Whether buying car insurance for the first time or looking to replace your current policy, know what you’re getting. One of the biggest mistakes we see when dealing with car accidents, is lack of coverage. The following are five tips to consider when buying insurance.
Tip #1 Know the Types of Coverage Available (Mandatory and Optional)
While it’s imperative to know which types of coverage are required in West Virginia, it’s just as important to learn about optional insurance.
Residents of West Virginia are required to carry:
- bodily injury liability;
- property damage liability; and
- bodily injury and property damage uninsured motorist coverage.
Tip #2 Understand What Affects Premium Rates
Everyone wants a good deal. To get a good deal on car insurance, a basic understanding of what factors could inflate your premiums will put you ahead of the game. Some of the most common are age and gender. As you get older, your rates generally decrease, however other factors may impact what you pay.
Tickets and accidents affect your driving record, which in turn affects your rates. These items will generally stay on your record for on average of five years. Keep this in mind so that you don’t make a silly mistake and suffer insurance rate hikes.
Tip #3 Avoid Being Underinsured
Although keeping premiums low is an important goal for most drivers, make sure the coverage you have is adequate. A serious accident can result in a significant financial burden if you’re underinsured. Increasing your limits generally does not affect your premium significantly, however it will be of great help if you are in an accident. Purchase as much insurance as you can while staying within your budget.
Tip #4 Get a Number of Quotes
Shop around and get a free quote from several different companies. Ask if each company provides discounts, such as for a good driving record or teen drivers with a high grade point average. With the increase in competition, insurance companies offer a wide variety of discounts. Shopping around can be easy when you utilize the many resources available to you on the web.
Tip #5 Look at the Insurance Company’s Track Record
Make sure the insurance company:
- is financially sound;
- provides good customer service; and
- has a proven track record of fair claims handling.
There are different online sources that can help. You may find helpful information from the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner website. But don’t forget to ask family and friends for recommendations, as personal experience can be valuable. Most insurance companies you see all the time on the television and internet are sound, however a few miscalculations by their accountants can affect their stability.
The Miley Legal Group offers free insurance reviews. If you would like to speak with someone about your policy and what options you should consider, feel free to get in touch with our office. We look forward to helping you.