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As drivers, humans can sometimes make bad decisions and cause accidents.   Consider how easy it is to drive while distracted. And we drive in a world full of perils — damaged and congested roads, flooded streets, fallen branches, the list is endless. If you find yourself in an auto accident or if your car is damaged, regardless of the cause, a rock-solid auto insurance policy will minimize the resulting inconvenience and expense to you. 

Here are 10 tips to help you get the right type of auto insurance.  Review them with V.F. McNeil, a Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent: 

  • Ignore state law. Wait a second … let us explain: Purchasing only the minimum amount of insurance as required by state law is dangerous and that minimum often will not be sufficient to pay the high costs of a lawsuit filed against you should you cause an accident that hurts another driver and maybe even their passengers and/or damages their property. 

  • Like your car but love your financial security: Stock up on liability limits and medical payments. It’s true that your lender may require you to have at least some insurance on your car, and to keep your loan, you must comply. However, don’t forget that your financial security is considerably more important than your car, and you can protect it with liability and medical payments insurance.  

  • We repeat: DON’T BYPASS uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Why? Because placing your financial fate in the hands of others is dangerous, especially when it comes to auto accidents. According to the Insurance Research Council, in 2015, 13% of drivers in the U.S. had no insurance at all. And in some states, the number of uninsured drivers exceeds 25%!  

  • Combine with an Umbrella Policy. The return on investment is a no-brainer.  Make sure you have an umbrella policy that adequately covers your auto insurance policy.   An average cost for a $1 million-dollar umbrella is around $200-400 annually.   In many cases, combining policies can provide multi-policy discounts and in turn, help you afford this important coverage.  

  • Make sure your auto policy will pay for your alternative ride. If your car is damaged in an accident and requires time in the shop, you’ll need an alternative ride. Make sure your policy will cover the cost to get you where you (still) need to go.  Otherwise, you could be left footing the bill.  

  • Raise your collision and comprehensive deductibles (often collectively called “physical damage”) to lower cost. This one has been a tried and true cost savings tip since the dawning of auto insurance.  As long as you are financially comfortable enough to cover the deductible, the annual savings often pays off.  Speak further with an insurance agent at V.F. McNeil.  

  • Is your car old and paid for? Get an estimate on its actual value and weigh that against the cost of your physical damage insurance. If you can drop physical damage coverage to save some bucks, (once again) put the cost savings into higher limits of liability, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and an umbrella policy. 

  • Always ask about insurer discounts. Have excellent credit? Have a child who recently completed a safe-driving course? Can you purchase another type of insurance — such as homeowner’s insurance — possibly from the same insurer?  Again, those multi-policy discounts pay off!  

  • Follow the easy rules to avoid accidents. For example, would you drive with your eyes closed? Of course not. But typing that text or any other activity that distracts you is the equivalent of doing just that. According to (“End Distracted Driving”), at least 15% of crashes are distraction-related and more than 58% of teen crashes are attributable to driver distraction. Keep your eyes on the road. Use the tools on your phone to help you avoid the temptation to talk or text. For example, your iPhone can be easily programmed to not disturb you while driving.  Staying accident and violation free helps to keep your insurance rates down.  

  • Purchase the damage waiver if you rent a car. The cost of the waiver makes it easy to say “no, thanks” to the guy at the counter, but not having it could wreck your finances if you wreck the rental.  Not all things, like loss of use, will be covered under your auto policy.  

We hope you find our list of tips helpful.  Contact us today with more questions (203) 481-2684. We’ll help to put you on the right track to avoiding financial devastation resulting from an auto accident.

Content Source: Trusted Choice ®


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