Whether you are looking to buy a new car insurance policy or already have a policy, car insurance is something that most of us would rather avoid. After all, it costs money and is one of those services that you hope you will never need to use. Further, car insurance policies can be complicated as coverage for several things depends on the type of policy you purchased and the decisions you made at that time. Sadly, many people make simple mistakes when buying insurance for their vehicle that can end up costing them in the long-run. Fortunately, if you can identify these mistakes, you can avoid them. This article describes 4 costly car insurance mistakes that you should watch for and avoid.
Only Shooting For the Minimum
Each state mandates the minimum amount of coverage that you need in order to comply with that state’s laws. Many people, in trying to save money on their monthly premiums, make the mistake of buying only enough insurance to meet these minimum requirements. While complying with the law is important, buying only the minimum amount of coverage can expose you to larger expenses if you are involved in an accident that results in a lot of damage. If you do not have the resources to pay for potential out-of-pocket costs in the event of a major accident, consider purchasing coverage beyond the state minimum
If you purchase a policy with tiny deductibles, you may not need to pay expenses for each minor scratch or door ding your car receives (up to the amount of coverage). However, keep in mind that carrying a very small deductible can be very costly over the long-term because you will pay a higher premium each month. So, while your next scratch may be covered because of your tiny deductible, the higher premiums could erase those savings over time. Secondly, having your insurance company pay for each dent or door ding your car receives could impact their willingness to offer you coverage in the future. Consider carrying a higher deductible on your car insurance policy and save the money through lower premiums.
Not Taking Your Umbrella
Car insurance carriers usually offer umbrella policies that can protect you from a devastating financial loss due to excessive damage as a result of an accident for which you are at fault. For example, assume you buy a policy that covers up to $50,000 of damage sustained in an accident for which you are at fault. Your car goes into a person’s home, causing $200,000 worth of property damage. Without an umbrella policy, you would be liable to pay the $150,000 in excess of the amount covered by your car insurance policy. This can be devastating to most people. Consider buying an umbrella policy to avoid such potential financial impacts.
Not Shopping Around
This is one of the easiest things you can do to save money on your car insurance policy. Believe it or not, people often do not compare the policies and rates of several companies. Some simply buy coverage from the same company their parents have always used. Others buy coverage from the company who had the best television commercial. You need to compare the policies and rates offered by several car insurance carriers to know if you are getting the best deal possible. It only takes a little time and can save you a lot of money long-term.
Buying a car insurance policy does not have to be complicated. Simply follow the tips above to avoid some common costly mistakes. Consider buying more coverage than the state minimum, raising your deductible, buying an umbrella policy and comparing rates from several carriers. If you do those things, you can save yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars over the years.