How Seniors Should Shop for the Best Car Insurance Rates in 2020
Car insurance is one of those things everyone needs, but most of us dread having to deal with it. And for good reason! There are too many auto insurance options out there, from different companies to different plans.
There are added difficulties and nuances when seniors start looking for the car insurance best for them. Insurance rates can start increasing when you turn 60, so it might take even more effort to find a plan that will protect you, but won’t be too expensive.
If you’re looking to shop for the best car insurance for yourself, an ideal place to start is with some comparison shopping.
With this guide, we’ll take all the questions out of comparison shopping and give a simple step-by-step method for getting the best results.
Get Your Information Together
Before you even start looking at different quotes, you’re going to make sure you have all the information you need on hand.
Most auto insurance companies make it simple to get a free quote, but they’re more than likely going to ask for the same information over and over again. So, you might as well have it on hand before starting.
Some of the items you’ll want to have before starting to compare car insurance rates include:
Your Personal Information – Make sure you have your address, year and date of birth, as well as when you want your plan to start. If you’re insuring multiple people on one policy, have the information for everyone you’ll be including in the plan.
Your Vehicle Information – Keep your title on hand when comparison shopping for auto insurance. You’ll need the make, model, and year of your vehicle, as well as its mileage and how frequently you drive it. If you have multiple cars you plan on insuring, make sure you have records for all of them.
Driving Record – In order to get the most accurate insurance quote, you’re going to need to know if there are any tickets still on your driving history. Because tickets or other violations can steeply impact your quoted rate, it pays to see if you have anything on your history or if it’s fallen off.
Your Credit Score – Not all car insurance companies run credit checks, though most do check specific aspects of your credit. However, to get the most accurate quote while comparison shopping for car insurance, you’re going to want to at least know your credit score range.
By getting all these details together before even starting the buying process, you’ll have less of a hassle when it comes to comparison shopping.
Decide What Insurance Coverage You Need
There’s no point in paying for more coverage than you need for your car. One of the biggest benefits of comparing auto insurance before making a purchase is you get specific dollar amounts for the coverage you want. This allows you to make a fully informed decision.
There are six basic coverage types when it comes to car insurance. It’s important to have a basic understanding of each so you’ll know what, and how much, to include in your policy.
We’ve broken down the six main types of coverage so you can decide which ones best suite you.
Liability Insurance Coverage – Bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage both fall under the general liability term. This coverage protects you from claims of others against you in the case of an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Sometimes included in liability insurance, uninsured or underinsured coverage pays out to you if you’re injured by someone without liability insurance.
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage – This type of coverage protects your car from damage not as a result of an accident. Often required by those financing their cars, you would be protected from things like objects hitting your car, vandalism, or theft with comprehensive insurance coverage.
Collision Insurance Coverage – As the name suggests, this form of car insurance covers your vehicle if it crashes with another object, whether that be another car, a guardrail, or a tree.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers the medical costs of you and any passengers in your car post-accident.
Some states require personal injury protection if they have no-fault laws. Check to see what laws your state has when considering whether or not to purchase PIP coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage – An optional version of PIP, medical payment coverage assists in any hospital bills you or your passengers experience after an accident.
As your comparing insurance rates, make sure you know any requirements by your state. If you’re leasing or financing your vehicle, there may be other insurance requirements to consider.
Decide How Much Coverage You Need
Now that you know the specific types of car insurance coverage available to you and what you need, it’s time to decide how much coverage you need.
Deciding on the amount when it comes to car insurance can be a bit tricky. You want to be completely covered if you’re in an accident, but you don’t want to overpay for coverage you won’t use. Before making your decision, the final step in preparing to compare and buy auto insurance is to get a general dollar figure for your needed coverage.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding on the amount of coverage you should purchase for your car.
Any Set Requirements – Sometimes you simply don’t have a choice in what coverage you purchase. There are two major factors that could force you to meet specific insurance requirements: Your State and Your Cars Financing.
The first consideration when deciding how much coverage you need for your car is if your state has any set requirements. All states have a set amount of liability coverage you’ll need to purchase before hitting the road. Some states require additional minimum coverages for PIP or uninsured motorist insurance.
A quick search for the minimum car insurance requirements for your state should give you a starting point.
The second consideration for insurance requirements is determined by whether or not you’re financing or leasing your car. If you’ve purchased your car in full, great! If you haven’t, you may be required to purchase a very specific type of insurance.
Most lending and leasing companies require at least comprehensive and collision coverage. Check your lease or purchase papers to find out the policies you need to follow to properly insure your car.
The Actual Value of Your Vehicle – Car insurance companies will only pay out the current worth of your car if it needs to be completely replaced. Because this limit is often a very specific number, it’s important to know how much your car is worth, so you only cover it for that amount.
It makes no sense to pay for a larger insurance claim than you’ll ever get back.
How Much You’re Able to Pay – No matter what combination of insurance types you decide to get, you’ll need to pick a deductible amount. This is especially important as you move into retirement and have to live on a very set budget.
Before comparing rates, seriously consider how much you’re able to cover if you’re in an accident. If it’s not a lot, go for a lower deductible, though this will result in higher monthly payments. If you can pay a higher deductible, it’s worth eating the cost to have lower monthly rates.
The Worst Case Scenario – Finally, you want to think about what other ways you’re covered as you shop for car insurance.
In the worst case scenario, where you or a loved one are injured, does your health insurance cover an extended hospital stay? If you were to perish in an accident, would your life insurance cover any added costs from the accident?
You also need to make sure you’re protected if you were to cause an accident and someone were to take legal action against you.
While it’s never easy to think through the worst case scenario, doing so before buying your auto insurance will give you a clear plan for what you need to purchase.
Gather and Compare Car Insurance Quotes
Now that you’re an expert on car insurance, have all your information in one place, and know exactly what kind of insurance you want, you can start gathering and comparing quotes.
The good news is all the hard work is behind you!
Every car insurance agency looks at different information in order to create their quotes, which is why it’s so important for you to collect quotes from multiple agencies. We recommend looking at three or more companies in your area before making a final decision.
A good place to start would be the top four car insurance agencies in the country at the moment. These agencies are:
- State Farm
As you gather your estimates, make sure every quote is for the same amount of coverage. You also want to make sure the quotes have the same deductibles and levels of liability protection.
Once you have all the numbers in front of you, you’ll be able to make an informed choice.
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