Does the thought of shopping for auto insurance sends chills down your spine? If so, you’re not alone. While it can seem like a daunting task, auto insurance is an essential tool after an accident. This is especially true if injuries are involved. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make the shopping experience easier and the secret lies in doing your homework.
When it comes to purchasing auto insurance, you naturally want to have enough coverage if an accident were to happen. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay more than you have to. By doing some preparation work before buying auto insurance, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars each year.
Review Your Current Auto Insurance Policy
The first thing you need to do is read through your current policy or contact your insurance provider in order to find out the details of your current policy. Write down the amount of coverage you now have, along with how much you are paying for it. Figure your cost per month and per year, as some auto insurance quotes will be provided both ways. Now you have an auto insurance cost that other providers need to beat.
Decide What Kind of Coverage You Need
In order to find the right auto insurance, you’ll need to figure out how much coverage you need. This will be different from state to state, but for California, the minimum requirements are as follows:
- $15,000 Bodily personal injury liability maximum for one person injured in an accident
- $30,000 Bodily injury liability maximum for all injuries in one accident
- $5,000 Property damage liability maximum for one accident
Once you understand the requirements, it’s time to decide how much coverage you need. Some people only want the minimum coverage, while others are extremely cautious and choose to carry maximum coverage.
Experts generally recommend drivers carry liability limits of $50,000 on bodily injury for one person injured in an accident, $100,000 for all people injured in an accident and $25,000 for property damage liability. You may want to take your driving history into consideration as well. If you are prone to auto accidents and speeding tickets, consider getting more collision coverage. It will help cover the costs of repairs after an automobile accident. Let your own personal and financial situation be your guide when choosing the amount of coverage to carry.
Decide if You Want Personal Injury Protection
While California does not require you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), it is a great option for many drivers. PIP is often called “no-fault insurance” because it kicks in and pays after an auto accident regardless of whether or not if you were at fault.
With personal injury protection, you and your passengers are covered for:
- Medical bills and Related Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Collateral Costs Related to Auto Accident Injuries
Gather Quotes from Auto Insurance Companies
There are many different online sites you can use to get an auto insurance rate quote. Be aware of the fact that some sites won’t give you an instant quote, but will put you in touch with a local agency. You can also gather quotes from many auto insurance providers by going directly to their websites or calling a toll-free number.
It’s also a good idea to ask your friends and family members about their auto insurance providers and if they are satisfied with their service. If so, you know it’s worth getting a quote from that particular provider.
Once you’ve gathered quotes from several different auto insurance providers, then you can easily compare the prices and choose which one is right for you.
While shopping for the right auto insurance can be time consuming, it’s worth it. With automobile accidents on the rise and auto-related injuries costing thousands of dollars to treat, the last thing you need is insufficient auto insurance coverage.
For experienced advice from a San Francisco personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents, please schedule a free confidential consultation with the Law Offices of Nelson C. Barry III. Call us today at 415-587-0550.