While insurance companies abound in the modern age, this field, and auto insurance in particular, is a complicated topic for most people. Buyers are often confused by the various choices and deals available. There are a number of aspects to take into consideration when purchasing auto insurance in Raleigh, NC, and most people put prime importance on the facet of competitive prices. Indeed, while price is a key factor in determining one’s insurance company of choice, it is advisable to look into other points in the process of making a final decision.
Begin by examining who is the car owner and primary driver. If the primary driver is a first time driver with a limited budget, options offered by insurance providers include joining a family auto insurance plan, discounted plans based on completion of driver’s education and certain companies offer discounts based on how well the driver does in school. There are also discounts for car features (security systems or anti-lock brakes), multiple cars, and auto insurance bundled with homeowners insurance. The higher deductible you have the lower the premiums, but you should consider if you can afford that deductible out-of-pocket.
Type of Car
Naturally, the more expensive the vehicle, the more it costs to insurance, but there are other factors that can make a car have higher auto insurance rates such as theft rates, the cost of repairing the car, and the bodily injuries sustained in that car when in an accident. The Insurance Services Office collects data and rates cars based on actual statistics, insurance companies then calculate the rates they charge based on this information. Reviewing this information before you buy a car could keep you from purchasing a car with very high insurance rates.
The State Minimum Liability
Most states mandate minimum liability coverage, and North Carolina is no exception. The minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 Bodily Injury for every person, $60,000 total Bodily Injury for all individuals in an accident and $25,000 for Property Damage. These minimums exist to help buyers of auto insurance avoid litigation. Since medical costs and car repairs continue to go up, you should review your other assets when reviewing liability coverage. If the expenses after an accident exceed your insurance coverage you can be sued for the difference – that means your home and personal belongings. You may want to have additional coverage to protect those assets. If you have no assets to protect, then the minimum coverage is all you need.
Auto Insurance Company Ratings
The financial stability of an insurance company is extremely important because you want to know that when you do file an insurance claim, the insurance company will be able to pay. Standard and Poor’s issues ratings for all major insurance companies based on the company’s financial ability to meet its insurance obligations. The ratings are issued like school grades – AAA to D. AAA is the highest rating and means the company is strong financially and able to repay all debts. D is the lowest rating and means the company has defaulted on some financial commitments. Choosing a highly rated company will mean your premiums will not go to waste and the company will be able to pay any claims you have.
After you have determined the type of car, the primary driver, how the car will be used (daily commuting or only occasionally), the deductible you can afford, and the liability coverage you need, then request quotes from different insurance companies with an S&P rating of AAA (or at least A). Commercial ads will tell buyers that each company offers the best price and the best coverage, and potential buyers are often quick to buy into these claims without doing the research.
Insurance providers often have an online quote calculator on their websites to simplify the process. It is best to compute and compare as many quotes as possible for one’s personal reference. Stick with the guidelines that you have assembled and don’t compromise by reducing the amount of coverage you want because a company has bundled coverage at a reduced price.
Once you have narrowed it down to a few good rated companies with rates that you can afford, check out their customer service ratings on the internet. If there are a lot of complaints about their service – move on to the next company. One thing you do not want is a company that is slow to respond when you need help.
Finding the best car insurance for your situation does not have to be overwhelming. Follow these guidelines and take it step-by-step and soon you’ll be driving around in your new car without any worry because you are fully covered.