverage for you.
When you work with an independent insurance agency, you may have a better chance of finding a policy that meets your coverage needs for affordable prices. Independent agents can often compare policy options from multiple insurance companies. By doing so, they can better help you pinpoint a policy and coverage levels that meet your specific needs.
Before You Buy: Know Insurance Requirements
Buying auto insurance isn’t just about choosing coverage levels that work for you. You often have lawful requirements when you buy auto insurance. Most states require policyholders to buy minimum liability insurance coverage levels to operate. Florida, for example, requires:
- $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
- $10,000 Property Damage Liability Coverage
For all licensed Florida drivers.
But, just because your state has coverage requirements, that doesn’t mean you should buy only the minimum coverage. If, for example, you have a major wreck, you may need considerable funds to repair the car or pay medical costs. The minimum state requirements may not cover all losses from an accident.
Drivers should consider investing in extra coverage that can better address their risks. This may include:
- Collision insurance: Can provide a payout when cars experience accidents.
- Comprehensive coverage: Provides funds in case a vehicle sustains damages unrelated to accidents. Covered damages may include those from fires, theft, vandalism, weather or other hazards.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage: A vehicle might collide with another driver who does not carry adequate insurance. This coverage may help the driver afford repairs when they cannot make a claim on another driver’s policy.
Car insurance may also provide roadside assistance coverage, rental car reimbursement and a variety of other options to help drivers prevent financial losses when vehicle damage occurs.
Determining How to Insure Yourself
Working with their agents, drivers can find coverage that best meets their needs. However, getting insurance often requires a degree of self-analysis. By taking a look at aspects of their own driving, policyholders may be able to better determine the coverage they need.
- Know Your Vehicle: Every car faces unique operating risks. Every care also has a unique price value. For example, a standard sedan will likely need different coverage than a four-wheel drive pickup. Most insurance agents ask for the market value of the vehicle. This value helps an insurer set the price of a policy. Drivers should also take note of any special modifications to the vehicle. Special features may add value or pose safety issues that increase the need for specific coverage.
- Determine How You Will Use the Vehicle: Most insurers ask drivers how they intend to use the vehicle. Some drivers may use their vehicles for a daily commute, while others only drive on certain days of the week. How you use your vehicle can determine how much risk you face on the road. You need adequate auto insurance to protect these risks.
- Check Your Driving Record: Your driving history likely plays a role in how much risk you face on the road. If you have a checkered record, getting a standard auto policy may become tricky. Drivers should be upfront about any driving violations in their past. The agent may then be able to adjust the policy accordingly.
- Know Where You Live: Location plays a big factor in how much you pay for auto insurance. It also may help you determine how much coverage you need. For example, if you live in a crowded, urban area, you may face a much higher risk of having an accident. Therefore, you may want to increase your coverage levels to reduce your cost risks in this area. While your policy may cost more with higher coverage levels, you may see smaller losses in the event of an accident.
Talk to your insurance agent about your budget for car insurance. He or she will help you analyze the risks you face to make sure you determine adequate coverage levels. Then, they may be able to help you find a comprehensive policy for the right price.
Do you need auto insurance? We can help you find a policy. Call Bouchard Insurance at 800.966.6481 for an affordable quote on a Tampa car insurance policy.