Rising fuel prices significantly affect the cost of owning a car. Something most people don’t consider is that you can considerably reduce your vehicle’s operating expenses by finding affordable auto insurance. It is vital that you evaluate the various components of the insurance policy to obtain the right value for your money.
Ways to research available options for car insurance
Check rates among insurance providers on an annual basis
Compare insurance rates among insurance companies to ensure you get the best offer. You can visit state insurance departments to learn about available services. You can also compare insurance provider offers by checking their websites to save some time.
Settle on reputable insurers
Check whether an insurance firm and their services have been rated. Rated companies provide quality services, and you can feel more comfortable about considering establishing a policy with them.
Conduct reviews on liability coverage to ensure the plan covers bodily injury and damage to property proportionate to a level of risk you are comfortable with.
Find more about crash repairs
Check to determine that your insurer would not send you to repair garages that fix your vehicle using cheap parts instead of using original manufacturer parts. Even though these parts might be a perfect fit, they are probably of low quality and won’t last long.
When a cheap insurance plan might make sense
Type of vehicle and its usage
You can opt for a cheap insurance plan if you own an ordinary vehicle that would have modest repair costs and has a minimal chance of getting stolen. Additionally, if you rarely use your car, it might make sense to get a cheaper insurance plan since your chances of making an insurance claim after an accident are lower.
Area of residence
The probability of being involved in a road incident, and consequently being in need of making an insurance claim for your car, varies from one region to the other. If you reside in an area with relatively few road incidents, it could be reasonable to cover your vehicle with cheap insurance. For example, it could be an area where it rarely rains or snows.
It could make sense if you are an experienced and mature driver to cover your vehicle with a cheap policy. However, you should have a good driving record for insurers to agree to provide you with a lower policy premium. Your chances of being found at fault after an accident are lower if you have no accident history. Keep in mind that the driver who is at fault is held responsible for repairs to the other car, so you won’t have to worry about accidents you don’t cause.
You have never filed big-payout claims to insurers
If you have never made large-payout claims to your car insurer in the past, it could make sense to get a cheaper insurance plan. Most of the time, people with premium insurance plans do not make use of the extra features that are included, such as towing and recovery. Generally, the insurance firm covering the driver who was at fault covers these services for them instead.
Disadvantages of having a cheap car insurance plan
A cheap insurance plan generally only covers the basic requirements in the event of an accident. If you are at fault for an accident, you may have to foot charges on towing and recovery for the other person, renting a replacement vehicle for you and/or them, and living without an income in the event of permanent disability after an accident.
Poor Customer Service and Claim Processing
Cheap auto insurance may not provide quality customer service. The company might not have an online presence, making it necessary to physically visit their office when making a claim, which could be an unnecessary waste of time. Many companies offering cheap car insurance are start-ups that might have a longer processing time for your claims to be settled. This could be due to financial challenges or even just a lack of standard operating procedures.
Comparing a cheap car insurance plan to a more expensive one
You should consider the extra benefits made available to you in an insurance plan, even if they come at a higher price. Premium car insurance plans have additional benefits such as personal accident coverage, rental reimbursement, and roadside assistance riders, among others.
Insurer’s reputation and financial capacity
Find out the reputation of the insurance company for claim settlements. Look out for things such as how long it takes before compensation is made, the kind of customers being served by the company (individuals vs. businesses, luxury car owners vs. modest car owners, etc.), and amount of payouts to customers.
You should also consider the insurer’s soft skills and how they handle their customers. Check whether the insurer has a social media presence and how they respond to customer queries and complaints.
You should consider the deductible amounts you would be responsible for in the event of an accident. You could choose a plan with lower monthly premiums and higher deductibles that covers fewer situations. Alternatively, a plan with higher monthly premiums and lower deductibles might cost you more to insure but covers all costs when you need to file a claim.