The hard work is done, right? You’ve found an insurance agent you trust and discussed your car insurance needs with them. You’ve compared coverage rates, terms, and features and found a policy that meets your needs at an affordable rate. Finally, you’ve signed your contract and maybe even made your first payment.
Job done. Well, mostly. As we said, the complicated part is over. But you still have a few periodic responsibilities to keep in mind. If you do, you’ll always have the right coverage in place to meet your budgetary considerations and cover all of your family’s needs. Here’s how to get the most out of your car insurance.
1. Periodically Review Your Auto Insurance Policy
Your car insurance coverage needs can change over time. Is your policy keeping up? That’s what you want to determine by taking out, dusting off, and reviewing your policy on occasion.
For instance, you might have bought a liability insurance policy for minimal cost because your finances were strained at the time. But perhaps you’re making more money now. Or you have teenage drivers on your policy at this time, and you didn’t before.
The point is, when conditions change, it can be of critical importance to upgrade your coverage.
Using liability coverage as an example, it does little to protect your finances if you (or another licensed driver in your family) get into an accident that’s deemed your fault. While your insurance policy will cover the damage to the other car and bodily injury to others up to the limits of your coverage, it won’t pay for the damage to your vehicle.
That might have been sufficient coverage when you couldn’t afford anything else. But if your income has risen since then, or you have to add other (and perhaps less experienced) drivers to your policy, it might be time to think about upgrading to full coverage, so you have better financial protection. At least that’s something to discuss with your insurance agent.
2. Maintain a Safe Driving Record to Get the Best Rates
Did your insurance agent help you find the most affordable car insurance? That could all change if you drive recklessly. Accidents and moving violations can be a significant hit on a driver’s pocketbook. That’s because underwriters see such drivers as being high risk.
The reverse is equally true. Safe drivers — those without at-fault accidents and with clean driving records — are seen as being the best risks for insurers. They’re the drivers that insurance companies fight to keep.
That can mean lower rates over time. So drive safely and responsibly. Not only will that habit keep yourself and passengers healthy, it will also keep your insurance coverage affordable the next time you review rates.
3. Keep Your Coverage in Effect
How often will you pay your premiums? Monthly? Bi-annually? Whenever your premium is due, it’s probably not one of your favorite ways of spending a portion of your hard-earned income. That might be especially true if your budget is tight and you have a bunch of bills to pay.
It can be tempting to figure that paying your mortgage keeps a roof over your head, and the electric bill keeps the lights on, so those bills get paid first. Insurance? Let’s hold off a little longer.
However, if your car insurance lapses, it can cost extra to get your policy reinstated. That’s because you’re now considered to be a higher-risk client. So much for saving money. Of course, the situation gets much worse if you get into an accident and find that you have no car insurance because you let it lapse.
And don’t forget – most states keep a real-time database of information about new and lapsed policies supplied by insurance companies. If you get caught driving without insurance, it’s going to eat all that money you thought you had saved.
Bottom line, recognize the critical importance of maintaining your coverage when the premium comes due.
4. Carefully Store Your Insurance Agent Contact Information
As mentioned, circumstances change. Questions come up. Maybe you read your insurance policy and scratch your head in confusion. Or you sell or trade your car and wonder when and how you must transfer your insurance coverage from the old vehicle to the new one.
Sometimes you simply need an expert in a field in which you’re not expected to have much insight. That’s why you want to keep your insurance agent’s business card in your glove compartment, wallet, or purse. Or have your agent’s name and contact information in your smartphone’s address book.
If they are at the top of their game, your insurance agent wants to hear from you and is eager to provide answers. So don’t hesitate to reach out even while you have a policy in effect.
The point of all of this is that your car insurance policy shouldn’t be a document you stick in your safe or file drawer and forget about unless you have an accident. You should review it periodically and make changes when it’s necessary or advantageous.
Call Freeway Insurance or Shop Online Today
If you’re in the process of looking for car insurance — or looking to upgrade coverage for any reason — we’d love to hear from you. Call your Freeway Insurance agent, and let’s discuss your situation.