Car Insurance Clues
Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 12:59PM
Buying auto insurance is frustrating, confusing and stressful. Take the time to sit down and actually read your whole policy. There are tons of hidden provisions that can either help or hurt you. If you’re having trouble getting through the legal jargon, sit down and review it with your agent. Here are helpful things to consider when looking for a policy:
Your policy often covers more drivers than you think it does. In most states, your policy not only covers you, but any person that lives in your household permanently, whether that person is on the policy or not. So if your live-in partner takes your car to the store and it gets stolen, you’re still covered.
Your policy also provides liability coverage for any other vehicle you happen to be driving. This is more complicated, because while it covers the basic liability for any car you’re driving, it will not cover any physical damage to a car that’s not on your policy. That means you can borrow your friend’s car, rear-end another vehicle and your liability insurance will cover any damage that you cause to the other vehicle. But if your friend’s car gets damaged, your policy won’t cover damage to her car.
You’re probably going to get an automatic discount. Insurance is one of the few businesses where your rates depend on where you live, how old you are and your past history.
Women are cheaper to insure because statistics show that they get in fewer accidents and file fewer claims than men. The younger you are, the bigger the difference will be between your premium and that of a male driver your age. Women are also less likely to drive custom sports cars or huge SUVs, bringing their premiums down even further. To save even more, check with your agent to see if there are more discounts your can receive for taking a driving class or being a member of a sponsored organization.
Emergency roadside service is a must for all women. Running out of gas or having a flat tire on a dark, empty highway is the start of many a scary movie. According to the National Institute for Highway Safety, women are three times as likely as men to be assaulted or killed while having car trouble on the highway. There’s no reason not have some kind of roadside service. Often for pennies a day, you can have this lifesaving coverage on your policy. So the next time you run out of gas or have car trouble, you can just call an 800 number and have someone come out to help you, instead of braving the situation alone.
All car insurance policies are not created equal. Insurance agents can be just as hard to deal with as used car salesmen. High-pressure sales tactics and confusing jargon are issues that women have to deal with when they’re looking for a new policy. Often-times, we just assume that our coverage with insurance company A or B would be the same. That’s just not true. Required coverages differ from company to company, and from state to state. What may be standard with one company is not with another. When shopping for insurance, it’s important to do side-by-side comparisons. Any reputable agent will give you a quote in writing, detailing all your coverages and discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take your time figuring out what’s best for you.
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