7 Steps to Buying Auto Insurance

 7 Steps to Buying Auto Insurance

Shopping for auto insurance can be a daunting task. With so many different local insurance agencies vying for your business, it is hard to know where to start. Just like everyone else you want to get the right amount of coverage for a reasonable price. Knowing where to start and how to find the best rate may take some time and research, but it will save you in the long run.

Step 1: Check Your Driving Record

One of the first things to do is obtain a copy of your driving record. This will let you know what, if any, tickets, accidents, and points are on your record. Think of your driving record like your credit score or GPA, the better your record the more you get from it. If you do have accidents or tickets, check to see how long it will take for them to be wiped from your record. Going to traffic school may expedite the process of repairing a damaged driving record, so see what steps you can take to help you buy the best Long Beach auto insurance coverage.

Step 2: Know What Factors Affect Your Insurance Rate

Several other factors besides your driving record can affect your insurance rate:

*Where you live: Some areas are higher risk than others.

*Your age and gender: Insurance companies may raise or lower rates depending on age and gender.

*Use of vehicle: The amount of miles put on a car in a year can increase your rate.

*Type of vehicle: Coverage for a sports car will likely have higher rates than a sedan or mini-van. Likewise, more expensive vehicles usually cost more to insure.

Step 3: Determine How Much Coverage You Need

California state law requires you to have liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum amount of coverage is 15/30/5 which breaks down as follows: $15,000 for one person injured, $30,000 for multiple people injured, and $5,000 for property damage. It is best to consult a reputable auto insurance company to determine how much coverage is right for your situation.

Step 4: Check for Optional Coverage

Collision coverage will pay to repair your vehicle when an accident occurs. Comprehensive will cover your car if it is damaged by many other events such as vandalism, theft, flood, and fire. Both of these coverages are subject to your deductibles. Rental reimbursement coverage will pay the cost of a rental car if your own car is stolen or becomes disabled due to a covered loss.

Step 5: Shop Around

One of the most important steps to buying auto insurance is to shop around. Do some research-including asking family and friends for recommendations-to find a reputable independent agency that is best for you. The advantage of working with an independent agent is that he or she will do all of the work for you and provide you with multiple quotes and coverage options.

Step 6: Ask About Discounts

Insurance companies often advertise their low rates and perks for good drivers. Aside from having good driver discounts, there are also other discounts that can be applied to your auto insurance coverage. They include having multiple vehicles and policies with the same carrier, anti-theft devices, safety features, and many others.

Step 7: Thoroughly Review Your Policy

After you have selected an auto insurance broker and have come to terms on the right coverage for you and your family, read the policy carefully before signing it. An insurance policy becomes a binding contract once signed, so you may be putting yourself at risk if you don't understand the terms and conditions. Always avoid "cut-rate" insurance agencies that may renege on the contract in the event of an accident or other damage.

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