With so many choices currently available in the auto insurance market, it can be quite difficult to know which products to choose. Understanding some basic facts about the insurance market can help you to make informed decisions. Following are five facts that you need to know about the auto insurance market.
1) Premium Plan – Is it worthwhile? It is now possible to purchase a deluxe insurance package that includes new car replacement and accident forgiveness among other services. You will pay heavily for these add-ons, so be sure that you understand exactly what you are getting. You may be able to get similar benefits without purchasing the premium insurance.
2) Shared Market versus Nonstandard Market – Drivers with below average driving records should shop extremely carefully for auto insurance. Shared market insurance companies are regular insurance companies that share the risk of poor drivers. Consequently, their rates are rather high. A new entrant to the auto insurance business is the Nonstandard market. This market consists of a series of specialty companies that exist solely to insure nonstandard drivers and competition keeps their rates somewhat lower.
3) Most and Least Expensive Cities in America for Auto Insurance in 2006 – The least expensive city in America was Roanoke, VA. There the average annual premium was only $912. The most expensive was Detroit, with an average of over $5,800. While you cannot plan a move based on insurance prices, knowing the insurance market as well as other cost of living concerns can help you decide between two comparable cities.
4) Downtown is the most expensive – As you may already know, auto insurance rates are always higher in cities than they are in small towns and suburbs. What you may not know, however, is that even within a city your zip code matters. Simply choosing a home in a more residential portion of the city rather than downtown may save you hundreds of dollars.
5) Purchasing auto insurance is a numbers game – It is entirely possible that you will pay for auto insurance for years and never need to use the policy. However, it is equally possible that you will need your insurance as soon as you drive off the lot. You cannot predict all things that could theoretically happen to your vehicle. Hence the necessity of playing the numbers game. Look over your budget and think through what would happen if you had an accident. Also determine how much you can realistically spend each month. Then shop around to get the best insurance for the money you can afford to spend. Be sure to consider varying deductibles.
There are so many options available in today’s auto insurance market that it would be quite time consuming if not utterly impossible to make the “perfect” choice. However, understanding the market and the variables over which you have control will assist you in making a smart decision. Take the time to consider your options and you will find auto insurance that works well for you.