What are some tips for insuring my first car?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Buying auto insurance for your first car can be intimidating. How much coverage do you need? Where can you find the best price? A little knowledge can go a long way toward boosting your confidence and helping you land the right insurance policy.

Before you begin to shop for insurance, make sure you understand car insurance terminology. Insurance.com's auto insurance glossary can get you up to speed on unfamiliar insurance terms you may encounter while shopping for a policy.  

Next, start thinking about how much coverage you need. First-time shoppers may be tempted to try and shave premium costs by settling for minimum levels of coverage. But that's usually a mistake. If you're in an accident, being underinsured can put your current and future assets and earnings at risk.

Also, decide whether or not it makes sense to carry collision and comprehensive coverage. In most cases, the answer will be "yes." However, you may be better off skipping this coverage in some cases where the car is very old and not worth much money.

Shopping for car insurance

Once you've determined what you need in an auto insurance policy, you are ready to shop for the best price. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Each car insurance quote should be based on the same coverage components so you can get an accurate read on which policy is best for you.

Find out the exact terms of any policy. Generally, premiums last for either six months or a full year. You'll also need to pay attention to when coverage begins and ends, and any policy limitations and exclusions.

Finally, remember to ask about any available discounts. New teen drivers may get lower rates for being good students. If you already have a home insurance policy, go to your home insurer and ask if you will qualify for a discount if you purchase car insurance from the same company.

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