Tips for Car Insurance Holders

Wondering if you’re getting the rate you deserve? Make sure to review the following factors. Times may be difference since you’ve bought your policy so read on to make sure you’re receiving relevant coverage!

1) Drivers Covered

Since you bought your policy, there may be more or fewer drivers in your home.
Talk with your agent if any of the following changes have occurred:

  • You got married or divorced.
  • You’ve moved in with a roommate, or your roommate has moved out.
  • Someone formerly on your policy is now deceased.
  • Your teenager started driving, or your child bought his or her own insurance policy.

2) Vehicles Covered

If you bought a new car with the help of an auto loan, your lender likely made sure you have the right kinds―and amount―of coverage.
However, if you bought a vehicle with no financial assistance, or your vehicle has gotten old, you might not need the same types and amounts of coverage than if you bought a new vehicle. For example, most lenders require collision and comprehensive for loaned/leased vehicles but those coverages may not make sense if your vehicle is no longer worth much.
Talk with your auto insurance agent about the best car insurance coverage for you and whether downsizing your policy is a good idea.

3) Coverage Types

Your car insurance policy must meet your state’s minimum requirements for coverage (or you must have an acceptable alternative, if your state provides one). However, you may want to add more coverage than is legally required based on your risk tolerance.
For example, you might want to:

  • Add collision and comprehensive coverages if you bought a valuable car (most lenders require these coverages) or added a teen driver.
    • NOTE: You might want to get rid of those coverage types if your car’s getting older and its value is declining.
  • Add emergency road assistance coverage if you or someone in your family (say, a college student) started traveling a lot.
  • Add gap insurance if you just purchased or leased a vehicle, or drop the coverage if you paid off your loan or no longer lease.

Talk with your agent about any changes in your vehicle(s) and drivers to find out if there are any coverage types you should have―or no longer need.

4) Claims Processes

Even if you’ve never had an auto accident, understanding your car insurance provider’s claims process is crucial.
To refresh, sit down with your policy paperwork and read up on how your provider handles claims. Or, visit your provider’s website; many include instructions on how to file car insurance claims and even systems to allow you to file online. Of course, you can always contact your agent, too.

5) Income Changes

The more money you make, the more coverage you might want to purchase; the less money you make, the less you may need. For example, if you don’t have enough car insurance to cover the other driver’s damages, your assets may be sought in court to cover the rest. In a major accident, large assets such as your home, can be at risk.

6) Discount Status Changes

Have you (or your teen) taken a driver training or driver’s education course since you first bought your policy? Has your number of annual miles decreased? Did you install any anti-theft or other safety devices?
These are just a few of the common types of auto insurance discounts most providers offer.

7) Other Coverage Needs

Have you purchased a home since you bought your auto insurance policy? What about a motorcycle, boat, or RV? Most car insurance providers offer multi-line discounts, which means you could save money if you insure your home and/or any other vehicle you own through the same company.