Don’t underestimate the importance of your car insurance policy. If anything goes wrong, you’ll need the right coverage to get your car back on the road and your life back on track. Unfortunately, people make a lot of mistakes when buying car insurance.
When shopping for car insurance, here are 20 things you should never do.
1. Don’t … Procrastinate. OK, we get it – car insurance shopping isn’t your favorite thing to do. But it is important, so don’t put it off.
2. Do Not Forget to Shop Around. You probably do a lot of comparison shopping before buying a big-ticket item like a car or computer. You should do the same with insurance coverage. You want to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for the best price, and the only way to do that is to shop around.
3. Don’t … Leave a Gap in Coverage. When switching from one policy to another, it’s important to make sure you’re never without coverage. Otherwise, you’ll run afoul of your state’s insurance requirements, which can result in major consequences like fines and registration suspension. If you have an accident during a coverage gap, you’ll be on the hook for the damages.
4. Do Not Compare Premium Costs Only. Auto insurance involves a lot more than the monthly premium. Make sure you’re looking at other aspects of your policy, too – like the coverage and service you’ll get.
5. Don’t … Forget to Ask about Discounts. The premium might not be the only thing that matters, but it DOES matter. You don’t want to pay more than you have to, so ask about discounts whenever you’re shopping for car insurance.
6. Do Not Assume You Can’t Get Good Rates. Maybe your driving history isn’t perfect. It’s a common problem, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable coverage. Rates will vary from insurer to insurer, and you may be able to bring your rates down by taking a driving class or letting your insurer monitor your driving to prove that you’re being safe.
7. Don’t … Pay a Lot When You Don’t Drive a Lot. You need insurance whether you drive a lot or a little, but you might not have to pay the same amount. If you don’t drive much, consider whether a usage-based insurance option might be right for you.
8. Do Not Lie About Where You Live. There are good ways to save money, and then there are bad ways that will come back to haunt you. When you give your insurer your address, make sure it’s actually where you live and keep your car. Otherwise, you could be accused of garaging fraud.
9. Don’t … Leave Drivers off Your Policy When They Need to Be Covered. When you apply for insurance, the insurer will want information on every driver in your household. Leaving someone who regularly drives your car off your policy could mean that person won’t have coverage.
10. Do Not Forget to Consider the Named Exclusion Option. Although you should disclose all drivers in your household, you may want to have a driver excluded. This can be a good option for high-risk drivers who would raise everyone else’s rates. Just make sure the excluded driver has coverage through a separate policy.
11. Don’t … Fail to Disclose Your Gig Work. If you drive for a company like Uber, Lyft, Instacart or DoorDash, you’re using your personal car for commercial purposes, and your insurance needs to reflect this. Otherwise, if you get into a crash, your claim might be denied.
12. Do Not Automatically Go with the Lowest Limits Allowed. Each state establishes its own insurance requirements, and this usually includes a minimum level of liability insurance. Many drivers get the minimum amount of coverage allowed, but if injuries or property damage exceed these limits, you could be on the hook for the difference. Consider going with higher limits.
13. Don’t Forget to Buy All the Coverage Types You Need. Many states only require liability coverage. If you cause a crash, liability coverage will pay for the other party’s property damage and injuries – but it won’t cover any injuries you have or any damage to your own car. It also won’t provide coverage for many other types of losses, like if you get hit by an uninsured driver, if someone steals your car, or if your car is damaged by an animal or storm. Consider buying additional coverage types, like uninsured motorist, comprehensive and collision insurance.
14. Do Not Buy Coverage Types You Don’t Need. You don’t want to be without coverage you need, but you don’t want to pay for coverage you don’t need, either. If you own an old car that’s not worth much, for example, you might decide against paying for collision and comprehensive insurance.
15. Don’t … Choose a Deductible You Can’t Afford. If you file a claim, you may have to pay a deductible out of pocket before the insurance company pays its share. In general, the higher the deductible is, the lower the premium is. This can make it tempting to choose a high deductible, but make sure you’ll actually be able to afford the deductible.
16. Do Not Agree to Premiums You Can’t Afford. If you don’t keep up with your premium payments, your coverage will be cancelled. If you can’t afford your premiums, talk to your insurance agent to discuss your options.
17. Don’t … Go Without Roadside Assistance. A crash isn’t the only thing that can go wrong on the road. If you have a flat tire or breakdown, you’ll need help. If you don’t have roadside assistance through another source, consider getting it from your insurance company.
18. Do Not Miss out on Other Perks. You probably think of car insurance as something you only use when things go wrong – but did you know that your insurance company may help you stay safe? See if your insurance company offers driving scores so you can make sure you – and your teen drivers – are practicing safe driving habits.
19. Don’t Leave Home Without Your Proof of Insurance. If you’re pulled over, you’ll need to show proof of insurance, so make sure you keep it with you. Some states allow drivers to show digital proof of insurance.
20. Do Not Put up with a Difficult Quote Process. There’s a lot to consider when shopping for insurance, but this doesn’t mean the quote process needs to be difficult.
With Jupiter Auto, you can get an online quote in minutes. Don’t wait another day to shop for insurance. Get your quote now.