Car insurance is an integral, yet expensive part of everyday life. However, it’s key if you value the state of your car and don’t have a wad of money sitting around to fix it yourself should any damage should occur.
So for the peace of your own mind, the preservation of your finances, and some would argue, your responsibility to fellow drivers on the road, you should probably get some form of car insurance. The world is a very unpredictable place, and you should always make sure you have a backup plan for unforeseen times.
So now that you’re still reading and on board with this whole car insurance thing, it’s time to get a quote. A quote is essentially what your insurance rate could be with a potential carrier. When getting a quote, there are certain documents you must have and certain questions you must be prepared to answer. To help you prepare, here are some things you should expect when you ask for a quote — or you may end up wasting both parties’ time.
Do You Actually Own the Car in Question?
This is important to insurers because it could actually determine what you might be paying for. If, for example, you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, you may have to end up covering comprehensive and collision insurance on top of what you would normally pay for liability insurance. On top of that, you may also have to cover gap insurance, as it pays for however much you owe on the car if it becomes damaged for any reason.
Approximately How Many Miles Do You Drive Each Day?
The DMV says this is one of the most crucial questions any insurer will ask you. They want to know how much you drive because that ultimately determines your probability of getting into an accident. To put this in simpler terms, if you’re on the road a lot, that increases your chances of damaging your vehicle, so you pose a greater risk to the insurance company themselves. So naturally, they will make you pay more because of this. Likewise, if you don’t drive that much, then you’ll end up avoiding those premium costs.
May I See Your Driver’s License?
Your driver’s license is the most important document for the insurance company, because it pretty much tells the company that you are eligible for car insurance. On top of that, your license is how your insurer can check your driving history to see how many accidents you’ve been in, or how clean your record is. If you’re lucky enough — or safe enough — to have avoided most accidents and haven’t made too many violations, that could reduce the cost of your car insurance substantially. If you’re the kind of person who has a lot of speeding tickets or fender benders, well, you’d better prepare your wallet.
Just a small note: if more than one person is driving the vehicle that is getting insured, you must also present the license of each additional designated driver.
What Kind of Car do You Drive?
This is a bit more complicated than just telling the company what make and model you drive. You will also need the VIN, which typically sits on the driver’s side of the windshield, or the driver’s door. Once you find your VIN, tell the insurance company. Insurance companies will not insure a car without knowing exactly what it is they’re insuring. The type of car you drive will largely determine what you’ll end up paying altogether.
Do You Use the Car for Work or in Business?
This could add another potential cost to your insurance. It’s one thing if you merely drive frequently on your own accord, but if you have to use it for business, that brings another factor entirely. As a result, you may have to pay for commercial insurance on top of what you’re already paying.
Who Currently Handles Your Insurance?
This is actually a bigger factor than you might expect. Depending on who your insurance company is at the time, that can influence the kind of quote you will get. This is largely due to certain industries picking and choosing the kind of people they want to insure. Some companies only offer coverage for drivers with clean records, others offer only to veterans (and people who currently serve in the military), and some specialize in high-risk clients. You could get a better or worse rate depending on your insurance company and what they specialize in.
When you finally get to the process of getting an insurance company to cover you, there are many things you have to be ready for. Just answer truthfully, weigh the risks, and compare car insurance quotes. Then just pick the one that fits your budget the best.
Photo Credit: David Hilowitz