Whether you drive a brand new car or a vehicle that has seen its better days, it is important to protect yourself and your possessions with the right auto insurance. Car insurance serves two different but equally important purposes, and it is important to understand what that insurance is really for. On the one hand, car insurance can pay for repairs to your vehicle in the event of an accident. On the other hand, car insurance protects you from liability in the event of a crash that is your fault. This liability coverage is particularly important if the crash results in injury to the other driver or one of the passengers. In many ways this liability protection is even more important than protection to your vehicle, since the dollar amounts involved can be much higher.
Know Your Needs
It is important, therefore, to determine your own insurance needs before you go shopping. The only way you will know whether or not you are getting a great deal is to know exactly what you need. Once you determine the level of liability coverage and property damage protection you need you will be able to evaluate each insurance offer you receive and make an intelligent and informed decision.
The level of liability coverage you need will depend on a number of factors, including the dollar amount of assets you own. If you own your own home you will need to protect your property with solid liability insurance. And if you own additional assets they will need protection as well.
Money Saving Tips
Protecting your car and everything else you own can be an expensive proposition, but there are some ways you can trim your costs without sacrificing the liability coverage you need. One way to protect your pocketbook as well as your car is to take advantage of any discounts to which you may be entitled. For instance, many insurance companies provide discounts for things that protect your car, including car alarms, anti-theft devices and airbags. In addition you may be entitled to discounts based on your superior driving record, as well as discounts for defensive driving courses and other ongoing driver training.
You may also be entitled to discounts if you keep your vehicle in the garage at night, or if your commute is a short one. It is always a good idea to ask the representative you speak to about any and all available discounts. If you do not ask about available discounts you may not get them.
Taking the limited tort option can also save you a lot of money, but it is important to understand the tradeoffs. Many states have instituted limited tort options for car insurance in an attempt to keep rates low and reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits. Choosing limited tort can save you money, but it will also limit your options in the event of a serious injury. Depending on the setup for your state, you may not be able to recover money fro pain and suffering, and your ability to sue the other driver may be limited as well. As with so many things in life, it is important to weigh your savings against the additional risk posed by the limited tort option.
Getting the lowest rate on the car insurance you need is not always easy, but by knowing what to look for you can increase the odds that you will get the best possible policy at the lowest possible price. Changing insurance companies can be a real hassle, so it is important to do your homework and make sure you truly have the best deal before signing on the dotted line.