Best Auto Insurance of October 2020
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Auto insurance is one of those things that you hope you never have to use, but should always have just in case. However, even if you deem it unnecessary, you don’t have a choice in most states. The only two states that don’t require some form of auto insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia. Even then, for those two that car insurance is not mandatory, you still have to legally cover the costs of any damage caused by your vehicle, whether property damage or bodily injury, no matter if it was an accident. So, just because insurance is not mandatory, it could still be a good investment.
Summary of Best Auto Insurance of October 2020
Though you can’t choose to have car insurance in most states, what you can choose is your provider and range of cover. It is essential to compare auto insurance providers, as not all are equal, and you risk overpaying for subpar service and cover. Additionally, because there are so many terms that come with insurance, a bad company may try to catch you out with the small print, as a way to avoid paying up when the time comes. Luckily, the insurance providers listed are all great options, with coverage options that are sure to meet your requirements, whether you are looking for basic cover or a comprehensive package.
The Different Types Of Auto Insurance
You will almost certainly require basic auto liability coverage, with your state deciding the minimum limit that is compulsory. Auto liability coverage comes in two parts:
- Bodily Injury Liability – Bodily injury liability gets used to help cover any medical expenses for the other party if you have caused the auto accident that has led to their bodily injury.
- Property Damage Liability – Property damage liability, as the name suggests, does the same as bodily injury liability, but covers the costs of repairs to any property damage caused by an accident that was your fault.
You often have no choice as to whether you take out these two types of liability coverage. However, there are other forms of coverage that, though not mandatory in all states, might be a good idea. The five listed below are the main ones, though your insurance provider may offer unique additional extras that may or may not be of use to you.
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Both uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage are for your protection, rather than that of the other party. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from those who try to get away with not paying for insurance, by helping to cover medical expenses for bodily injury, and in some states, property damage. Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage, in that it covers you as opposed to the other party. In this case, it is for when the other driver has insurance but not enough to cover your costs.
Comprehensive coverage protects you from elements not covered on the standard auto liability coverage. Specifically, weather such as hail, theft, fire, and vandalism. The comprehensive coverage will help you cover the cost of repair to your vehicle or offer a payout equal to the actual value of the damaged vehicle. However, comprehensive insurance coverage does come with a deductible, which is an amount you have to pay before your auto insurer pays out.
If you are either in an accident with another vehicle or have an accident with a piece of property, such as a fence or building, collision coverage will help you cover costs associated with the repair of your vehicle. If you are taking out an auto loan to finance your car, the lender will nearly always require you to have collision insurance.
Medical Payments Coverage
If the insured vehicle is in an accident, and the people inside, whether yourself, your passenger, or another family member, gets injured, then medical payments coverage will help cover the costs related to any bodily injury. Medical bills can include trips to the hospital, x-rays, surgery costs, and other medical treatments needed to get you on the mend.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection is similar to the above medical payments coverage. However, it can also help cover other associated costs while you are out of action, such as child care, as one example.
When Is A Good Time To Get Auto Insurance?
As some form of automobile insurance is compulsory, you may not have much choice as to when you take out a policy. However, if you are one of the lucky few that can pick and choose, then there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you get the best deal.
- Age – Age is not a factor we can control, but it’s worth keeping in mind as it profoundly affects the auto insurance policy quote. A driver, say in their mid-twenties, can expect to pay, on average, $450 more than someone in their mid-thirties. A birthday can significantly change how much you will have to pay, with there being an average of $1000 difference between a 17-year-old driver and an 18-year-old driver.
- Driving Record – Your previous driving record is the best way for a car insurance company to assess your current driving habits. Major accidents or a significant speeding ticket can take up to 5 years to clear off your driving record, and it is at the point, when your record is clean, that you should start shopping around.
- Credit Score – You may struggle to find the relation between your credit score and auto insurance. In truth, your credit score is an excellent indicator of your trustworthiness. Your credit score is a direct indicator of how well you manage your finances, with a higher score being a sign of responsibility. Reports show that those with a poor credit score do tend to have more accidents. Work on your credit score to ensure a better auto policy quote.
Not all factors will fall to you, with the insurance company deciding the cost of their car insurance premiums at the end of the year. They do this as come December auto insurance companies know how many claims they have filed. If they have paid out more then they have collected in premiums, then prices will rise for the next year. With the opposite, if they come out on top. It is not guaranteed though you may getter a better deal at the end of the year.
What You Should Know Before Applying For Auto Insurance
With the above, you now know what different options you have and what you can do to lower your auto insurance premiums, to an extent. Once you are ready to commit to car insurance, there are some steps you should take to ensure you get the best experience with your auto insurance provider, both in the shopping process and for once you have settled on a decision.
How Much Coverage Should I Take Out?
The auto insurance coverage minimum will differ from state to state. Once you know how much you must have, you can work out how much cover you need and how much you can pay in premiums. If you are lucky, you may never have an accident, though you can never be sure, so your comfort with risk will also be a deciding factor on the deal you take.
Most auto insurers recommend that you have insurance cover at a 50/100/25 ratio. That’s $50,000 cover on bodily injury liability for a single person, $100,000 for multiple persons injured in an accident, and £25,000 to cover property damage liability. This ratio is a guide, with one of the listed car insurance providers able to give you an auto policy tailored to your financial means.
Take Note Of Your Current Situation
If this isn’t your first time applying for an auto insurance policy, then you should note the terms of your current policy. Doing so will give you a point of reference to compare. While getting your paperwork together, you should try and get hold of your current driving record, which you can get from your state’s DMV office. With that record in hand, you will be able to see how many tickets you have against you, and how long you need to wait until your record is clean again.
The above list of auto loan providers will be a great place to start when you start to shop around for car insurance quotes. It is best to shop around online, and you will need the following before you can do anything:
- Your current insurance policy (if applicable)
- Your driver’s license
- Your vehicle registration number
With those in hand, your first stop should be price comparison sites, as they have offers conveniently collected in one place, meaning you can get multiple auto insurance quotes at once. However, not all insurance providers register with such sites, so you should also take the time to find other auto policies and request a quote for them as well. You should try and get as many quotes as possible, which will give you the necessary information to pick the best offer around. Always remember, as with most purchases in life, that cheap car insurance will not always be the best option.
Further Research Your Top Picks
With your top picks together, now is the time to separate the best from the rest. There are multiple things you can consider to help you find the best option.
- The Price – With your desired coverage chosen, the price of the auto policy is a significant factor in your decision. To help lower the cost of your auto policy, you can opt for a higher deductible, though you will have to pay more if you ever have an accident.
- The Reputation Of Auto Policy Provider – Get online and read the reviews of your chosen insurance companies. If there is a trend of bad experiences among customers, then it is likely that your experience won’t be much better. If you have friends and family that have personal experience with your chosen companies, ask them too.
- Making A Claim – You are paying for a service, and if you are unlikely to receive that service, you should step away from that option. Reviews will be an indicator of that. The worst scenario when dealing with an auto insurance agent is if your claim gets handled slowly, or not dealt with at all.
- Additional Bonuses – Many car insurance providers can provide other incentives to entice you, and you should take advantage of this. Bonuses for drivers with a clean record, or accident forgiveness, which allows you to keep a clean driving record after an accident, are some examples. Some auto insurance companies offer other products, such as homeowners insurance, that you can combine into one package for a discount.
Give Your Quote One Last Look
Once you have considered the above, and have your final choice in front of you, have one last read-through of the potential policy. Does the price match what you got quoted? Are there any terms you aren’t clear on? If repairs are to be covered, will the insurer cover the cost of new parts or only use second-hand parts? Read the fine print and ensure the auto insurance package is as good as advertised.
Understanding The Terms And Conditions Of Your Auto Policy
As stated above, the fine print of your auto insurance policy is critical. However, not all terms are as clear as they could be. The list below will give you a straight forward explanation to some terms that you will encounter in your search for the perfect auto insurance policy.
Additional insured refers to another person also covered by your auto insurance policy. This person could be anyone in your household, provided they have a valid driver’s license
An at-fault accident is a collision in which a policy owner has caused a car accident. The bodily injury liability and property damage liability gets used to cover the costs related to damages caused by an at-fault accident.
The declarations page of your policy is where information relating to covered vehicle and person gets stored. Your address, names of the people covered by the policy, your car’s make, model, and reg and VIN, and any other relevant information is on this page.
The deductible is the amount your auto insurer will deduct from the total claim. If you need repairs that cost $2000 and you have a deductible of $500, your insurer will cover $1500 with the remaining $500 to be covered by yourself. A higher deductible will give you a lower premium, but you will have to pay more out of your pocket if you ever have an accident.
As the term suggests, the limit refers to the total amount your auto policy provider will payout.
Referenced multiple times above, the premium is the amount you pay to your auto insurance provider. The premium can be due once a month, every year, or every six months.
SR-22 Insurance Form
Your SR-22 insurance form is the official document that most states require to prove you have a sufficient level of auto cover. You get this form from the auto insurance provider.
Underwriting applies to all forms of insurance and is the term used for the process of an insurance company assessing potential customers before offering the terms of the insurance policy.
How Was This List Compiled?
You must have some form of auto insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for the first offer you find. The auto insurance providers on this list stand out from the competition. Some factors that helped the car insurance companies make this list include:
- Affordability – The average cost of the auto insurance rates provided by the listed car insurance companies are some of the best in the industry. Affordable prices are essential as you are paying for a service you will hopefully never need, and saving money is always a good thing.
- The experience of their customers – Auto insurance is there for a reason, and you can pay a lot of money for a service you might never use. If you do need to make a claim, you want that process to go as easy as possible, especially as having a car accident is stressful enough. The car insurance companies on this list have a record of processing claims promptly.
- Range of coverage – Not all car insurance companies offer all types of car insurance coverage. The ones on this list offer a variety of cover to ensure they can meet your insurance needs.
- Available discounts – The insurers on this list take into consideration a clean driving record, multi-policy purchases, and more. They are then happy to offer a discount if possible.
- Ease of Application – Even today, not all insurance companies are responsive online. The ones on this list are easy to reach and quick to respond to your inquiries. The quicker you can sort your car insurance, the sooner you can get on the road.
The Best Auto Insurance Of 2020 So Far, The Round-Up
Car insurance rates are the most crucial factor of an auto insurance quote, though they are not the only factor. With any form of insurance, you should look at other factors to ensure your chosen policy provider will give you a stress-free experience, if and when you have to make a claim.
The insurers on this list do just that by offering affordable services without compromising on the customer experience.