Auto Insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate, but if you know some basics, it can help save you money and get the most for your money. Some key things to have in hand when looking are:
- Your auto Make, Model and VIN (vehicle Identification Number)
- The type of driving you will be doing (Pleasure, Work or long haul driving)
- The area you live in
- Your car’s safety features
- Drivers license of all the people who will be driving the car regularly
With this information you will be able to get the most accurate pricing. It is also good to note the value of your car, if it has a lien (outstanding Loan), and if there are any preexisting damage to the car.
Most states require PL/PD coverage at the minimum. This covers you if you cause Personal harm to someone (Personal Liability) and / or Property Damage to another person’s property.
Other important coverage’s include Comprehensive (covers for everything that is not a car accident) and Collision (covers car accidents). It is important to know what your individual state requires by law. Failure to have that minimum coverage may result in penalties up to and including jail time.
Once you know the basics, be prepared to shop around for coverage. When getting prices ask about special discounts. Some discounts you might find are:
- Multi-policy (Home, Life, Health, other vehicles etc.)
- Good Driving ( Few or no citations on your driving record)
- Safety Features (Seat-belts, Air Bags, Theft protection, Accident warning systems etc.)
- Membership (Credit Unions, Professional or fraternal organizations, Social organizations)
Michigan is a ‘No Fault’ state which means that your car is repaired by your insurance so be aware of your deductible (what you pay of the damages out of pocket). Most of that may be recoverable through something called Mini-Tort, if you are not the at fault driver, so be sure your insurance company helps you with this.
When shopping around for insurance be sure to get recommendations from people you know. Even though the internet has reviews, these reviews are not always accurate. Companies are trying to keep bad reviews hidden and may have hired a company to make them harder to find.
Be sure to shop around and check reviews annually as the market changes and as with anything not shopping around may be expensive. I was recently reminded of that when the company I have been with for over 20 years gave me a very poor experience and after looking into other insurance for my 2 vehicles saved over $1,000 for the same coverage. I also checked reviews and found out my long time insurance company was not getting good reviews in recent years. The company I changed to has been getting much better reviews and since I had dealt with them in the past I went back.