Shopping online for car insurance can make anyone feel like a genius. But while you feel like a genius, the opposite may be more likely. In a world where getting quotes can take 15 minutes or less, drivers need to beware of finding themselves with less than adequate coverage in exchange for lower premiums. Before you take the plunge into a new policy, make sure you are prepared to make an informed decision.
Don’t Let Your Coverage Lapse
You may be tempted to take your time when shopping for car insurance. While there is nothing wrong with being tactical about your coverage choices, your first priority should always be preventing a lapse in coverage. Letting your old policy expire before renewing it or choosing a new one can have serious ramifications. To start, you put yourself at high risk of a significant loss if you are involved in an accident. Secondly, a lapse in coverage of even one day can result in higher rates in the future. Finally, if you get caught driving without insurance in Wisconsin, you could face fines of up to $500.
Know Your Deductible
When comparing online car insurance quotes, you will be offered multiple deductible options. Often, policies carry two deductibles – one for comprehensive claims and one for collision. Keep in mind that the deductible is the amount you must pay out of your own pocket before insurance will cover a claim. The more you are willing to pay, the lower your premiums are likely to be. Just make sure you choose a deductible you can easily afford.
Know Your Coverage Needs
How much do you stand to lose in a lawsuit? If you haven’t thought about that question before, this is the time to do it. Your car insurance is designed to reimburse you for your losses after an accident, as well as protect you from expensive litigation if you are at-fault for someone else’s losses. Since a $100,000 liability limit would not be enough to protect the $300,000 you have in home equity, or future earnings, consider increasing the limits on your policy and perhaps supplementing it with an umbrella policy. Remember, it is never a good idea to accept insufficient coverage in exchange for short term savings.
Ask for Discounts
Once you have your quotes, don’t shy away from asking for additional discounts. While many insurers build in certain rate reductions, such as those allocated for a safe driving history, others are less obvious. For example, some insurers offer discounts of an additional 10 percent or more off a for drivers who complete safe driving courses. Others feature special savings for people who also purchase their home, condo or renters policies from the same company.
Create a Point of Contact
Possibly the most overlooked thing about buying a policy online directly from an insurance company is that you are on your own. Who will be your go-to source for help when you have questions about your policy or need help choosing coverage? Online car insurance quotes may be fast and convenient, but they are no substitute for the assistance of a local independent agent. Keep in mind that there is a reason insurance agents must be licensed – they perform a service that is necessary and irreplaceable.
With companies like Thiel Insurance Group, you can have the best of both worlds under one roof. We offer online quote requests, as well as the professional advice of an independent agent that is committed to putting customers first – not the insurance companies we represent. We represent many different insurance companies. Regardless of which one you choose, you can trust we will be there to help you every step of the way.