What Every Driver Should Know About Auto Insurance
As far as exciting things go, auto insurance never ranks too high in the list. Except for insurance agents, those droves of suits that jabber about acceleration clauses and negative amortization (practically a foreign language, right?), the rest of us only consider insurance when we, a. pay our premium, or b. are in an accident/collision. But, there are some nuggets of knowledge concerning auto insurance that even the everyday driver should consider. After all, the insurance industry is not going away anytime soon, so as responsible adults we might as well know what we’re paying for, and why.
Truth: It’s best to shop around for insurance.
There are hundreds of insurance providers in your state, each competing against each other for your business. To prove my point, search “auto insurance” using either Google or Yahoo’s search engines. Not only are there a number of major insurance providers for teen and adult auto insurance (State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, Geico, ING, etc.), but also there are literally droves of smaller agencies and independent insurance agents. And what’s more is that, basically, everyone is selling the exact same product. There is no such thing as “cheapo” or “classy” auto insurance—what matters is how reputable the firm and/or agent is which you purchase the policy from. So shop around for the best price before you settle on a policy, because it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars simply by doing your homework.
Truth: It pays to consider what payment option you will choose.
Once you have settled on both an auto insurance provider and a suitable policy, it is important to consider how you will pay your premium. Most insurance providers offer flexible payment options; for example, you are given the choice to either pay your premium in monthly installment payments, quarterly payments or twice-annually payments. But, that flexibility comes at a price—the more you break down your premium, the more it costs. A small fee is attached to both monthly and quarterly payment plans, therefore it may be easier to pay, but it’s also more expensive in the long run.
Truth: Policy owners can receive discounts on their premiums.
That’s right folks! But this is not something that you will hear from your insurance agent or even from your insurance company. Just like with many other services consumers pay for, all it takes is a phone call or a fifteen-minute visit to the service provider’s office to request a small discount in fees. It doesn’t work every time, but when it does it means more money in your pocket. And all it takes is just a little time from your day. In fact, it’s a good idea to request a discount about every six months—after all, the worst thing that could happen is “no!”
Truth: With a little budgeting, it’s easy to save money on your premium.
“How?” you ask? Simple. By raising the amount of your deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket when you file a claim) you will lower the amount of your premium. But, there is a catch: It’s crucial that the deductible amount you set is an amount you can pay in a single, lump sum.
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