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10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy

1. What level of coverage is required by my lender. If you took out a loan to purchase your car, your lender may require a certain level of insurance coverage. It is important to know that level when looking to get a new insurance quote or policy. You should keep in mind, this is the minimum that they require, as you may decide to get a higher amount based on your personal financial situation.

2. Will you have a gap in coverage. When switching from one company to another, it is very important to not have a gap in coverage, as it can put you at risk and impact the rate you will be paying. You should know when your policy will lapse and make sure that your new coverage will be active before that time. You will also want to make sure that your lender has a copy of your proof of insurance if you switch companies.

3. Does your employer require a specific level of insurance coverage. Some companies will require that you have a minimum level of coverage if you use your car for work. Knowing this will prevent you from being in violation of your employer’s workplace policies. If you drive for Uber, Lyft or another driving or delivery service you should make sure your policy does not prohibit this.

4. What are my deductibles and can I come up with the money if I have to. You should make a conscious decision about what level of deductibles you will have, if you make a claim and a plan to come up with the money if you need to. It is not a sound financial decision to obtain a policy with a very high deductible, if you don’t have access to the money, should you get into that situation.

5. What discounts are available. When obtaining a new auto insurance quote, it is always important to ask what discounts are available so you can pay the optimal rate. Some companies offer numerous discounts but in order to get them you need to ask. You may need to ask several times to make sure that there isn’t any other available.

6. What forms of payment are acceptable and are there any discounts for paying all upfront. You should ask what payments options you have as not all insurance companies may accept your ideal form of payment. Many insurance companies will offer a discount if you pay for your policy upfront rather than in monthly payments

7. Does the insurance company offer other types of insurance. Insurance companies often offer discounts if you have multiple policies with them. If you rent, you should consider a renter policy or if you have a motorcycle, motorcycle insurance. If you have a need for multiple policies you might want to obtain the policies from the same company to keep your costs down and minimize the number of companies you have to do business with.

8. Will anyone else be using your vehicle. If someone other than yourself will be using your car, you should find out if your car will be covered and what will happen if there is an accident. Depending on the outcome, you may decide to add someone additional to your policy to make sure you are protected.

9. If you decide to get the state minimum coverage, in many cases just liability coverage, what would you do if you suffered a total loss. Many people do not consider the “worse” case scenario when considering to switch from one company to another. If you suffered a total loss of your car, what would you do for transportation. How would you buy a replacement.

10. What is the reputation of the company you are getting an insurance quote from. Are they easy to do business with. While no company is perfect, you should look at the online reputation of the company you are looking to obtain a quote from. You should consider that, along with your experience in obtaining a quote, before you decide to select a new insurance provider.