Getting the right car insurance policy can seem like a long, stressful process. By the time you’ve gotten everything squared away, reading over the terms and conditions can seem like an unnecessary waste of time. However, there can be some hefty consequences to skipping over this bit of helpful homework. Here are a few reasons you should read through your auto insurance policy, even after you’ve gone over it verbally with your agent.
Why should you read your car insurance policy?
1. Make sure you understand what’s covered.
Every year, people end up losing money or paying more out-of-pocket costs after an accident because they didn’t properly understand what their car insurance policy covered. Your auto insurance is there to protect you and your car in an emergency. However, your policy will only cover certain accidents and instances that are specifically outlined in your policy. So, reading up on your policy is a key part of truly understanding the certain sticky situations that your car insurance can help you out of.
2. Make sure everything is correct
This goes beyond just checking how your name is spelled or that your contact information is actually yours. (Although, you should make sure this information is correct.) You’ll want to read through your policy to make sure you’re actually getting the coverage you wanted and that you believe you’re paying for. Instead of going up the creek without a paddle, read through your policy to make sure that all of your coverages are there and take the opportunity to ask your agent any questions about what is and isn’t included in your car insurance.
3. Understand when you have to pay your premium
Your auto insurance premium is the amount you have to pay just to have insurance coverage. Many people assume that this is a monthly payment amount. However, different carriers offer different ranges of available payment options, including monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually (the last of which may help you get a discount on your car insurance). So, it’s important to read through your policy to know exactly when your car insurance payment is due. That way, you can prevent lapses in coverage and keep your insurance rates low.
4. Prepare to pay your deductible amount
Your car insurance deductible is the amount you’ve agreed to pay in repairs or damages before your policy starts paying in full. But that’s not the only thing you’ll need to know about your deductible. You’ll also need to keep in mind that:
- Your deductible can affect your premium
- Deductibles are different depending on your policy.
- Your deductible on one type of coverage may be different than another.
Reading through your entire policy can help you prepare for what you may pay after an accident. That way, you can set aside enough money to cover your deductible for whatever type of coverage you use before you urgently have to use it.
5. Learn how much coverage you have and in what circumstances
Additionally, there’s a limit to what your insurance will cover – literally. Reading through your car insurance policy entirely can help you understand how much your insurance policy can help you cover and when. Different scenarios call for different coverages, and different coverage may have different amounts that you’re covered for. If you only have a brief overview of how much your insurance might cover in a general sense, then you risk not having enough coverage for a certain situation when you need it.
6. Know when your coverage starts and stops
Just because you’ve made the decision to get car insurance, chosen a carrier, and chosen a plan, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your car insurance is in effect. Each policy has what’s known as an effective date, and a driver isn’t covered under that policy until that date. This means that if you’re starting a new insurance plan or you’re in between plans and you drive before your new effective date, you won’t be covered until your policy actually says you are.
Reading your policy to find this date is the best way to prevent car insurance lapses or even just the charge of driving without insurance (which is illegal all over the nation).
7. Generally, just feel good about where you’re putting your money.
In any case, it’s just good to know why you’re spending your money and how it’s being spent. Car insurance may be a legal requirement, but if you don’t know much about it, the whole process can seem like a big waste. In fact, many people think car insurance to be a nuisance that only costs them more money the more they use it.
Reading your policy, on the other hand, can help you see all the neat things that your car insurance does help you with, whether it’s an accident or a crack in your windshield. It can help people understand that you’re investing in a great amount of help in your future and peace of mind.
Of course, you may not be able to recite your policy forwards and backwards after you read it. In fact, you may not be able to read it all in one go. Your auto insurance policy may be a long-winded document but taking it in though bite-sized pieces every so often can help you truly understand and feel protected in the policy you choose.
Our experts can also help you feel confident in the coverage and rates you choose for your car insurance. We’re here to walk you through getting free, customized quotes on the auto insurance you need in the easiest way possible. To start your best insurance experience, call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today.