The best time to educate yourself on auto insurance rates is before you even buy a new car. You have a budget in mind and got yourself pre-approved by your bank. Be wary, this does not mean you can buy any new car within that range. Know how much your insurance will run before you make the commitment.
What to Know About Rates
Savvy car shoppers know that there are some determining factors that influence insurance coverage of your vehicle, such as motor size, sports cars, cars with high likelihood of theft, age, gender, and driving record. What many people don’t realize are the small factors that also influence the total cost for auto insurance. Before you hit the car lots, know what determines rates on vehicles:
- Safety features. Most new cars already have the safety features installed, but not everything will lower insurance rates. Common discounts include anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags, and an anti-theft system.
- Doors. Yes doors. A two-door coupe will have higher insurance rates than a 4 door sedan of the same make and model because two-door coupes are still considered by most insurance companies to be sporty even if it is not a sports car.
- Color. Some colors car considered a hazard. White is harder to see both during the day and at night than other colors so the rates may be higher. Red is considered a sporty color so it may increase rates. Though not all auto insurance companies keep track of this anymore, it can still be a factor so keep it in mind when you hit the lots.
Before you make the commitment:
- Get a quote. Your current insurance provider will happily give you an estimate on insurance through his company for that vehicle. So if you think you might be pushing your budget on the price of the car find out how much insurance will cost. Lower rates might be the push to help you get the car, but you do not want to be surprised after you sign the papers by a high rate that could break your budget. Most agents can even do this over the phone if you don’t want to leave the lot just yet. Take a few minutes on the phone with your agent and have him run the numbers, then you could ride off the lot that day with the vehicle.
- Get covered before you sign the papers and drive off the lot in case of an unfortunate accident that same day. It is rare to have an accident the same day you purchase your car, but it can happen. Make sure you have coverage before you take the wheel.
Keep in mind that most states require a minimum of liability auto insurance and not having it can result in hefty fines. If you just purchased the car and didn’t get coverage your paperwork from the dealership will help prevent you from getting a ticket, but you will be required to get it as soon as possible.
Remember that a lot of banks require full coverage as long as you are paying off the loan. Full auto insurance coverage protects the bank and yourself in the event that there is a total loss collision.