Are you in the market for a new auto insurance policy?
Have you received a few auto insurance estimates and want to know more about them?
Do you need help figuring out if your auto insurance estimate is accurate?
You can get quotes from several insurance providers, but how truthful are those quotes? Do they provide full coverage, or are they putting you and your family in a potentially bad financial situation?
This blog covers everything you need to know about auto insurance estimates. From how the estimates are calculated to whether or not discounts are included, this blog is a must-read for anyone trying to figure out those tricky estimates.
Auto Insurance Estimates: What You Need to Know
Before you start shopping for auto insurance in Florida, it’s a good idea to understand exactly what is required of drivers in the state. Florida requires all registered vehicles to carry these two types of insurance coverage:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage will pay for 80% of “all necessary and reasonable medical expenses” up to the limit of your policy, regardless of who caused the accident. The minimum coverage amount in Florida is $10,000.
- Property Damage Liability (PDL): This coverage will pay for damages you – or another person driving your vehicle – cause to someone else’s property. This typically means a vehicle but can include other properties as well. The minimum coverage amount is $10,000.
These two required types of coverage are part of Florida’s “no-fault” auto laws, and having this minimum coverage helps reduce lawsuits and speed up medical payouts.
A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you choose insurance that’s right for you.
Additionally, if your vehicle is financed or leased, your lender may have other minimum requirements. This could be the inclusion of comprehensive and collision insurance coverages or it could be a maximum limit to the deductible you choose.
How Is My Auto Insurance Estimate Calculated?
A lot goes into calculating auto insurance estimates, and, unfortunately, not all insurance providers are transparent about the costs. Here’s what you need to know about how auto insurance estimates are calculated.
Your premiums are what you pay to your insurance provider or agency just to have your insurance coverage. Your premium is determined by a number of factors, including the coverage limits you select, the type of car you drive, and whether or not you pay in full or installments.
Typically, you can pay premiums annually, semiannually, or monthly. However, if you miss making a premium payment, you may lose your auto insurance coverage.
2. Coverage Limits
One of the most important components of auto insurance estimates is your coverage limits. Depending on your financial situation, you may have higher or lower coverage limits. Higher coverage limits will result in higher premiums but will cost less out-of-pocket if you are in an accident.
Choose coverage limits that will provide you with adequate financial protection. Being sued for medical expenses is the last thing you want after an auto accident.
A deductible is what you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance provider will pay for any claims for auto accidents. Liability coverage doesn’t have a deductible, but if you have full coverage insurance, your deductible will make up part of your auto insurance estimate calculations.
4. Driving History
The reality is that your driving record impacts your auto insurance estimates. A perfect driving record will give much lower insurance rates than a spotty driving record will. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear in your auto insurance estimate just how much you’re being charged for your incidents.
Stay on top of your driving habits, and if you’ve ever had trouble in the past, talk with your insurance provider about ways to decrease your auto insurance rates.
5. Credit Score
One critical, often overlooked, component of auto insurance estimates in your credit score. Most states allow insurance providers to check your credit history and this usually results in a rate increase for people with poor credit.
Keep up with your credit report and score so you know where you stand. If you’ve recently had some improvement, see if your auto insurance provider can potentially lower your insurance rates.
Are Discounts Included in Auto Insurance Estimates?
Depending on how you get your auto insurance estimates – online, over the phone, or in-person – you may have more or less information available about your estimate. If you’re getting quotes over the phone, ask them to email a copy of the auto insurance estimates so you can review the full price breakdown.
National insurance providers usually provide discount information in the quote. In fact, that’s one of the ways they reel people in – by highlighting all of the ways they’ve “saved” money. But not all discounts are built the same.
Here are the most lucrative discounts you need on your auto insurance estimates:
- Multipolicy discounts: If you own a home or rent an apartment, condo, or house, you likely already have or need other insurance products. Bundling auto insurance with other insurance products is the best way to get discounts on your auto insurance.
- Driving record discounts: Whether lowering your rates for continuously staying accident-free or offering you a “vanishing” deductible every time your policy renews, some of the most generous discounts are for people with a good driving record.
- Student discounts: The great thing about student discounts is that they can be used by students or they can be used by families with students in them. If your child is off to college and not driving, there are discounts available for that, too.
How to Get the Most Accurate Auto Insurance Estimate
Getting the most accurate auto insurance estimates takes a little bit of time, patience, and diligence. It’s rarely the best idea to choose the first quote you receive, so keep that in mind when you start your auto insurance search.