by Penny M. Hagerman
When hopping behind the wheel, most people assume they’ll travel safely from point A to point B. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Driving accidents usually occur when they’re least expected, and even a minor fender-bender can lead to high-cost repair bills or escalated medical expense.
That’s why auto insurance is so important. By offering physical and financial protection for that fateful day when a mishap just can’t be avoided, this type of insurance pays medical or car repair bills when they’re needed most—as long as protection is adequate.
Taking a Closer Look
When shopping online for the right insurance protection, it’s important to examine both lifestyle and budget before signing on the dotted line. Keep in mind that each situation is unique, so making the right decision about which coverage types to purchase depends in large part on a person’s finances.
For instance, take a look at income and debts. For the household that is already struggling to make ends meet, this probably isn’t the time to skimp on coverage. Instead, with only slightly higher premiums, most people can add uninsured motorist or additional liability protection to their basic motor policy, possibly saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars in case of an accident.
Other factors to consider when deciding which auto coverage to purchase include:
- Assets owned
- Dependent family members
- Emergency funds or savings accrued
Since each of these factors help determine a person’s ability to bounce back during financial setback, getting a handle on finances and disposable income really helps when choosing the right insurance plan.
Monitoring Changes—and Your Car Insurance Policy
Once a policy has been selected based on personal finances, car insurance coverage should be examined at least once a year to determine whether or not changes are due. As life situations shift, particular coverages may no longer be necessary; while a need for others may prove a wise substitute.
As changes like the following occur, we recommend checking with an insurance agent to help ensure adequate coverage 365 days a year.
- Home purchase
- Car purchase
- Job change
- New business purchase
- Loss of income
- Support of elderly parent or other relative
Changes like these can have substantial impact on the amount of car coverage needed and the price of insurance premiums. For example, when couples marry, they become one—and so do their auto insurance policies—often leading to lower insurance rates.
When older policyholders retire, certain coverages may no longer be necessary. One car may also be sufficient now, causing rates to drop along with annual mileage—which means additional policy discounts.
When moving to a new home, insurance rates may fluctuate up or down, depending on the home’s location and the driving records of other drivers in the area. Before buying or renting a new home, find out how making that particular move will affect car insurance rates.