How to Choose the Right Auto Insurance – Part One

Before you hit the road in California you must have auto insurance and be able to prove it.

Like millions of insured drivers on the road, you pay a premium to an insurance company but, like most drivers, you haven’t filed a claim in years. But that’s how insurance works. If you’re involved in a collision, the insurance premiums you’ve been paying will take care of things – that’s peace of mind and it’s worth its weight in gold.

For people with web access the level of online competition between insurance companies is now to the point where “rate shopping” – comparing premiums on a variety of insurance solutions – has become convenient. You see the ads almost every day: it only takes 15 minutes to save, or even how you can get your price matched.

Is Rate Shopping Worth It?

At the touch of your fingertips, you can compare rates and coverage between companies. This puts insurance companies under more pressure to offer competitive deals. It’s important to know that the lowest premium rate does not give you the best possible coverage. Usually, a lower price means less coverage. In case of an accident, you don’t want your insurance to come up short.

That’s the benefit of Van Beurden Insurance. As a independent insurance agency, we can choose from a variety of insurance companies. You can count on a Van Beurden Insurance associate to help you make the right choice.

How Are Your Rates Determined?

Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors: your age, years of driving experience, where you live, the make and model of the car, what kind of safety features your vehicle has, and whether or not you have antitheft devices installed – all will factor into the premium you’ll pay for the particular level of coverage you choose.

What Coverage Do You Need?

The State of California mandates the minimum liability coverage you must maintain. Of course, these are only the legal minimums – they might not give you the coverage you need. You’ll have to decide what you want to buy beyond these minimums. Keep in mind that you are looking to find the balance between having adequate coverage and overpaying.

According to a national consumer magazine, a general guideline for adequate bodily injury liability limits is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, plus $100,000 for property damage. These amounts are what your insurance will pay to someone you are in an accident with – if you are found to be at fault. For uninsured motorist coverage, you should get the same amount as for bodily injury liability, as this covers your medical costs when someone who is not insured hits you.

Other Types of Coverage

It doesn’t stop there. Take comprehensive and collision coverage, for example. Comprehensive pays out when your car is damaged or lost due to causes other than an accident, such as vandalism, theft, or weather. Collision coverage will pay to repair your own car if you hit something.

Additional options include rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop being repaired. Roadside assistance coverage will pay to have your vehicle towed.

These options typically come with your choice of deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium you’ll pay for this type of coverage.

This is just the start. My next blog will explore how to get the best auto insurance to fit your needs and budget.

If you have any questions or want to talk more, feel free to contact me at (559) 634-7129 or bclyborne@vanbeurden.com.

 

Brigette Clyborne

bclyborne@vanbeurden.com