10 Tips for Buying Auto Insurance
Buying auto insurance can be confusing, and with all the choices available, it can be down right overwhelming. Luckily there are plenty of resources to help guide you through the process. The following 10 tips should help you make an informed decision and make sure you are protected if ever in an accident.
1. Request a quote from several licensed insurance agents.
Be sure to ask for the same coverage from each so your comparisons will be accurate. A quote is an estimate of your premium -- it is not a firm price or a contract. It is against the law for an agent to intentionally quote you a low premium just to get your business.
2. Be sure the information on your application is accurate.
False or inaccurate information could cause the company to cancel your policy or refuse to pay a claim. Always get a copy of the signed application form.
3. Be sure to get a binder from the agent once you sign the application.
The binder is proof of your coverage until you receive your policy. It should show the name of the agent and insurance company, list your cars and the coverage you purchased, and be signed by the agent.
4. Always pay by check or money order made payable to the insurance company, never to the agent or the agency.
5. You should receive your policy no later than 60 days after the effective date.
If you do not, contact your agent immediately.
6. Immediately report any changes affecting your policy to your agent.
This would include address or name changes, the addition of a new driver or car, or any change in the use of your car.
7. Keep track of your policy renewal date.
Policies are usually for a term of 6 or 12 months. Most companies will send you a bill at least 45 days in advance of your renewal and premium due date.
8. The choice of insurance company and agent is yours.
You do not have to buy auto insurance from the dealer who sold you the car or the lending institution financing your car.
9. If you already have a policy, you can add a new or additional car to your existing policy.
10. If you have any further questions or believe you have a claim, do not hesitate to contact an attorney.
The Florida Bar Association publishes handouts on a variety of topics. The information above is included in the Florida Bar’s handout on Automobile Insurance.
If You Have Questions About a Car Accident or Any Other Injury You Suffered
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