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For many people, buying car insurance is a hassle they’d rather take care of quickly and stop worrying about it. But if you approach insurance this way, then you could wind up paying more money than you should, or worse, purchase less coverage than you need to protect your assets. In the long run, an inadequate auto insurance policy will cost you more money, and give you more of a headache when you actually have to make a claim.

The right auto insurance policy should provide you with the peace of mind knowing that you’ll be taken care of in the event of a car accident. Every person is different, and so you probably won’t benefit from a one-size-fits-all policy.

Thankfully, the more effort you put into finding the right policy (or when you work with an experienced independent insurance agent), the more likely you’ll be rewarded with lower payments, better coverage, and a smoother claims process. To get the most out of your auto insurance policy, avoid these four costly blunders:

1. Only going with minimum coverage

Every state has its own requirements for the minimum amount of coverage you must carry by law. However, minimum coverage could leave you sorely underinsured, since the limits for coverage are typically so low. Any expenses that exceed the limits will have to come out of your pocket.

For example, South Carolina has a “25/50/25” limit for liability insurance—that’s $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury for the total accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Liability coverage is only for when you are at fault, and it only pays for injuries and damage you cause to others.

South Carolina also requires a minimum amount of insurance that covers you when you are involved in an accident with an unregistered uninsured driver who is found to be at fault.

Add-ons like rental car insurance and roadside assistance also won’t be included in a bare minimum policy. Also, you won’t be covered for events like hail damage or vandalism.

2. Setting your deductibles too low

When you get in an accident, you typically have to pay a certain amount of money before your insurance coverage starts. This is called your deductible. With a low deductible, you’ll pay less when you get in an accident, but your monthly premiums will be significantly higher.

In the long run, the higher monthly payments will most likely cancel out any savings you’d get from having a low deductible. Instead, go with a higher deductible and put some of the money you save into an emergency fund.

3. Not exploring all possible discounts

There are car insurance discounts out there for the taking—you just need to know which ones you are eligible for so you can take advantage of them.

Examples of common discounts include:

  • Good driving record: when you've gone a long time (typically 3 years) without getting in an accident where you were at fault, or without getting a ticket.
  • Good student discount: teen and young adults can be expensive to insure. Thankfully, most insurance companies offer discounts for students with high grade point averages.
  • Driving a vehicle with extra safety features: If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger airbags, an anti-theft system, and rearview cameras, then you may qualify for lower premiums.
  • Bundling: most insurance companies offer a discount when you bundle two or more types of insurance, such as car insurance and home insurance.

4. Not comparing options and quotes

Insurance companies are constantly competing with each other by lowering their premiums and offering specialized discounts. How can you be sure you’re getting the best coverage available unless you know all the options out there?

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to compare car insurance coverage across a broad spectrum of carriers. The best way to do this is to tap into the resources and expertise of an independent insurance agency. Independent agents will be able to provide you with free car insurance quotes from many different insurance companies, and they can add an extra layer of insight into deals, discounts, and which coverage options are best for your specific situation.

Get the right auto insurance at a price you can afford. Contact CSP insurance today to talk to an independent agent!

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CSP Insurance Services |
2420 Hoffmeyer Rd, Suite D | Florence, SC 29501
| Ph: 843-519-2557
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