It's no secret that Car Insurance is a sizeable expense for most Americans. Car insurance rates, in the US, can vary from $500 to $4000 per year and higher according to your age and driving record. Car insurance is an important topic for every American because it affects how much you pay at the pump and also what you're liable for if someone else hits your vehicle. So we've compiled a few car insurance tips that Gen Z, Gen Y, and every other generation should know.
A few months ago, I was in a minor-ish car accident on my way to take our oldest son to work. We live in a rural area of Ohio with a lot of country roads. It is nothing for us to have animals crossing the streets. Sometimes there are deer, raccoons, fox, and even the occasional goat or cow, this time, it was a few deer at 5 am.
I did not see the deer before I hit it, killing him almost instantly. If we are keeping score, one of the deer lost. Score 2021 Jeep Compass! After that day, I am most likely always going to be a Jeep Girl. While it was not a horrible accident, it could have been much worse. The most important thing I learned from this experience is that I'm grateful to my mom for teaching me about the importance of Car Insurance.
No, we did not find anyone to get the meat from the deer. Though we had several people ask. It was just too late! (Country living I tell ya!)
There was heavy damage to my fender, bumper, passenger headlight, wheel well, and grille. An estimated $4500 in damage. While when we looked at the damage from the outside, it did not look horrible, when I received the call from the collision center with the details, I was shocked. But I was absolutely grateful for the fact that we have full coverage with a $500 deductible.
Growing up, my mom worked for an insurance company and there were several vehicle insurance tips that she always told me to make sure were included in my policies to protect myself, other people, and the headache of overpaying on expenses. After 16 years of not having any tickets and 23 years of no accidents, I am glad I listened to her. It saved us so much money.
Generation Z is the first generation to grow up in a world where they can see and access everything on social media; including gruesome accidents, fatal crashes, and violence 24 hours a day. This has made them more aware of their surroundings while driving or even while hanging out with friends.
8 Practical Car Insurance Tips: The Complete Guide
No matter what generation you are from, it's important to know what type of car insurance you need, how much of it you need, and when it's time to adjust. I was taught these car Insurance tips from my mom and have since passed them on to my boys. Now, whether they listen or not is a completely different story!
Sit Down and Figure Out Your Budget
When I first had to get car insurance, I never was told that I needed to figure out what I could afford. I was taught that what the agent provided to me, was what I had to budget around. Whenever you are budgeting for something important (housing, vehicle payment, car/home insurance, etc) it's best to figure out how much you can afford while still putting money aside in emergency savings funds.
Vehicle insurance can be very affordable, you just need to figure out what your budget is and then find the perfect fit for that price. Insurance on vehicles can get expensive when you let your coverage lapse (go without insurance due to non-payment).
Car insurance is an absolute necessity for anyone with a vehicle. Even if you have no plans of using your car to drive, there are still the standards like roadside assistance and full coverage. The average cost varies depending on the state but it can be pretty pricey.
Don’t buy Vehicle Insurance that you don’t need
One of the biggest car insurance tips that my mother used to give me is that it is a contract where the car owner agrees to pay for losses if they occur from an accident or theft involving their vehicle. However, most people don't need extra coverage like rental reimbursement. Find out what your state requires as minimum insurance on vehicles and purchase that. Some states require that if you are financing or leasing a vehicle that you have to have full coverage.
I do suggest adding comprehensive and roadside assistance, while it's not required, it can save you money. Comprehensive insurance is coverage that helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it's stolen or damaged in an incident that's not a collision. Comprehensive, sometimes called “other than collision” coverage, typically covers damage from fire, vandalism, or falling objects (like a tree, basketball hoop, or hail).
Shop Around Before Settling on a Company or Agent
Don't settle on whatever company your parents, friends, etc have. Not all companies are going to fit your needs. It's important to shop around, ask for quotes and make sure you are getting the best deal. Insurance companies can be extremely different in price so it really is worth having a look at all of them before choosing one.
Sometimes working as a team is the best way to move forward. Insurance companies have been around for quite some time now and they have always found ways to help people get back on track when it comes to their car insurance plan, so why not partner up with them?
Car insurance has become a necessary evil in today's world where everything revolves around cars whether we like it or not because almost everyone needs transportation from point A to B at one point or another.
Adjust Your Current Car Policy
The type of car you drive can have a big impact on your insurance. You may be able to adjust it by opting for certain modifications, driving fewer miles per year, or simply choosing another model that falls into a different category. If this is the case, look at how much more affordable these other choices are because they could save you hundreds! Sports cars are going to cost more than family vehicles and more expensive luxury cars will cost even more.
“MSRP and repair costs are just two of the many rating factors taken into account by insurers,” she said. “Additional rating factors—such as how much the vehicle is driven, the age of the driver, where the driver lives, and the number of claims for that particular model – can in some cases mitigate the high MSRP and expensive repairs.”– TheDrive.Com
If a storm or natural disaster hits your area it is important to understand how each type of coverage works so that if damage occurs there are no surprises when it comes time for insurance policies to be adjusted, added to, or items can get removed that are no longer needed or required.
Utilize Any and All Discounts
Utilizing a safe driving program may help you get a car insurance discount of up to 30% based on how you drive. While some customers could see a discount of up to 50% depending on other programs you are enrolled in. Each product option offers different safety and security features. I suggest State Farm's Drive Safe & Save safe driving program. I've been using it for years and it is one of the reasons our vehicle insurances are as low as they are.
You should always check on all your available discounts before just settling down with one particular quote because it may be the cheapest option. It doesn't matter what company you go through; they will all have different discounts that fit into their plan which could potentially bring down the rate significantly. Here is a list of potential discounts that could apply to you:
- New Car
- Car Payment
- Car-Pooling or Commuting
- Multiple Car
- Defensive Driving
- Low Mileage
Bundle Your Car Insurance for The Most Savings
Speaking of budget-friendly car insurance tips, often when you start looking around for car insurance an agent will ask if you have homeowners or renters insurance, life insurance, business insurance, etc. They are not typically trying to upsell you, they are actually trying to help you get the most discounts on your insurance.
Many times when you bundle your various insurances you can save a significant amount monthly or semi-annually on your overall insurance premiums. The more you bundle, the more you will save. For instance, we are saving about $350 monthly because we have multiple cars, homeowners, our camper, and life insurance policies through the same company.
Look Into Other Policies Related To Car Ownership
There are often policies out there related to vehicle ownership such as roadside assistance and full coverage. Even though you might not need them now, they can really come in handy one day so consider getting them if possible! It's never too early to be prepared.
Find out if your state requires that or if the bank or lender that you are leasing or financing from requires it. Purchasing the wrong insurance for your vehicle can cause you to be in breach of the contract with your lender.
Look into Car Rental Insurance
In today's world, many people need to add on car rental insurance. This type of vehicle insurance is extremely important if you are someone who tends to travel a lot. If you are renting a vehicle while traveling or for other reasons-look into getting a policy that way! This is great if temporary coverage will suffice and also good peace of mind knowing how much protection your valuable asset really has in case anything happens to it during transportation.
Consider Taking A Class To Improve Your Driving Skills
If you're interested in taking the next step to becoming an even better driver consider checking out some Defensive Driving Classes. They can be taken online and they provide drivers with all kinds of useful tips on how to make their driving experience safer and more efficient.
These classes often cover topics like preventing accidents, what causes them, proper braking techniques, rules of the road, and other driving laws that may have gone into effect since you first earned your driver's license.
Even if you're not interested in taking a Defensive Driving Class there are other Car Insurance Tips that can help improve your driving skills.
- First, always make sure to follow all of the rules of the road and be extra mindful when sharing the roads with others.
- Always look around before changing lanes or making turns so you know what is going on ahead of you and keep an eye out for pedestrians because they aren't always being very attentive to their surroundings either!
If this sounds like something that would interest you then consider checking out some professional driver training courses such as Racing Schools or High-Performance Driving Events which will give students a hands-on opportunity to learn for professional drivers.
There are some great ways to save on car insurance. It doesn't matter whether you drive often or not; having insurance is an absolute necessity and it is always good to know all the options available to make sure that it fits into your lifestyle and financial goals.