Technically, it is illegal to drive a car without insurance, and you’ll want to notify your insurer of the car as soon as possible. If you know you’re about to purchase a car, you should get quotes for auto insurance first. If you already have a policy with another vehicle, that coverage will extend to your car for anywhere between four and 30 days, depending on your policy.
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Legally, anyone driving a vehicle should hold a valid driving license for that category. As the owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that those with a valid driving license are driving your vehicle. Also ensure that no one (including you) drives the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the driver is intoxicated at the time of an accident then insurance company is not liable to compensate the policyholder.
When building your policy, you may need to look beyond the basics. For example, protections like umbrella coverage — which pays liability costs higher than the limits of your standard auto policy — help provide an extra layer of financial security. Others, like pet injury — which helps with veterinary expenses stemming from an accident — are geared toward dog owners. No single insurer will offer coverage that’s perfect for everyone, so we preferred the ones that have plenty of options.
Also known as AARP, The Hartford was the recipient of the 2016 J.D. Power study for car insurance companies ability to handle claims. The Hartford scored 5/5 stars for nearly every step of the claims process; from notifying them, to the repair process, and the final settlement. Those who think a smooth claims process is the most important factor for car insurance, The Hartford should definitely be considered.
We identified the auto insurance companies with the cheapest rates, but, as with anything, you want to be sure you are getting high quality service from your insurance company. Reliable car insurance companies are critical in ensuring a smooth customer-insurer relationship. There are a few factors we deemed most important to evaluate a company on which affect policy holders' satisfaction, such as, the average shopping experience, customer service, ability to resolve complaints, and quote filing process.
NerdWallet compared quotes from these insurers in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, as well as any other coverage required in each state. Our “good driver” profile is a 40-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier.
Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance, so shop for quotes whenever something major changes in your life. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. If your risk for accidents goes down, your rates just might, too.
If your car is not insured and involved in an accident, you might have to pay to rent a car or cover repairs yourself. Comprehensive and Collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy is a much better value because, even if you're not involved in an accident, you can still be protected against theft, fire, vandalism and windshield damage. Want to reduce your monthly auto insurance payment? Choose a higher deductible.