What You Need to Know About Car Insurance
You've completed driving lessons in San Francisco, you passed your driving test, and now you're ready to get behind the wheel. But there's one additional important task you must complete before you can drive into the sunset: purchasing car insurance. There are several factors that go into determining an individual's rates—age, driving record, and chosen policy. Below are some tips to find and get the best auto insurance for your needs.
- Liability Limits: Liability is what protects you when you damage another person's property or cause another person injury due to an accident. The preferred limits established by insurance companies are 100/300/100. Often an insurance company will reward good drivers who keep the preferred limits with lower rates. Failure to have insurance coverage on your vehicle can result in hefty fines.
- Medical Coverage: Medical coverage is what protects you and your passengers when injuries are sustained in a car accident. This is becoming more and more important as primary health insurance coverage is covering car accident injuries less and less.
- Comprehensive: Physical damage to your car can occur in many different ways, not just from a car accident. Damage can come from fire, theft, vandalism, animals, or storm damage. Having comprehensive coverage means that you are protected, no matter what the cause of the damage is. Generally, comprehensive coverage is only required if there is a loan out on the vehicle.
- Collision: While no driver ever plans to be involved in a car accident, there is a high probability that at some point it will happen. Collision coverage helps to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle after an accident with another vehicle or an inanimate object.
Select a Deductible
Your deductible is the amount of money that you will be required to pay out of pocket when your vehicle needs repairs after an accident that is covered by your insurance. The higher the deductible you are required to pay, the lower your monthly premiums. When shopping around for car insurance, check different deductibles so that you can see how your monthly payments are affected.
If you're getting your own insurance for the first time, it can be intimidating. For young drivers who are leaving their parents insurance, start by talking to your parent's agent. They will have all your information, you'll only need to provide the year, make and model of your vehicle. Not to mention, when you use the same agency as your parents, you could potentially save money. Check to see if you can get a multi-car discount by coordinating your policy with your parents. A multi-policy discount can save you a lot of money and is one of the best discounts available.
Getting Coverage for the First Time
The best advice a new driver with no previous insurance coverage can get is to shop around. You'd be surprised by how much rates can vary from one insurance carrier to the next. In fact, most states allow insurance companies to charge a higher rate for insurance when insuring individuals who have not had prior insurance coverage. Generally, the higher "introductory" rate lasts for at least six months, after which it is a good idea to shop around for better rates.
Insurance can be expensive, especially for new drivers. Be sure to get quotes on insurance prior to signing the dotted line at the car dealer's office.
Name the Loss Payee
When you finance a vehicle, most states will require the lender to be listed on your insurance as the loss payee. This is to ensure that if anything happens to the vehicle, the lender gets their money back. When signing up for insurance, give your agent the name and address of your lender, and your agent will take care of the rest.
Once listed as the loss payee, any changes to your coverage, including, removing coverage, change your deductible, missed payments and your lender will be notified immediately. Lenders require to be notified of any changes to your insurance policy, as for most lenders it is a requirement as part of your leading agreement to keep full, comprehensive coverage on your vehicle for the duration of the loan.
Upon successfully completed driving lessons in San Francisco at Bill's Defensive Driving School and passed the state road test, it is important to know how and why you need to get auto insurance. Don't wait, upon purchasing a vehicle enroll in auto insurance as soon as possible, to protect yourself and your new investment!