In the past, car insurance was not a requirement, as some went for it and some did not. However, today an auto coverage policy is one of the important things in your life, if you own a car. People need proper coverage, no matter how luxurious or modest their car is.
The way people buy insurance has also changed. In the past, buying car insurance simply meant meeting your neighborhood agent and asking him for it. But now, this is somewhat different, as you have a lot of other options at your disposal from where you can insure your vehicle, with some completely new coverage options.
Buying car insurance: which method to choose?
When you want insurance for your car, you may wonder where you should get it from. Should you deal with an insurance agent or should you go online? You can choose from various options to get your car insurance. This includes:
Buying from captive agents
Buy from independent agents
People, who like personal services and prefer to have face-to-face relationships, should definitely buy their policy from an agent. But, since there are different agents, they need to decide which of them is the best.
Some of these are called ‘independent agents’, who sell insurance for many companies and some are ‘captive agents’, who sell insurance for a firm. Let us look at the various features of these agents, so that you can easily and quickly decide the right agent for you.
1. Buying from captive agents
You should purchase your coverage from a captive agent, if you are dedicated to a specific insurance company. Since captive agents deal with only one company, they will know all the various insurance options offered by that company. And, thus they can help you create the right package based on your needs. However, captive agents may take longer to answer your questions and know their needs than independent agents who work for commissions.
2. Buying from independent agents
You should buy a policy from an independent agent, if you want to check for different insurance provided by different companies, as independent agents deal with many companies, not just one particular insurance firm. This way you can get a better rate.
And, since independent agents are not directly employed by any one firm, they will not push a specific product and tell you all the right things about insurance. Thus, independent agents can help you find affordable coverage for your car. However, since they work for commissions, they are under more pressure to hammer out a deal as soon as possible.
3. buy online
The third option is to drop insurance agents altogether and work directly with the online company. However, for this you will have to do most of the work yourself. You will have to do in-depth research on the various coverage providers that they provide, their rates of insurance and all their policies covered. Then, you can talk to the company, which is best suited to your needs for purchasing coverage.
Some of these insurance companies that employ agents do not require you to work with them and some of them do not employ agents. Buying auto insurance online is the best option for you if you do not have much time and want to get cheap car insurance, as it saves you from paying commission to the insurance agent. If you are not sure of your car insurance needs, you can buy car insurance online, without insurance agent you can buy wrong, very little or too much insurance.
Choose your type of coverage
Apart from deciding which company to go with, you should also consider what policy you need. There are three main types of policies, including traditional, usage-based and per-mile car insurance. Therefore, before settling for a particular car insurance take a look at these three car insurance coverage programs.
1. Traditional Auto Insurance
In this type of auto insurance, insurers determine the quotes for the policy with the help of various personal factors, such as your age, driving history, gender, credit score, etc. Typically, the more risk you have according to the driver. These factors, the higher your insurance rates. In this you can choose the minimum coverage amount according to the state law or you can choose from a long list of different types of auto insurance coverage.
2. Use based auto insurance
Unlike traditional car insurance, where insurers consider your driving skills based on a list of various risk factors and your accident history, usage-based car insurance providers provide you with car insurance by seeing you act in real terms. In this type of car insurance, such as Allstate’s DriveWise or Progressive Snapshot, you get a telematic device that you need to plug into your car. This device records how you drive and your driving behavior, especially your poor driving habits such as fast or hard braking.
Therefore, if the device records that you are a low-risk driver, you can save your money with usage-based car insurance. However, if it records that you often drive late at night or you drive fast, it will not help you save money with your car insurance. Additionally, many usage-based car insurance programs are not available in every state. Therefore, if you are dedicated to an insurance company, you may have to switch your company, if you move to a different state.
3. Auto insurance per mile
Auto insurance providers per mile also use a telematic device, but they focus on just one thing, that is how little or how much you use your car. However, this car insurance type is still new and not available in every state. Among others, Metromile is the best provider of car insurance per mile and so far available in seven states, which are California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington and Virginia.
Additionally, providers per mile use the same elements as traditional insurers in determining your car insurance rates, but you can save some money through its telematic device. If you do not use your car much and only use it for emergencies, your premiums may be cut significantly. However, if you drive your car normally, you are less likely to save money from it.
No matter how you buy your insurance, whether you go for a dedicated agent or you sign up directly with a car insurance provider, you should shop around to get the best rates. Do some homework and don’t settle for the first deal on your way. This is because the rates of the same policy can vary from one company to another company by thousands of dollars. Therefore, comparing different car insurance offers is the best possible way to get a good deal.