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How to Buy Car Insurance

Now the thing that he had overlooked was the car insurance. Well, the sad part is that finding a car insurance that suits your needs is much harder than finding the right car.

A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine bought himself a used 1997 Japanese car. He had spent about four months before he actually got down to buying the car. I had accompanied him to a couple of car dealers. Believe me when I say that it was an experience that will definitely last for a lifetime.

After months of aggressive shopping and negotiating he was finally able to buy the used car. Now the thing that he had overlooked was the car insurance. Well, the sad part is that finding a car insurance that suits your needs is much harder than finding the right car. No two insurance companies will give you the same quote and for many different reasons. So foolishly, this friend of mine went with the first one that the dealer suggested. He ended up paying more for the car insurance than the price of his car. Through him I have learnt a couple of things and as I plan to buy a car soon I have learnt through his mistake. After a couple of online searches and a colleague’s experience I have come to know that there are certain steps that we can take to lower our car insurance.

Most of the car insurance companies ask you a set of general questions:

1. Are you under 25 years of age?
2. Are you single or married and with or without children?
3. How old is the car and does it have anti-lock brake systems, cushions etc?
4. Is your license over three years or not?
5. Where do you live?
6. How many people live in the house?
7. Do they have drivers’ license?
8. Have you taken the defensive driving class?
9. Are you looking for full insurance or liability insurance?

The factors stated will always work for or against you. Someone who is 24 years old, single with 2 years of license will have a higher insurance quote (a couple thousand dollars) but then again it also depends upon the insurance company. A defensive driving class, which is a 6-hour class, is always good to take since it reduces your insurance by an average of 10%.

There are many types of insurance that one can buy. The minimum that one requires by law is the Liability Insurance. Liability Insurance pays someone to compensate them for bodily injury and/or property damage that you may have caused them, and for which you may be legally liable.

Since I plan to buy a used car, I am looking for the cheapest and minimum insurance that I can pay. If you have a new car or a luxury car (i.e. BMW, LEXUS) then you probably would like to insure your car against any damage. In that case, you have to go for the full coverage insurance. There are various factors that affect it but that is a whole different topic. It becomes very important to know what you are claiming and how much is the insurance covering. Sometimes the insurance may be really low but it might not be covering much.
Insurance companies can vary drastically in their rates. Some small companies make claims that they will give you very low insurance rates but the fact is that it is a stressful process. I remember one time this insurance company made claims and gave me a quote that was at least two thousand dollars less than others on average. We sometimes forget that there might be a catch somewhere down the line. This insurance company did not feel that it was necessary to tell me that I needed to have insurance for a year and a half prior to this insurance until the last moment.

One thing that we need to know is that the insurance company is not there to help us; they are there to help themselves.

One thing that we need to know is that the insurance company is not there to help us; they are there to help themselves. My friend’s old insurance gave him a reduction of a thousand dollars after the first year. This may sound like a good deal but a reduction from nearly $5,000 to $4,000 is not that great considering it was only for liability insurance. He got a better deal and saved about $3,000 on insurance. That, my friends, is an annual raise in itself.

In order to get car insurance, you can either call; go online (that is if they have a Web site), or go to an insurance agent directly. Any way is good if you’re comfortable with it. I personally like the online way since it gives me time to think and check and actually understand what I’m doing. It also gives me a certain amount of freedom to choose the kind of insurance I want and need. There really isn’t a best way here as it depends upon the individual concerned. I could list a bunch of Web sites and car insurance dealers but then would it really help? So go out and shop, and shop wisely.

If you have any queries and need help on some insurance related issues, please feel free to email me at dchadotsang @ yahoo.com. [To reduce spam, copy and paste email address and remove spaces.]