Many of us start shopping for car insurance quotes with the mission of getting the lowest cost possible. What we really should be doing is asking ourselves why we are getting car insurance in the first place. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t get car insurance, but I am implying that evaluating your reason for getting car insurance helps you make a wiser car insurance purchase for your dollar.
The first thing most folks think of when asked the question “Why do you get car insurance?” is that the government requires it. This is partially true as every state has a law related to liability or responsibility assigned in a car accident. All states but one actually require car insurance or something in lieu of car insurance like a bond or proof of cash reserves. Minimum coverage requirements nationally range from $25,000 per accident to $100,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $5,000 to $25,000 for property damage liability.
Ultimately though, we all wish to avoid government penalties. Government penalties are definitely steep. The lowest penalty for not having car insurance looks like a fine of $100, but in many cases this is the bare minimum. Not only will you face steeper rates with the insurance companies when you are forced to get insurance, but you can face much steeper penalties. These penalties compound with each offense and can quickly lead to driver’s license suspension and jail time.
We shouldn’t just consider government punishment as the only motivating factor when considering car insurance. Ultimately the penalties others can apply to someone who is found to be at fault in a car accident can be much more financially painful than any government penalty. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, average bodily injury liability claims were almost $15,000 in 2012 and property damage liability claims were just over $3,000 for that same year. Most folks cannot afford to fork out nearly $20,000 in the case of a car accident. In some cases that liability can be much more and can even include loss of an individual’s personal assets including their home if they are at fault. Over 2 million are injured every year, putting one in every one hundred people in the US being injured due to an auto accident. Chances are likely that you could be found as at fault in an auto accident at any time.
In the end though, the person we are trying to protect is ourselves by maximizing our car insurance quotes to get the best coverage for our money. Car insurance has some great options that do just that. These options beyond minimum coverage include uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance coverage, uninsured motorist property damage insurance coverage, medical payments insurance coverage, comprehensive insurance coverage, and collision insurance coverage. Average claims for these coverage options tend to be around $2,000 to $4,000 each. When combined they can equal up to another possible $20,000.
When considering car insurance quotes you should look at the big picture. Make your decisions not only on the cheap car insurance or cheap auto insurance quotes, but also consider why you’re getting the car insurance quote to begin with. Considering the bigger why questions ensures that you get great auto insurance that can meet your true needs and protect you long term.