Do you enjoy talking about insurance?
Does the thought of calling an 800 number to discuss worst-case scenarios excite you?
If you’re like most people, the answer is silence. Crickets.
With so many insurance choices, it’s easy to become paralyzed. The thought of switching car insurances – even though you have a hunch you’d get a better rate elsewhere – seems too overwhelming.
However, focusing on the money you can potentially save should be just the incentive you need to get started. That, and following these tips.
Follow them, and enjoy the result:
You. Kicking back and relaxing. Knowing that you’re covered, and you get to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with saving money.
Cheers to that!
What are your current rates and coverage?
How much are you currently paying, and what does it cover? Make sure you’re aware of all of that. Jotting down a quick note of all the pertinent details of your current policy is helpful, so when it comes time to “shop around,” you won’t accidentally get seduced into something similar.
How much insurance do you need?
Are you still paying off your car loan, or do you own your car outright? If it’s paid off, what condition is it in; what is the current value? You can check Kelly Blue Book to get an estimate.
If you still have a loan on your vehicle, you will need full-coverage insurance. The car technically isn’t yours yet, and having full-coverage protects the lending institution in case you total it, or it’s stolen, or something else unfortunate occurs and it’s damaged as a result.
If your car value is pretty low and you own it outright, full-coverage may not be a worthwhile investment. Over time, the extra amount you’re spending per month to have the full coverage can add up to more than the car is worth.
So, how do you know? Policy Genius recommends abiding by the 10% rule. The basis of which is this: If the premium you pay annually for insurance meets or exceeds 10% of your car’s market value, paying for full coverage may not make financial sense.
Do your due diligence, and decide for yourself.
Getting your docs together
Before you set about calling and finding what other rates are available, there are a few things the insurance company needs from you.
- Your information
This includes your driver’s license, your social, as well as other personal information.
- Your vehicle information
They’ll want the plate, vin, make, model and year, as well as current mileage.
- Your bank info
This will be used if you agree to automatic monthly payments
- Your driving history
Make sure to include any tickets and/or accidents. After running your information, they will see your accident history, so failing to disclose a fender bender that was deemed your fault won’t get you a better rate.
Finding your match
They all want you. They all want your money, that is. Insurance companies know that calling them and discussing potential rates with their agents is not anyone’s idea of a good time.
Many use this as a selling point, promising to let you know what your rate will be in the shortest time possible. You can find their contact information online. Another trick is to ask your friends or colleagues where they get their coverage, and what their rates are.
Sometimes, bundling all your insurance into one policy can help you save more. If you’re a homeowner, having home and auto insurance bundled, or renter’s insurance if you think it’s worth it, can save you money.
It’s convenient too, and much easier to keep track of everything when it’s all under the same umbrella.
Be mindful though. If they try and sell your renters insurance but it doesn’t make sense for your current situation, or if they try and coax you into signing up for something else that doesn’t apply to you currently, let them know you’re not interested.
Or take down the information and think about it first before deciding.
Switching insurances is a relatively easy and painless process. As is the case with many things, the hardest part may just be getting started.
If you are in an accident you want to ensure you are covered, and compensated if injured. Getting hit by a car, an Amazon or other type of delivery driver, can ruin your life. Being properly insured, and knowing how to proceed in case you’re involved in an accident where someone else is at fault, will save you from hassle and stress, and potential financial ruin.