The first time you buy car insurance can be intimidating and a bit confusing! As exciting as it is to check tire pressure, all other vitals, and get ready to hit the road, there is a large amount of information to consider, and you might feel like making the wrong choice will have consequences. We know that this is an important milestone in your life, but we promise you don’t have to stress too much over it. 

How Does Car Insurance Work?

Car insurance exists as a contract between you and an insurance company that provides financial coverage If you are in an accident. It also will assist if your car is damaged or stolen. As you pay your premium, your insurer pays for some incurred expenses up to acceptable limits. The expenses that you will see reimbursement for depend on the variety of policy you choose. When you suffer an accident or other damage to your vehicle, you simply file a claim to notify the insurance company.

Once an official claims form is submitted, an adjuster will then investigate it and decide whether your policy will be sufficient to help with covering the damage. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will reimburse you for some or all the repair bills. It is mandated that you have some form of minimum coverage, and if you are caught driving without car insurance, you can face jail time, a suspended license, and hefty fines.

Helpful Tips for First-Time Insurance Buyers:

Since this is your first time shopping for car insurance, you may be feeling a bit of pressure! Here are some helpful tips that will ensure that the entire process results in you enjoying adequate coverage and reaching your goal hassle-free.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes online:

You won’t want to have to guess how much you’re going to spend as a first-time car insurance buyer: after you have received multiple quotes from insurance companies, you’ll have more information to properly estimate your costs. In years past you had to go through a licensed insurance broker to look at all your options, but now it is simple to quickly go online and see what’s out there. The online offer you get may differ slightly from the final price you’ll pay once you’re ready to go, especially if the insurance company discovers some accidents or tickets in your past.

Qualify for as Many Discounts as Possible:

Since you now may be experiencing sticker shock, car insurance providers will offer discounts that can reduce your premium significantly. Knowing ahead of time which kind of elements will offer you a discount and trying to qualify for as many as possible will help you in the long run. Here are some of the categories to be aware of:

Defensive Driving Discount:

Insurance companies appreciate their customers taking defensive driving lessons from certified driving schools that properly show them how to navigate the ropes. You can enjoy anywhere from 10 to 15% off your premium by doing this, and the lessons usually only cost around $40. Enrolling yourself in a course such as this can save you over $100 annually on your premiums, rendering it very worthwhile for many first-time car insurance buyers. It’s also a great way to learn about the many things that can happen within a day’s drive.

Student Discount:

The first years of any driver’s insurance journey tend to be the most expensive, with anyone getting behind the wheel encountering very high insurance rates before the age of 25. Since younger drivers are simply not as experienced, insurance providers have difficulty assessing their risk. Statistics have unfortunately shown that young drivers get into more accidents. Student discounts can save policyholders up to 25% for college and high school students who can boast at least a “B” average during their studies. 

Safe Driver Discount:

Driving safely can typically save you around 10% off your premiums, as your insurer will notice your track record of remaining accident free. Since companies that provide insurance have so much on the line for every driver they cover, the definition of a good driver can vary from one company to another. While some providers may require three to five years of a clean record to qualify, you can keep reapplying at certain intervals to achieve this coverage goal.

Your Credit Profile’s Relationship to Your Coverage:

Your credit history can affect your rates for car insurance, at a time in life when many young people are struggling with finances due to inflation and other economic concerns. Some states such as Michigan and Washington have laws that prohibit insurance providers from using your credit information to make decisions about your rates. If you have already had issues with credit card bills or perhaps divorced on the early side of things, your car insurance rates can be up to 112% higher than those with excellent credit. Although it can seem unfair, your financial decisions can have a great impact on how insurance companies rate and perceive you.

 “Re-Lapse, Don’t Do it!”

When you suddenly discontinue your coverage, there are numerous consequences. Not only is driving without insurance illegal, but if you drive without it for 30 days or more, your premium rates could be higher. This may have happened if you were unable to pay your premium, or if you suffered accidents and other infractions, resulting in cancellation. A 45-day lapse in insurance coverage can raise your rates by as much as 22%. 

Thoroughly Understanding the Claims Process:

If you happen to ever become injured or suffer a damaged vehicle, you’ll be happy to know the ropes regarding filing claims. Here are the most important things to do when this happens, and you need a quick and effective resolution. 

  • Immediately contact us here at the Alexander Agency to give a detailed report about the accident and provide the necessary details. Vehicles that were involved, drivers’ names, and location are all vital data.
  • File the police report: some accidents are quite intense and can leave drivers a bit traumatized. The sooner you file the police report, the sooner you will make progress regarding justice or recovery.
  • Next, speak to an adjuster to allow them to begin their decision-making process.
  • The adjuster will estimate how much it will cost for repair replacement, and then draft up a report. After looking this over and coming to a decision, they will offer you payment for the incident.
  • When you receive your payment for your claim, you can consider yourself reimbursed, and very thankful that you were additionally covered for the loss. 

Don’t Sweat This Milestone: The Road Ahead is Amazing

Buying car insurance for the first time can instill a bit of anxiety, but you’ll be cruising in confidence in no time once you find a policy that fits your budget and your life’s daily demands. We have been helping drivers ranging from the most experienced to those who are fresh out of the DMV with their first license here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of Saint Charles for years! This essential form of protection that keeps you safe on the road is our specialty. Even though your early years spent behind the wheel can sometimes offer a learning curve, we can see you through your coverage demands with confidence and consistency!