The Right Mix- What questions to ask when buying auto insurance

The Right Mix- What questions to ask when buying auto insurance

Auto insurance is offered with many ingredients.  It depends on what you are most comfortable with and how much you can afford to spend on the options available.  Ask your agent what is offered and why.  Ask questions, be aware, and be responsible.

You will want to ask yourself some questions before selecting your options…

How much can I afford to set as my deductible?

Be comfortable with the options that you choose so that you are in a position to pay your premiums without interruption of coverage.  It is important to know that if you choose a high deductible to keep your rates down, that you must be in a position to come up with that amount should an unfortunate loss occur.  If higher limits are chosen for your coverage, with lower deductibles, you will be in a better position should an accident or claim occur…be sure that your choices will not break your bank account. Decide what is best in your personal financial situation, and work with your agent to find the right mix.

Do you own a home and/or savings and investments?

Consider increasing your liability coverage above the minimum available if you have worked hard to save and want to preserve assets.  If you are the cause of an unfortunate accident, and your liability limits are on the low side, the other party might have the right to sue you in court for excess expenses not covered by your insurance policy.  Strive to protect what you have invested; consider protecting yourself by choosing higher limits.

”I’m still concerned and don’t want to lose my assets to an accident?”

Consider purchasing an “umbrella policy” for extra coverage if your net worth is high.  Talk to your agent about this low cost valuable protection.

Leasing a car?

The company that is financing your leased vehicle will most likely require you to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage with limits equal to the value of your car.  You will be able to choose your deductible limits on a leased car same as a purchased vehicle.

In some situations you can purchase loan/lease gap coverage. This comes in handy if your car is totaled and insurance company pays less than what your balance on the vehicle is.  This is called the “bridge” between balance owed, and value of the car.

Health insurance

When you are in a car accident, your regular health insurance generally does not pay for accident related expenses.  “Medical payments coverage”, in many cases, takes over and pays for medical expenses related to the accident.  In the unusual situation where your regular health insurance does pay for medical expenses related to auto accidents, your med pay coverage in your auto policy could pick up unpaid expenses such as deductibles and co-insurance not paid by your health insurance policy. 


When selecting your policy limits…

You can reduce your premium by choosing a higher deductible if you consider yourself a cautious driver with a stellar driving record.  If you haven’t been quite so lucky, and don’t feel like an A student in this department, consider purchasing a policy with higher limits and a lower deductible to give you the protection you need

New car vs. Used car

With new autos, collision insurance should be included in your package to which helps cover expenses related to damage of your own vehicle. Comprehensive insurance insures you in the event of theft and much more. 

Consider how many miles you drive, and where you drive to and from…

The more you drive, the more insurance you should consider.  If you work from home and do not use your car much, you might consider looking into “low-mileage” discounts, and minimum coverage if you are comfortable with this.  Of course, if you drive for miles at a time on a regular basis, you would want higher limits and more protection for the many hazards you might encounter.  Live in a higher populated city?  You know this can greatly increase your risks for minor collisions and theft…consider higher limits and comprehensive coverage. 

We will customize your insurance policy, shop your insurance, and provide options with the most competitive rates in the industry.

By Craig Bruno

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