6 car insurance mistakes to avoid

August 3, 2009

6 car insurance mistakes to avoid

Friday, February 06, 2009
By The Associated Press  http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2009Feb06/0,4670,InsuranceMistakesGlance,00.html

If increasing numbers of drivers on the road are uninsured as the industry expects, those of us with insurance should take a good look at our coverage to be sure we’re adequately protected in case of an accident.

Here are six common car insurance mistakes to avoid:

1. Driving without uninsured motorist coverage.

If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, this insurance will pay damages for you, your car and passengers. It also pays in hit-and-run accidents if the other driver flees the scene. It will likely increase your premiums by 7 to 10 percent, but could help you avoid financial ruin if you’re in a serious accident.

2. Carrying too much/too little uninsured motorist insurance.

How much should you carry? Typical coverage is $100,000 per person in an accident up to $300,000 for any one accident. “Everybody needs to evaluate their own financial situation,” said William Pearse, a vice president at The Travelers Cos. Inc. “Make sure you have enough protection there so you don’t have to dip into your assets.”

3. Failing to consider insurance costs when car shopping.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, consider how the design of your car, in terms of safety and reparability, and the likelihood your model will be stolen, might impact the cost of insurance. Some car equipment, such as antilock brakes, air bags or motorized seat belts can actually provide savings through equipment discounts.

4. Insuring your home and car separately.

Many leading insurance companies offer significant discounts on your home and auto insurance if you carry both with them. Allstate, for example, says car insurance premiums could be as much as 10 percent lower if you also have homeowners insurance with them.

5. Buying insurance with the lowest deductibles.

You can save money on your monthly insurance premium if you increase the deductible on your policy. It may be worth considering increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000, for example, to save on your premium payments. You must weigh, however, whether paying $1,000 out of pocket is worth the savings on your premium payment.

6. Never evaluating coverage.

You may be paying too much for the collision coverage on your car if it’s an older model. If your car is 10 years old, for example, it may be worth only a few thousand dollars. But if you haven’t revisited your collision coverage, you may be paying too much to insure it for more than it’s worth.


Sources: Allstate Corp., The Travelers Cos. Inc., Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

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