Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent on car insurance, right? Almost every insurance company will give you an estimated basic quote without much hassle. All insurance companies have different basic insurance policies. Some companies will present a price much lower than other companies. You need to look out for what you are being offered though. Are you getting enough value for your money?
Deductible: The higher your deductible the less your premiums. Some companies may offer you a large deductible so that the price catches your eye. The deductible may be too large to make it worth even paying for the insurance.
Coverage: Obviously, there is the difference of liability, collision, and full coverage. However, companies will also have varying levels of coverage amounts within each of these categories. Some companies offer the state minimum while others feel the state minimum is not sufficient for anyone. These companies may offer a policy at a higher price, but it might be because they are offering a better policy. Ask what the “basic” policy is and what it covers, and go from there.
Replacement Value: Some companies have clauses that allow them to replace your totaled vehicle by offering you a percentage of the car’s worth. Some have begun offering the market value of a car one model year later than yours to ensure that you are not stiffed on your new car. However, others are trying to get away with paying as little as possible. There can be a distinct difference in how the company comes to the “market value” of your vehicle. Not only do you need to be aware of these clauses if you total your car, but also in small claims. If you have to have your vehicle repaired, will your insurance company pay for your rental car? What is your policy offering you in the event of a loss?
Service: Some companies pride themselves on quickly and cheaply getting you covered. However, those companies may be cutting their service in an attempt to get you a lower price. Those are great things until you wreck your vehicle. Do you have an insurance agent that knows your name? Are you going to be transferred in circles around the office until they find someone that is willing to spend the time to help you? Insurance companies are losing money when people make claims. Is your insurance agent going to be there to help you?
These companies may offer different policies and have different prices. Be aware of the details of the policies you are being offered, and make sure you are comfortable that someone will be there to help you when you need them. Shopping around isn’t all about price. It is about value.
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