|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
It happens before you know it and so often, you cannot prevent it from happening. Vehicle insurance makes life easier but there are always the worries of excess payments and premiums. However, by establishing accountability and proving that you are not to blame, you can shed the extra worry. Here are four simple steps that will help point out the guilty party:
1. Were there any traffic violations? Was someone negligent?
Take a breath and try to remember whether or not any traffic laws were violated. Did someone skip a red light; did someone overtake in the incorrect lane; was someone exceeding the speed limit? The person who broke any of the traffic laws will always be held responsible for the accident. Make sure that you can find a willing bystander to testify to this fact.
2. Who crashed into whom?
If you are involved in a rear-end collision then accountability for the accident is obvious. It does not matter what the surrounding circumstances were, if you hit a car from behind it is your fault. If you are involved in a left-hand turn collision the driver who took the left turn is to blame, unless it can be proven that the other party violated a traffic law.
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
3. Listen to the comments made by the other driver and write them down.
Be aware of what the other driver is saying. It can happen that the driver will get out of the car and say something along the lines of “I'm sorry for crashing into you.” Write this down as it is an admission of guilt. Remember to mention it to the police officer when giving your statement.
4. Speak to witnesses.
Witnesses are your biggest asset when establishing accountability. Talk to the people who are close by and ask them if they saw how the accident happened. If a few witnesses can contribute their statements, it will be clear which driver is to blame. For your own records, write down their statements and take their names and contact numbers for any future reference.
Determining accountability is by no means an exact science. Remember that pointing fingers does not help; you will need proof. Both your statement and the account of the other driver will be compared to the witness testimonies to establish the responsible party. If you are at fault, do the honourable thing and admit it to avoid severe legal implications.
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|