All car insurance is not created equal. Anyone who has ever dealt with a difficult insurance agency knows this to be fact. Unfortunately, most of the time it is only after a crash occurs that a driver realizes that their policy isn’t worth the paper it is written on. At that point, there is little that can be done. Consumers can however take proactive steps to purchase quality coverage before a collision or other insurance covered incident occurs. Although the process can be a tricky one, the considerations below are a great place to start.
What Do You Need?
Before even looking over a plan or requesting a quote, sit down with pen and paper and consider your personal car insurance needs. One of the errors that many drivers make is purchasing a cookie-cutter plan that doesn’t offer the coverage needed or even more common includes coverage that isn’t necessary.
For example, a driver with a second vehicle that isn’t driven daily might not need rental coverage and could save money by eliminating this expense. On the flip side, a driver with only one vehicle might need rental coverage so that in the case of a collision, he or she wouldn’t be stuck without a ride during the repair period.
Not sure you even know the types of things that are typically included in an auto policy? Take Geico’s How well do You Know Your Insurance Quiz to find out.
The Deductible Dance
After deciding on car insurance coverage, your next step should be setting deductibles. Many drivers never realize that the policy purchaser has control over the deductible amount. Just because the policy is set at 500 dollars, that doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. This is even true of policies that are already in effect.
Setting collision and comprehensive deductibles is a balancing act, a delicate dance between cost and coverage needs. If you choose a deductible that is low (i.e. $200-$500 dollars), you will be stuck with a higher premium. When a driver agrees to pay a higher deductible (usually 1,000 dollars or more) in the case of an accident, the monthly costs are considerably cheaper. However, coming up with this amount might be difficult to do on short notice.
So how does one decide? Ask yourself this question: how much am I willing to pay and more importantly, how much money will I have on hand if I had an accident next week? This question can put your deductible choices into perspective.
Skipping Out on Collision?
Surprisingly, many drivers skimp out on collision coverage and choose liability only. This is a risky move since even a small fender bender can cost thousands of dollars in repairs. However, there are times when opting out of collision coverage may be the smarter choice, like in cases where the car’s cash value is less than a policy deductible would be.
Another example is when the cost for monthly coverage is more than the risk. If your vehicle is worth $2,000 and the collision portion of your premium is $600 per year, collision coverage would be eating up 30 percent of your vehicle’s value on a “maybe” crash that might not ever happen.
Although auto coverage isn’t our specialty, specialists at Orlando Auto Body can help you determine what repairs would be covered after a collision occurs. However, we encourage our customers to be proactive and know the ins and outs of their policies beforehand so that the repair process can go as smooth as possible.