Having auto insurance is a legal requirement, but it can be a heavy financial burden for many people. It pays to shop around when renewing your auto insurance, or taking out auto insurance for the first time. The good news is that the internet makes it easy to get quotes from numerous insurance providers.
People who are not computer literate should ask a friend to help them get online quotes. Alternatively, they could consider using the services of an insurance broker or agent. These brokers are specialists in helping people arrange their auto insurance . If you want to use a broker, there are some things you should take into consideration before placing your business with one of them.
Firstly, you should make sure that the broker is a truly impartial broker, and will genuinely look for the best deal for you. Some brokers may have agreements that tie them to a particular company. They essentially work as sales agents for that companys products. This means you may not be getting the best deal.
Secondly, brokers get a commission on every insurance policy they sell. This commission is paid by the insurance company, and not by the customer. If you arrange your insurance through a broker, your premium should be the same as if you arranged your auto insurance directly with the insurer. You should avoid doing business with any broker who wants to charge you a fee for his or her services.
Arranging your own insurance
If you decide to do your own research into auto insurance, you need to be sure that you are comparing like with like, and not just opt for the quote with the cheapest premium. There are many aspects that affect the quotes you receive. These include the level of cover and the excess or deductible. The excess or deductible is the amount of any claim that the insurance company will not pay. For example, if your excess or deductible is $500 and you make a claim for $600, you will only get $100 from the insurance company if it agrees to settle the claim. Generally speaking, the higher the excess or deductible, the lower the premium will be.
You should also be on the lookout for other restrictions on your auto insurance policy. Some policies may restrict you to driving within your own country. If you intend to drive your car to another country, you may have to arrange additional insurance for the trip.
You may also find differences in the benefits your auto insurance policy will cover. Some policies will provide a courtesy car if your own is involved in an accident and has to be repaired, while others will not. You can also find some companies offering recovery assistance in the event of an accident or breakdown, while others do not provide this service. As you might expect, the more benefits a policy provides, the more expensive it is likely to be.
All auto insurance policies have terms and conditions, and you need to read these carefully. In particular, you need to understand what conditions may lead to your insurance cover being withdrawn. To give an example, if you replace the engine in your car with a more powerful one, and you fail to notify your insurance provider of this change, your cover may no longer be active. There may be many other reasons why your cover becomes invalid. These could include convictions for motoring offences, such as driving while drunk, or failure to keep the vehicles certification up to date.
Many insurance companies offer their customers the facility to have the policy automatically renewed when it expires. When arranging your policy, you should decline this option. Online, this may be done via a checkbox, or it may be an option that is ticked by default on your paperwork.
While automatic renewal will ensure that you do not let your insurance cover lapse by forgetting to renew it, it will cost you money in the long term, as you will not be getting the most competitive rates.
I hope my post was helpful and now you know a little bit more about auto insurance rates , how and where to find them and what to look for before you sign the contract.