How To Insure My Car
We can help when it comes to choosing the right insurance company and setting coverage limits. We’ve outlined the steps here.
Car insurance is a necessity if you own a vehicle. U.S. laws require drivers to have a minimum level of car insurance and having it is a good idea since it can protect you financially in case of an accident.
The two main ways to buy car insurance are directly from an insurance company or from an independent insurance marketplace like Policygenius.
You can compare quotes from many insurance companies at the same time when you use Policygenius.
As a result, you’ll save time and money in the insurance buying process since someone will be available to answer your questions and help you find the best coverage for the lowest price.
How Much Coverage Do You Need
The most important part of buying auto insurance is determining how much coverage you need. A typical policy might include:
- Car insurance that offers liability coverage covers the costs you incur when you cause an accident, including when you damage someone else’s property.
- The state-mandated liability insurance is divided into bodily injury liability (BIL) and property damage liability (PDL).
- If you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, medical and rehab expenses are covered by personal protection.
- Losses due to injury are also covered by personal protection.
- If you’re in an accident caused by someone without insurance or whose policy is not able to cover the entire amount of damage, motorist coverage takes care of the costs.
- Accidental damage to your own car is covered, regardless of who caused the accident.
- When you total your car, this pays you the difference between its actual cash value (ACV), which includes depreciation, and the amount you owe on a car loan or lease. You don’t have to make payments on a car you no longer have.
Then there are additional coverage options, like roadside assistance or new car replacement coverage, that can be added for an additional cost.
Each state has minimum car insurance coverage requirements. Your state’s minimums are a starting point for determining coverage, but often they’re too low to sufficiently cover you in the event of a major accident.
In order to be fully protected, we recommend drivers carry at least $100,000 of bodily injury liability insurance coverage per person and $300,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.
Comprehensive and collision coverage are optional, but they can be valuable protection for your car.
When you buy car insurance for the first or tenth time, you’ll need the following details:
- Identify the names, birthdays, and license numbers of all household drivers
- All drivers in the household must provide their Social Security numbers
- All vehicles should have VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) or make and model years
- You should provide an address where you live and where you store your car (which is often the same place)
- You may wish to keep your most recent automobile insurance declarations page if you have it.
The process involves answering questions that can help earn you discounts on your car insurance, such as whether you have any accidents or violations on your record, whether you are a full-time student, and whether your car is equipped with certain features like an anti-theft device.
You’ll also set your coverage amounts — called limits — when you apply. It’s generally a good idea to have high coverage limits for the necessary coverage types, but the higher your limits are, the more you’ll pay.
You’ll also have to choose deductible amounts for your comprehensive and collision coverage.
When you get a quote, some optional types of coverage may automatically be included that you don’t actually want or need, so look carefully at your options.
If you have third-party roadside assistance, like AAA, for example, you don’t need roadside assistance on your car insurance policy too.
It may be tempting to simply choose the company with the best price, but do your research on the different providers.
If Carrier A’s claims satisfaction ratings are substantially higher than Carrier B’s, that extra cost could be justified.
Not sure which company to go with?
Check out our list of the best car insurance companies and our reviews of individual carriers to learn more about your options before you sign a policy.
If you file a claim on your comprehensive or collision insurance, you agree to pay more out-of-pocket. A higher comprehensive or collision deductible reduces your premiums.
Select A Policy
You need to get insured as soon as you have compared quotes and chosen a company you are comfortable with.
Buying a car insurance policy involves:
- Setting a start date for your policy.
- Paying your first premium.
- Setting a start date for the policy.
In general, you’ll receive proof of coverage and some kind of welcome package from your insurer, which provides information about how to access your account and where to view your ID cards and policy declarations.
Cancel Old Policy
Wait until after your new car insurance is in place before canceling your old one if you’re shopping for car insurance to replace a current policy. To avoid gaps in your coverage, ensure that you don’t leave any.
If you do so, you will want to set the cancellation date of your old policy and the effective date of your new policy on the same day.
There’s no need to worry about overlapping insurance policies on a given date since policies begin and end at 12:01 in the morning.