7 Steps Toward Purchasing An Auto Insurance Policy

Man sitting in front of a computer smilingStep 1: Choose a way to purchase your policy
You can buy an auto insurance policy directly from an insurance company or through an independent broker. If you work with insurance providers, you’ll need to contact each one for quotes. An independent broker will have you fill out just one application, and they’ll pull up several quotes.

Step 2: Decide how much coverage you need
When choosing a policy, you can opt for maximum coverage, the minimum required by state law or any amount in between. Here are the primary categories of auto insurance coverage:

  • Liability coverage includes coverage for bodily injuries, property damages or auto damages to another motorist if you’re at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damages and losses to your car that were not caused by another driver.
  • Personal injury protection covers medical bills for you and your passengers if you’re in an accident.
  • Collision insurance covers damages to your car if it’s involved in an accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection pays for damages caused by another motorist who does not have sufficient coverage.
  • Gap insurance pays the difference between what you owe on a financed or leased vehicle and what it is valued at when there’s a total loss of the vehicle.

Step 3: Determine your risk
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you have a higher risk of being in an accident or of your vehicle incurring damages:

  • Do you spend more time behind the wheel than the average driver?
  • Are you financing or leasing your car?
  • Do you drive in high-traffic areas?
  • Will any of your children be driving your car?

Step 4: Fill out (an) application(s)
Be prepared to supply the following information:

  • The year, make, and model of your car
  • Your driving history
  • Your marital status
  • Your education
  • Your employment status and history
  • Basic information about everyone who drives your vehicle
  • The ownership history of your car

Step 5: Get your quotes
Your quotes will include several options for the deductible and premium amounts. It’s best to find a plan that offers the highest deductible you can afford along with the lowest premiums.

Step 6: See if you qualify for a discount
Any of the following factors can help you qualify for a cheaper plan:

  • Your vehicle has safety features.
  • You’re a military veteran.
  • You’re a well-performing full-time student.
  • You have an excellent driving record.

Step 7: Choose your policy
After you’ve compared several plans, you’re ready to choose a policy. Be sure to pay your premiums in a timely manner and to keep your insurance identification card in your vehicle at all times. If you’re involved in an accident or the victim of theft, contact your insurance provider immediately.