While looking for an insurance policy for your car, you will come across hundreds of companies claiming to give the best policy at the minimum rate, but it is not an easy task to actually find the one that is best for you. It is often not just sufficient to look at the rates offered by different companies because they may be offering different kinds of services as per the policy terms. There are numerous parameters specified in the terms of the policy, and to ascertain which among them is the best, requires a thorough research of various insurance companies and do a comparative study of their rates and the services provided under each policy.
The rates offered by different companies differ primarily because of the plan that you choose and various options and services included in the policy in the event you are filing for a claim. Most people look for the cheapest insurance quote, but it is essential that you read the fine prints. For instance, you may want to look at the company policy if the damage to your car is caused by a household member who is not listed as a driver on the policy schedule. The cover for emergency accommodation, transport or emergency repairs when you are away from home are widely different among different policies. Companies have different claim policy if your car is used for business, or some modifications have been done in it, or if is fitted with some non-standard accessories.
Ascertaining the quality of your car insurance involves looking at so many other parameters involved in the policy, such as what happens if there is a damage to your car because of storm, flood or fire, or due to some acts of vandalism. You may want to look at whether the company provides you a hire car if your vehicle is stolen or damaged. Whether your windscreen, window glass and sun roof are also covered in the policy determines what value the insurance policy brings to you at the price that you pay for it. The quality of a car insurance policy will depend on the level of risk you and your vehicle are exposed to and the risks that you would like to be covered by a policy and then evaluating the policy on these issues or parameters that you think are critical. Naturally, a policy that is found to be of best quality by a particular customer may not be of same quality if looked at by another customer.
There could be many reasons why you may want to switch your car insurance provider. If you are moving to a new location in another state, or if you are selling off your car and buying a new one or if you are not satisfied with the services of the insurance company, you may like to get your policy cancelled and look for some other company. Switching is not difficult as perceived by many people, and can be easily done, which may save you lot of money if you look at the annual payment you have to make for your insurance premium. Switching from one insurance company to another is not difficult, but you have to be careful about certain things because it may adversely impact your credit score , if you fail to cancel the policy and just let the policy expire. In this case, the company cancels your policy, no doubt, but it also sends a report to the credit rating agency about a missed payment, thus adversely affecting your credit score.
It pays to shop around for your car insurance policy, because there are price variations among different insurance companies at a particular place. The reasons for this variation are primarily because different companies fix a premium based on their experience with regard to claims by people in your age category in a particular location. There are price variations even in a particular location among different insurance companies based on their perception of the risk profile of a coverage group. There are different discount policies by different insurance companies, for instance if you have two different policies on two cars owned by you, there are discount provided by the company on a joint policy for both cars, or if you are a senior citizen, then there are discount in your car premium. You also get a discount if your car is going to be driven by both parents and children.
The best time to switch you car insurance policy is just before your old policy is about to renew, but you don’t really have to wait till then if you want to switch over. If you terminate your policy well before its expiry, most companies have clear-cut guidelines to return the unused premium on your policy. Sometimes, if you have a bad experience with the services provided by a particular company, it may be just sufficient to switch your policy agent rather than go in for changing the company itself, because different agents within a company could also make a lot of difference in the quality of service.
There are many insurance companies that offer a flexible payment option of annual or monthly premium payment for your car insurance. There are some companies that give you the choice of making a quarterly payment or a biannual payment. A monthly payment of premium spreads the premium cost of the car over the year. By spreading the annual insurance bill across twelve months, it becomes quite easy to pay premium while still getting all the protection you require for you and your motor vehicle.
However, with a monthly payment of premiums, you end up paying more, sometimes to the tune of 10% extra as compared to your monthly bill, because most insurance companies charge a kind of penalty if you are going to make your payment monthly spread over the next 12 months rather than annually at the beginning of the year to which the policy pertains. If your payment is on annual basis, then you also lose interest on the payment that you are making at the beginning of the insurance period as compared to the monthly payment where your money keeps on earning interest throughout the year. In most cases, there is an overall saving though if you pay annually, but for many people, the benefit of paying in easy monthly installments outweighs the saving due to annual premium. You should always keep in mind that even if there is a small saving, in the long run, a small amount of savings due to annual payment of premium may convert into a substantially large amount in a few years. For people, who are living financially lean lifestyles, a monthly payment of premium could be an effective means to make their outgo on car insurance premium a little more manageable.
Due to increased competition in the insurance companies segment, there are some companies that do not charge anything extra for monthly payments in which case, making a monthly payment could be an ideal choice. This is quite prevalent in some countries such as United Kingdom, and is being followed by some companies in Australia as well of late. Then, there are some credit card companies as well having a 0% plan for purchases for 12 months. It is always advisable to work out the implied insurance cost by calculating the extra payment made on monthly payment options and the money that you would be saving in the annual payment options before you come to a decision.