Whether you are just getting off of your parents insurance policy and onto your own, or you are an adult obtaining your own auto insurance policy for the first time, getting the best car insurance for your situation is extremely important. Knowing how auto insurance works, the various policy options and the discounts available will help you get the best policy at the best rate.
First-timers generally face the obstacle of lack of driving experience. This can lead to higher rates so be prepared. But there are ways to keep costs in check by taking advantage of discounts and performing periodic reviews of your insurance. As long as you remain accident free, you should see your rates come down over time.
The most important step you can take is to understand auto insurance so that you receive quotes for the policy that fits you best. An auto insurance typically contains six separate and distinct parts. Some are required by law and some are optional.
Overview of Auto Insurance Coverages
The first two items are part of auto liability insurance. This pays the expenses for injuries or vehicle damage for which you were found to be at fault. Other coverages are recommended but are not required by law.
- Bodily Injury Liability – Pays for injury to a person, caused by the policyholder.
- Property Damage Liability – Pays for the damage to someone else’s property caused by the policyholder.
- Medical Payments – Pays for the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s vehicle.
- Collision Coverage – Pays for the damage to your own car caused by a collision.
- Comprehensive Coverage– Pays for damage to your own car caused by factors other than a collision. For instance, theft, vandalism or fire.
- Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist – Pays for the treatment of the policyholder’s injuries in the case where the other driver does not have insurance, or is their coverages do not cover your injuries.
Know Your Discounts
There are lots of discounts available for auto insurance. Be sure to ask about:
- Safe Driver
- Good Credit
- Good Student
- Certain Group Memberships
- Certain Occupations
- Multiple Vehicle
- Vehicle Alarm Systems
- Electronic Statements
It can be both exciting and stressful to obtain your first car insurance quotes and compare auto insurance rates. Knowing the specifics of policies and what you are getting for your money is the first step to peace of mind once you hit the road.