Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Education is key when purchasing auto insurance

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

At Blais Insurance, we understand that each one of our policyholders is unique. The insurance coverage you choose should perfectly match your needs, priorities and budget. As a Trusted Choice® independent agent, we have the knowledge and experience you need, coupled with access to the nation’s top-rated insurance companies, to shop for a policy that is customized to you.

Before purchasing auto insurance, there are several factors you should consider. It’s best to figure out exactly what you want from your auto insurance coverage before you compare policies.

Consider the following questions when you’re getting ready to shop for auto insurance:

1. How Much Do You Love Your Car?

If you truly love your car, then you will want it fixed perfectly—or replaced with the same model—if anything happens to it. That means you will need the widest range of insurance, including collision, comprehensive and glass coverage. However, if your car is older and you want to save on your insurance premium, you might consider purchasing liability insurance only.

2. How Much Do You Drive?

Do you absolutely need your car every day? Do you drive only 100 miles a month or closer to 1,000 or more? It is imperative that your policy reflects how much you drive.

3. Will You Be Using Your Car for Work?

If you use your car for more than just driving to work, and instead perform work tasks, commercial auto insurance is a necessity. A personal auto policy will not provide coverage if you utilize your car for deliveries, transport paying passengers, etc.

4. What Type of Car Do You Drive?

Insurance companies have access to endless data, which is how they arrive at your insurance premium. They know which types of cars, makes and models are more, or less, likely to incur claims. While a fully-loaded sports car may be more likely to be stolen, a mid-size sedan might not be. By the same token, you may receive discounts if your car has the latest safety features and a good safety record. Either way, your risk is reflected in your insurance premium.

5. Where Do You Live?

Where you live will impact your insurance rates. For example, cars parked on the street in urban areas face a greater risk for theft or vandalism, therefore you may want to purchase comprehensive coverage.

6. Who Else Will Be Driving the Car?

Generally, your car insurance will cover other occasional drivers. However, if other drivers live with you and use your car they should be listed on your policy.

7. What Are Your Legal Obligations?

Nearly every state requires that you carry minimum liability coverage for your car. At the very least, you need to make sure your policy complies with state mandates. However, to be safe, Blais Insurance recommends you purchase additional liability coverage. It is important to remember that if you are involved in a serious accident, you may be sued for a large sum of money.

8. Is Your Car Financed or Leased?

If you still owe money on your car or have to return it in good condition when a lease expires, you’ll likely be required to insure the car for its full value. Additionally, you may be required to purchase additional insurance for any gap between what you owe and the car’s market value. Collision and comprehensive will cover damage to your car up to its value, and supplemental gap insurance will cover the rest.

There are several other factors that are considered when purchasing insurance, including your age, gender, driving record, and credit score.

For more information on how you can find high-quality insurance coverage that fits your needs and budget, call Blais Insurance today at 725.0070.

With content provided by the Insurance Information Institute