1. No Preparation
Before you rush into the market and ask for some quotes, please prepare all the necessary information and write them down on a piece of paper. The data may include personal information such as age, address with zip code, profession, car model and year, etc. Some companies will even require credit score and driving history information. Depending on where you live, please check with local DMV regarding the minimum liability coverage required for every driver. It prevents you from purchasing the wrong coverage and waste of money. Deductible also plays a major role in determining your premium fee. High deductible usually means low premium fee and the other way around. You have to prepare to answer the question before you ask for quotes and make proper comparison between them.
2. Not Comparing Quotes
Some of your friends probably recommend you to purchase insurance from certain company. It can be a good idea as long as your friends have not had any trouble with the premium, claim process, customer service, etc. It is still unwise, however, to choose insurance company only based on someone else’s recommendations. The best thing to do is to contact as many companies as you can and ask quotes from every one of them. Most insurers now allow you to ask for quotes online, and the entire process only takes 10 minutes or less. Use the printed version of the quotes to make a proper and careful comparison. The total cost of the estimate from company to company is more or less the same, but the little details can make a huge difference that separates the bad and good insurers, for example, discounts, payment method, the use of credit score to determine price, etc.
3. Leaving Discounts
All insurance companies have discounts for customers. There are plenty of different discounts available including for senior driver, active military personnel, good student, and safe driver. Discounts are provided for those who took defensive driving courses, bundling other types of insurance, and more. The total amount of price reduction by the discounts can be quite significant saving. The requirements for eligibility can be different from company to company, but you can always ask questions about it to an agent. Try to do the necessary requirement to be eligible and save good amount of money.
4. Leaving All Concerns to Captive Agents
One of the worse car insurance mistakes to avoid is using a captive agent to decide and recommend what is best for you. Please put in mind that captive agent works for insurance company and the agent most likely receives commissions for every sale. It leads the agent to strongly persuade potential customer to purchase insurance from a particular company which is also the agent’s employer. In most cases, captive agent’s opinion towards the insurer will be biased since the only motivation is to make sales instead of customer’s satisfaction. An independent agent is more dependable since he/she works for you, not any insurance company. The agent’s knowledge about insurance and all related issues can be really helpful resources for you to consider everything before making a choice. An independent agent works for the benefit of customers. Such agent may cost you money, but you are free to negotiate the price for the services.
5. Paying in Installments
In some cases, paying in installments is an easier way to manage your monthly expense. However, the total additional cost is probably too much compared to paid-in-full option that installment is not even worth the gap. There is also an administrative cost for breaking down the payment. If possible, please pay in full to save money. It may sound contrasting, but it is indeed the cheapest way to pay insurance premium.
6. Not Choosing a Reputable Carrier
Price is always an important consideration when purchasing insurance. It is not a cheap expense, yet you can make sure that you put your money in the right place if you choose a reputable insurer. Prices of insurance coverage are competitive in the market, and it leads insurers to reduce premium cost to stay in the competition. The bad thing is that certain insurers offer very low price merely to attract buyers without really emphasizing on quality of services. To avoid purchasing from such insurer, you may want to take a glance at insurance company’s rating by independent researcher online such as A.M. Best and J.D Power. They rate insurers based on many factors, for example, financial strength (it shows the ability of a company to pay claim, etc.), customers’ satisfaction (purchasing and claim experience), and more.
7. Not Updating Personal Information
This is one of the common insurance mistakes to avoid. Your life changes over time. Any information used by insurance company affects the premium. Also, you can be eligible for certain discounts as years go by. For example, you get married, have one of your children listed as a driver, you move to a new address, you have a new profession, and so on.