If you own a car, it is likely among the most expensive items you possess. Owning and driving a car has its own inherent safety risks, and insurance is meant to help you protect your investment in the event of an accident. It follows that special care should be taken to make sure the insurance is accurate and will help you as much as possible when you need it. Even so, many drivers encounter problems because they did not take the extra steps to protect themselves. Most of these problems were easily avoidable; you can avoid these mistakes with a minimum of extra effort.
Unfortunately, some drivers create problems for themselves with their car insurance in an effort to save themselves from certain inconveniences, so it is helpful to understand the best ways to avoid car insurance problems. It is also important to understand that most “short cuts” in regards to insurance will likely create more problems for you if you have to use the insurance. If you take simple measures to prevent these problems, you can save yourself from unnecessary trouble in the future.
First, it is important to have all drivers listed in the insurance. Ensure that the insurance policy lists all licensed operators of the vehicle in question, and make sure that the list is accurate when the policy is renewed. Some drivers have thought that they can save money by not listing certain operators, such as a spouse of a child, in an effort to “beat the system.” Avoiding this mistake will help you if an accident occurs. In such an event, if the given driver is not listed in the insurance, the insurance simply will not cover for him. The result is worse than if the insurance holder had simply listed all operators in the first place. Furthermore, listing all operators is hardly as bad as it might seem, since an accident-free insurance record can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Another problem drivers encounter is the simple issue of not making the monthly payments on the auto insurance policy. This is another case where trying to avoid inconveniences only creates worse ones in the future. The best option here is simply to pay the bills. Most insurance companies will help you here, through a variety of payment plans and methods, including electronic funds transfer. There is almost always a better option than just not paying the bill. The consequences for not paying, furthermore, can be costly and long-term. The insurance company may cancel their service for you, and it may be hard for you to find another insurance company that will accept you if you have a bad record. It may be likely that you will be unable to obtain an insurance policy from the company of your choice, and you may get stuck paying higher rates. It is always best to pay the bills.
Another mistake some drivers make is in failing to be accurate and realistic about the information you provide on the insurance policy. Be honest and accurate about the condition and age of the vehicle. Tire condition, car mileage, and original bills of sale are all important details that will help you in making an accurate appraisal of your vehicle, so that you get an insurance policy that best fits your vehicle.
Only drive vehicles that are insured. If you get into an accident in an uninsured vehicle, you will bear the brunt of the costs and consequences. Some drivers have made the mistake of insuring only some of their vehicles, either because they were unaware that each vehicle must be insured individually, or because they tried to avoid extra costs. Regardless, failure to insure a vehicle you intend to drive can have disastrous consequences, especially if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle that was insured. Even if the accident was not your fault, you will still be cited for driving without insurance. This could affect your rates for your existing insurance on other vehicles, since your driving record would show your mistake. It is a simple matter to avoid this problem, so it is best to take the extra step to make sure all your vehicles are insured.
Spending the little extra time to scrutinize your policy on a regular basis will help you catch errors if they occur on the policy. Check it annually to ensure the information is accurate, both for the operators and for the vehicle itself. Make sure your personal information, such as marriage status, age, driving record, etc, is correct, because all of these details (and others) will affect the insurance rates. Keep the information current—if any details change, make sure those changes are reflected in the policy.
In short, it is far less painful to take the right approach to car insurance than to try to work around the system. Be honest, be accurate, and take the extra steps. Car insurance is designed to help protect you and your investments, so it makes sense that you take care of it just as you would take care of what it protects.