OVERLAND PARK, KS (December 09, 2011) – New spouse? Changed jobs? Moved to a new house? Bought a car off of lease? Then it’s time for an auto insurance check-up.
All of these factors, along with age, gender, driving record, employment and zip codes, play a factor in your insurance costs, so an annual update is important.
First, compare your costs against the national averages. In 2011, the national average cost for one year of auto insurance premiums is $1,546, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). While pricing varies by state and driver, this might show where you can save some money.
“There are a lot of variables in your auto insurance rates, but it’s smart to do an annual review to make sure you’re adequately covered but not paying too much,” said Dan Young, SVP-Insurance for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “You can do a lot of your shopping online to compare quotes and see what your options are. If your car is older and has less value, you might choose not to carry collision or comprehensive coverage. If you’ve taken a new job and money is an issue -- you may be able to take a higher deductible to reduce your insurance premium.”
Here are a few tips for understanding the coverage you need and getting the best value:
· Shop around and obtain quotes from multiple carriers to ensure you’re getting the best price. But price, quality, reliability, financial strength and service should all factor in when selecting the insurance company and policy components.
· Seek out opinions from friends, co-workers, and other acquaintances about their real life experience with their insurance company. Real life experience when it counts most is the best barometer of an insurance company’s ability to deliver true customer satisfaction.
· Choosing what limits to carry on liability coverage is very important.
· State limits drive the minimum levels a consumer can carry but most people should choose much higher Property Damage limits to reduce their personal exposure to loss.
· Collision and comprehensive are expensive but mandatory coverages when lien holders are involved. Weighing the year over year costs of carrying collision and comprehensive coverage must be calculated against the potential actual cash value (ACV) payment you might receive if your vehicle is damaged beyond repair.
· Choosing the right deductible for your situation plays a big factor in the affordability of insurance. How much can you really self insure plays a key role in the overall immediate cost of personal auto insurance.
“Bottom line, make companies compete for your business by shopping on line and conducting price quoting,” suggested Young. “Realistically evaluate what you are willing to pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident. And ask for discounts for combining home, life and car insurance policies with one carrier. You’ll be confident in your coverage, and your checkbook will be happier.”
If the unfortunate accident does occur, Young recommended having a collision plan in place so you aren’t stranded on the roadside waiting for assistance. CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers high-quality, reliable repair service in 31 states and 10 Canadian provinces. Just call 1-800-CARSTAR when you have an accident and they will send the tow truck, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car and repair your vehicle. For information and store locations visit www.CARSTAR.com and “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carstar-Auto-Body-Repair-Experts/173849002171.
CARSTAR Auto Body Experts is the largest group of branded collision repair facilities in North America with over 380 locally owned and operated locations in 31 states and 10 Canadian provinces. CARSTAR is committed to providing consistent quality services to our customers and insurance partners and has repaired more than 2.5 million vehicles since it was founded in 1989. Our technicians and front office staff receive ongoing training to ensure they are qualified to work on any vehicle. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority as we consistently lead the industry in customer satisfaction ratings.