You have to remember to keep up maintenance on your vehicle, you have to keep your tags up to date, and you also have to keep your payments up on your car insurance.
Whether or not you’ve ever had an accident, whether you’re a new driver or a seasoned driver, every state requires you to have some form of automotive insurance, and if you get pulled over without it, that’s just one extra citation on your ticket.
Why It’s Important
There are quite a few reasons why car insurance is important; possibly the best one for you being that, if you’re in an accident which was not your fault, the insurance of the person at fault will cover the repairs for any damages done from the collision, as well as any necessary medical bills for injuries caused. Without car insurance, however, you would be forced to pay those expenses completely out of pocket, and trust me, they are not cheap. You also never know if something is going to happen or not; even if you’re the most careful driver in the world, you can’t completely guarantee that everyone else on the road is as well, and having car insurance is just one way to make sure that you’re covered if something happens. In addition to these reasons, you also need car insurance because:
- That’s the law – I mentioned before that every state has a law about having car insurance. While not every state agrees upon what kind of coverage you must have, they are all in agreeance that not having it is punishable by law.
- It’s an asset – Your vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime, and it will be the way you get to and from any and all destinations efficiently, so car insurance protects that asset for you.
- Costs of accidents – We touched a little one this one before, but it’s important enough to reiterate that car accidents cost a lot of money, both due to medical bills and vehicle repairs, both for you and the person that hit you or vice versa.
- Legal protection – If you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault, without car insurance, the person that hit you can still sue you for damages, even if they are in the wrong. Car insurance works to provide a buffer between legal claims and your wallet, including your attorney to handle the lawsuit.
- Nature happens – Sometimes Mother Nature decides to step in and wreck things. Tornados, mudslides due to heavy rain, falling trees – if something damages your vehicle, car insurance is there to protect your asset and help you with any damage costs.
- Non-accident protection – This means that if your vehicle is stolen, vandalized, or otherwise damaged or destroyed by someone (other than you, of course – insurance fraud is illegal too), your car insurance is there to help. Some policies even offer breaks on insurance if you’re someone who regularly has to park their car on the street or parking garage.
It is also important to review your insurance policy pretty regularly for two reasons: You are able to make sure you completely understand the policy in its entirety, as each policy is different, and that you are updated as soon as any changes to your policy occur, as they are sometimes updated to include or exclude things that weren’t covered before. In situations which car insurance is needed, “I didn’t know” unfortunately won’t get you very far if something is no longer covered under your insurance, so really, staying up to date on it is protection and peace of mind for you.
How To Shop For Insurance
Now that you understand the importance of having car insurance, it’s time to start looking around at different companies and policies to decide what fits your needs. The first thing that will help you decide is knowing your state’s requirements for automotive insurance – don’t just trust your policy holder to give you the best insurance for your state; while they are there to help you, they are also salespeople, and they want you to just get a policy from them, so be sure to review everything in detail. I know it’s strenuous and boring to do, but it will protect you in the long run.
It’s also important to consider the type of vehicle you have, so you aren’t caught by surprise by the rates provided, especially since the rates are mostly based on statistics. For instance, “sports cars,” red vehicles, and your overall driving record (if you’re a seasoned driver shopping for a new policy, especially) will all effect how much your premium is. A sports vehicle will increase your rate, while a minivan or standard road vehicle will likely not make much of a difference toward your rate.
Make sure your insurance company has liability coverage. It’s not required in all states just yet – only 49 of them require it – but it will ensure that your car insurance will cover the cost if you are responsible for someone else’s injuries during a vehicle accident. It’s always best to purchase as much coverage as you can afford to make sure that you’re totally and completely covered in the case of…well, anything.
When looking for car insurance, it’s important that you don’t just whip out your checkbook for the first insurance company you talk to – shop around! As with nearly everything nowadays, there are so many different insurance companies to choose from with different policies to offer, and not all of them will have a policy to fit your needs. Some companies will compare their rates and policies to other companies for you, but if they don’t, it’s in your best interest to compare them yourself. Never assume that one rate for a service will be the same for every company – they can vary widely.
Finally, when considering a car insurance company, it’s important to meet with the agent before buying a policy. The internet makes it incredibly easy to shop and purchase auto insurance online or you can do it over the phone, but meeting them in person helps tremendously. This not only helps you to gain a personal connection with your insurance agent, but it will also help you to get straightforward and immediate answers to any questions you may have about your policy, which helps you to know what you’re getting into before you buy.
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