»Things to think about when shopping for insurance

Things to think about when shopping for insurance

It is all too easy to run your life on autopilot. You managed to get up into the air on your own as you came into adulthood. You punched in the destination code and then clicked the switch. Life was up above the clouds, running swift and true across the skies. Decisions were made by routine. Nothing changed because the machine was in charge and it was steering you to your destination. Then a message came to you as the pilot. Fuel is running expectedly low. You will have to land except, when you look below, the clouds have darkened into storm and you are over the sea. If you run out of fuel you will crash and be lost. In a sudden panic, you ask yourself how this could happen. You think about it some more and the answer becomes clear. Every year, you renewed your obligations without looking at what they were costing. If the prices went up, you paid without giving it a second thought. Life was good. Credit was readily available. There was no need to worry. Now the recession is here, there is worry everywhere. You have to look at your obligations again to see what savings can be made.

Let us begin with a sad fact. As unemployment spreads and family budgets shrink, there are more drivers than ever before driving without insurance. The odds are now shifting. Go back ten years and the chance of being in a traffic accident with an uninsured driver was low. Today, you need additional cover. Ironically, we are starting with a possible increase in your premium to recognize the false economy of driving without this cover. Look carefully at your own financial position and decide how much you need to cover you without having to dip into any savings. The older your car and the lower its value, the less need for collision cover. Indeed, you should self-insure by increasing the deductible. It is usually worth covering anything up to $1,000 out of your own pocket. Finally, you should consider placing both car and home insurance with the same company. This can usually save at least 10% on the joint premiums.

It is too easy to pay the auto insurance premiums automatically, renewing every year, assuming there is a loyalty bonus and that the policy is still good value for money. This is not a safe assumption. There are good long-term rates available with first-year discounts as an incentive to switch to a new company. When your own family budget is under stress, use this and any other online sites to search for the best value-for-money policy you can find that will give you the protection you need when you put wheels on the road. Auto insurance keeps you legal and keeps you safe.

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