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Shopping for auto insurance is often a stressful experience. Many vehicle owners struggle to determine what type of policy they need and to choose the right levels of coverage. However, selecting the wrong policy and coverage can leave you vulnerable to uninsured claims. Knowing how to select the right policy for your family can not only bring peace of mind, it could save you significantly on your premiums.
There are a number of factors to consider in determining the right auto insurance plan for your family. You need to ensure that the policy meets the state minimum requirements, as well as the requirements of your lender if you have a lease or loan on your car. You also need to think about how many miles and where you drive, where your cars are parked both at work and at home, and how much you can afford in deductibles should a driver on your policy be found at fault for an accident. The number of drivers, as well as their ages and driving records, will also be a factor in deciding which policy is the best fit for your family.
Every state sets its own requirements for driver insurance coverage. For instance, Texas requires that drivers carry property damage and bodily injury liability insurance, which protects other drivers in the event you are at fault for an accident. However, there is no coverage for any damage done to your vehicle or injuries you might sustain. While carrying only this minimum insurance will allow you to legally drive unless you can afford to pay large medical bills and replace your vehicle with no insurance payout, you should consider adding other coverages. Most other states also require a minimum amount of liability insurance to protect other drivers, but those amounts vary from state to state.
If you have financed your vehicle, chances are your lender will dictate the minimum insurance they expect you to carry. This is designed to ensure that there will be adequate coverage to pay off your auto loan in the event of an accident that totals your car. You are responsible for ensuring that your policy provides this minimum coverage. In most cases, your lender can force you to pay off your total loan if you have inadequate insurance coverage. As part of your search for the right policy, you might consider adding gap coverage, which pays off your auto loan if the insurance settlement is not enough.
Drivers Covered by the Policy
The number of drivers, their ages, and their driving records will be important factors in finding the right auto insurance policy. Insuring teenage drivers is generally more expensive, as young, inexperienced drivers tend to cause more accidents. The same is true if any driver in your family has had speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, although those typically no longer affect insurance rates after three years. Some financial experts recommend considering a policy exclusively covering your teen or problematic driver, which will still be expensive but may keep your total insurance premiums at a more affordable level.
Deductibles and Premiums
Affordability is often one of the driving factors in choosing an auto policy, with the premium being the most important consideration. However, you should also consider the level at which to set your deductibles, the amount you will pay toward the cost of any damage or repairs in the event that you are at fault for an accident. It may be wise to pay a higher premium in order to avoid having to come up with a large sum of money immediately following an accident. Both factors should be part of the decision when selecting the best auto policy for your family.
Although there are many options for purchasing auto insurance online, getting the help of an experienced insurance agent can make it easier to select the right policy for your family. A Spring, Texas insurance agency will be happy to review your situation with you and help you make the best choice to meet your family’s insurance needs. The agent can also help make sure you are getting all of the discounts and credits to which you are entitled.