Buying auto insurance for the first time can be a daunting process. Here, local agents have the expertise to guide you through the process.
Buying auto insurance for the first time can be a daunting process. It can be confusing to determine what type of coverage you need. By speaking with a local insurance agent, finding a quote, and doing some online research, you can choose which coverage is right for you.
Where Do I Start?
The best way to start shopping for auto insurance is to speak with a local insurance agent. They are insurance experts who can help you choose a policy that is the best fit for your needs. However, if you’d like to first shop for auto insurance alone, the best place to start is to look at your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.
Minimum coverage varies state by state. For example, Virginia drivers must maintain minimum coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury liability/death of a single person, $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury/death or two or more people, and $20,000 in property damage. Although each state has a minimum coverage requirement, it is often beneficial to purchase coverage above the minimum to avoid paying massive out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.
The next step is to get a quote. A quote gives you an estimate of your premium, which how much you will pay every month for your insurance coverage. You can obtain a quote by contacting a local agent or filling out insurance quote tools online. If you are filling out ‘get a quote’ tools for multiple insurance agencies, make sure you are using the same level of coverage each time so your price comparisons will be accurate.
Once you have selected an insurance provider, the final step is to contact a local insurance agent. They will explain what your policy covers, help you find discounts that can save you money, and walk you through the steps of completing the paperwork and purchasing your policy.
What Coverage Do I Need?
The best way to determine which coverage is best for you is by discussing your situation with a local insurance agent. There are several different coverage types, and your local insurance agent can help you determine which ones are best for you.
State Required Coverage
Liability: Liability coverage is split into two types: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury covers legal fees, medical bills, and lost wages if someone is hurt because of an accident you caused. Property damage liability protects you if you damage another person’s property with your vehicle. Having this coverage may help reimburse the affected party for their losses, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Although these coverages are optional in most states, your lender may require you to purchase this coverage until you have paid off your vehicle or ended your lease. It is always a good idea to check with your lender for any required insurance policies before choosing coverage. These insurance coverages do have a deductible, which is the amount you pay before your insurance helps pay for your claim, but you can select your deductible based on the affordable amount for you.
Uninsured motorist coverage: If a driver hits you with no insurance or low policy limits, this coverage can help pay for your medical bills and possibly pay for damage to your vehicle.
Collision: Collision insurance helps cover you in the event of a collision with another object or vehicle. It is often beneficial to purchase collision insurance that protects your vehicle’s full value to maximize the amount of your reimbursement if your car is totaled.
Comprehensive: This coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle in incidents other than a collision, such as theft, fire, vandalism, or natural disasters.
How Can I Lower My Premium?
There are many discounts available to first-time policyholders. This includes a multi-policy discount for those who bundle home and auto insurance, a new family discount for policyholders with children under six years old, and safety credits for more recent vehicles equipped with certain safety features. Your local agent can determine which discounts you are eligible for, ensuring that you get the best coverage for the lowest cost.
There are many insurance coverage options, but by doing some research and speaking with a local agent, you can find the coverage that is right for you. Rockingham Insurance is here to help with all of your auto insurance needs. Contact a local agent today to see the best insurance policy for you.