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How to Avoid Being Ripped Off on Car Insurance

Posted on the 17 March 2011 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl

Ladies (& Gentlemen!), this topic might sound a little off beat in comparision to the usual topics here at Ms. Career Girl.  I decided to include this post in our line up because car insurance is one of those little details that is part of this whole “growing up” thing.  At 26, I’m about to purchase my first car and these are the types of questions I have had throughout the process.  Hope this post is helpful to you now or in the future.  Cheers to independent well-informed women!

By, Miles Walker

Buying a car is a major first step in a young adult’s life, but buying the insurance for the car can be nothing less than monumental. Without age and wisdom, young people are at risk of being ripped off by companies looking for an easy sale and are frequently penalized for being (presumably) a greater risk on the road. Still, it’s possible to navigate the pitfalls and come out the other side with reasonably priced and appropriate insurance, if you’re willing to do a little legwork to start with.

Do Your Homework

Many young people have no idea about what type of car insurance coverage that they will be shopping for – they only know that they must have it. For example, if they own a car that is ten years old, they should be probably shopping for liability only car insurance coverage instead of collision coverage. Many people get ripped off because they speak to insurance agents that try to convince them to purchase more car insurance coverage than they truly need. For a beginner with their first car, only the bare necessities are needed unless their car is exceptionally nice.

Research Companies before Making a Commitment

Caveat emptor is not just a saying – it’s also a great idea. The buyer must be even more cautious when they are younger and less world-wise. It is important to look at each insurance company’s website and read reviews about how well they treat their customers. Ask friends for a referral if they are satisfied with their insurance coverage – this helps to identify the companies with a good reputation and customer service. Never buy car insurance coverage from a company that sounds very similar to well known ones. These are often scams that have been set up by people looking to commit fraud! If in doubt, post a question online to a consumer review site and see if the car insurance companies you are interested in have given their customers positive experiences.

Compare Prices and Coverage for Each Car Insurance Company

When comparing car insurance coverage, price should never be the only deciding factor, but the unfortunate reality is that younger, first-time drivers will pay more in premiums simply because of their age. Still, you should do your best to examine the companies you have short-listed and try to get a good deal. Look at how much coverage each car insurance company offers. Some companies will offer more coverage to consumers for a few extra dollars. Compare overall premium rates to see where each car insurance company stands in terms of quality and price. It is important to weigh the pros and cons associated with each company so that you know you’re getting value for money. Consult with a customer service agent from a few of the insurance companies to see what they have to say. It is important to know as much as possible about the company’s procedures and coverage terms so that a decision can be reached.

Take Your Time

So you’re anxious to get on the road and finally start driving. That’s completely understandable – and also bad, because if you’re in a hurry, you’ll end up paying more than you need to! Never jump into the situation too quickly – wait at least a week to sign up for a new car insurance policy. Many customer service agents call or email people that they have given quotes to and want to finish the sale so that they receive their commission. If they become too pushy then ask them to stop calling you. It’s also a good idea to give yourself time to think about it, and about how much you’ll spend versus what coverage you’ll get.

As a final note – never, ever be tempted to drive without insurance. Uninsured drivers are the bane of motorists everywhere, and they’re part of the reason that insurance premiums can cost a lot of money. You might think that you’re a good driver, and one short trip won’t hurt, but you’re not the only driver on the road – and getting into an accident is not really a great way to start your motoring life.


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