February 4, 2015
Things to Know When Shopping for Car Insurance
After you buy your next used car at The KEY, you still have some work to do before you can drive your new car legally. Specifically, you’ll need to get your new used car put on your car insurance plan. However, getting a new car is also a great opportunity to shop for a better plan and save yourself some money. Here are some handy tips to getting the best deal on your plan and making sure you have the coverage you need.
1: Know Oklahoma’s Minimum Coverage
National insurance firms sell a huge number of policies, all with different coverage levels and requirements. However, if you buy an insurance plan for your Oklahoma used car that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, it’s about as useful as not having any coverage at all. If your minimum coverage doesn’t meet the requirements set by the state, you could be sued and held liable for the difference.
In Oklahoma, you’re required to hold at least $25,000 of bodily injury and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage per person, with a per-incident maximum of at least $50,000. That might seem like a lot, but when you combine medical bills, property damage, emergency transportation, towing fees and more, it can run out fast.
For most people, it’s better to carry more coverage with a lower deductible in exchange for a slightly higher premium. You’ll have to do the math to see what you can afford, but remember that cheap insurance with a high deductible can cost you big if you do get in an accident. It’s best to keep your deductible at an affordable level and budget your monthly payments.
2: Know What Your Coverage Gets You
Just like different coverage plans have different payments, they also cover different things in case you’re in an accident. Understanding what each plan covers will help you get a better deal when you’re shopping. For instance, you should understand these terms:
Comprehensive coverage: Coverage that will pay for damage to your vehicle due to non-crash events, like a break-in, hail damage, or hitting a deer.
Collision coverage: Coverage that only pays for repairs when your car collides with another vehicle or a qualifying object. Collision coverage is more restricted than comprehensive.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: If you’re involved in an accident with another driver and they don’t have insurance, your insurance will cover bodily injury damages that you would be legally entitled to.
Medical coverage: Coverage that helps pay for medical benefits and procedures after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Towing and Labor: Coverage that pays for a tow company to tow your car to an auto repair center or tow yard after an accident.
Rental car coverage: Coverage that pays for a rental car for your use if your car needs repairs after an accident.
3: Know Your Driving History and Information:
When you’re shopping for car insurance, you’ll have to provide the insurance company with information about your driving records such as any accidents you were involved in, if you were at fault in any accidents, and the number of speeding or traffic tickets you’ve received recently (among other things). This information is very important for you to know, since it will directly affect the rate you get for your insurance.
Keep in mind that you should always provide the most accurate information you can, even if it involves telling the insurance agency about accidents or tickets. The chances are good that they will find out about any incidents even if you don’t tell them; however, they’ll probably charge you a higher rate if they uncover an incident themselves rather than hearing it from you.
4: Know What Discounts You Can Get
One of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for car insurance is forgetting to ask about discounts. Car insurance companies often offer a huge range of discounts to customers in an effort to draw in new people and keep current clients. Fortunately for you, these discounts can also offer you substantial savings – but only if you take advantage of them.
Some of the most common car insurance discounts include:
- Discounts for paying your policy in full
- Discounts for putting more than one person on your policy
- Discounts for bundling your auto insurance with other property insurance, such as your home or rental policy
- Safe driving discounts
- Low mileage discounts
- Student discounts, including discounts for completing a driver’s education course or getting good grades
- Discounts for paying your policy online or automatically rather than sending checks each month
If you want to take advantage of these discounts, you’ll have to ask your insurance agent if you qualify for them or what actions you’ll need to take. They’re certainly worth the effort, though.
Interested in learning more tips and advice for dealing with used car issues? Visit us today at The KEY! Along with our Oklahoma City used car sales we offer several programs for our customers, including credit and life counseling, so you can make the most out of the money you make. You can also get lots of great advice on our Facebook page – check it out!