Topic: Insurance



What you’ll need: A decent driving record, the love of comparison shopping and a few smart tips.

What you need to know

You spend extra time looking for the best deals when shopping, so why not do the same with auto insurance?

Car insurance includes many different types of coverage at various prices. Insurance companies that sell policies are a dime a dozen, so you need to do some homework to land the best deal.

The six types of coverage that traditionally make up car insurance are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Personal property liability
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured motorist

While you don’t need all of these types of coverage, some states require that you carry certain ones. So, be sure to check with your agent or insurance company to make sure you are fully covered.

Now for the fun part: comparison shopping. Choose three or four different companies and either call their customer service departments or go to their Web sites. You’ll need to provide various bits of information about your driving habits and select the types of coverage you need before getting a quote.

Once you’ve received several quotes, compare them. Remember, the cheapest coverage may not be the best deal for your money. Pick the company that combines the best price with the most comprehensive coverage and top customer service.

There are many ways to reduce your insurance costs. They include:
1. Getting married.
2. Growing older.
3. Taking a defensive driving course.
4. Asking about membership discounts (companies don’t always volunteer this information).
5. Installing a car alarm.
6. Paying six months in full, twice a year, rather than financing the premiums.
7. Buying a car with safety features (e.g., anti-lock brake system, alarm and air bags).
8. Moving to a better ZIP code. (Areas with more uninsured motorists and more wrecks get slapped with higher rates.)
9. Keeping your driving record clean.
Insurance agents make a commission from how much insurance they sell you. So while you may not need comprehensive and uninsured motorist insurance, an agent may advise you to buy it. Find out which types of insurance your state requires and which you really need before purchasing something unnecessary.

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