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Car Insurance Basics: 6 Things to Consider When it Comes to Insuring your Car in Maine

Posted March 24, 2014, at 2:21 p.m.

As in all 50 states, car insurance is required by law for car owners in Maine, it’s important that drivers receive adequate coverage at a price they can afford. Maine and most other states require only bodily injury and physical damage liability insurance, however you should always consider more comprehensive coverage in case of the unthinkable. Once you know the type of insurance you need, ask yourself the following questions to get the best deal on auto insurance.

1. What Type of Coverage Should You Get?

You may already know the minimum requirements for Maine, but there are many other types coverage that you should look at. For example, if you own a new car, you might choose to include comprehensive or collision coverage in your policy whereas if you own a car of lesser value, this type of coverage may not benefit you in an accident. Consider these additional types of coverage:

  1. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage:

    This type of coverage protects you in case the at-fault party in an accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your medical or car repair costs.

  2. Collision coverage:

    This will help pay for damages to your vehicle no matter who is at fault in an accident.

  3. Comprehensive coverage:

    This covers damages to your vehicle due to accidents other than collision, such as fire, vandalism, and theft.

  4. Personal injury protection:

    PIP helps pay for physical injuries sustained in an accident. This type of coverage may apply to you, family members, passengers, and other people authorized to drive your vehicle.

2. What and Who Does Your Policy Cover?

Car insurance policies vary so much that there’s no definite answer to this question. Talk with your potential insurance provider about what exactly your insurance will cover and who will be able to use it. For instance, your comprehensive coverage may or may not cover damage to satellite radio or GPS devices if they’re not permanently installed in the car. Additionally, some forms of coverage may apply to family members while others may only apply to the vehicle owner.

3. Which Company is Best for You?

Before you buy car insurance, it’s important that you compare car insurance companies to determine which one offers the best rates and services for your situation. Since each insurance company uses a different algorithm for determining your rates, you may find that one is cheaper in your situation. You should also look at additional services companies offer, such as 24-hour customer service, insurance counseling services, and other coverage options to find the company that will work best with you.

4. What Types of Discounts are You Eligible For?

Almost all insurance companies offer discounts, so it’s important to check these out to get a good rate. For example, many car insurance companies also offer other types of insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, boat coverage, motorcycle insurance, and more. By combining your policies, you could earn discounts on all your insurance needs. Other common types of discounts include:

  • Safe driver
  • Good student
  • Low mileage
  • Save equipment

5. What are Your Payment Options?

There are many ways you can choose to pay your car insurance premium, whether you opt for a monthly bill or a paid-in-full option. You can also choose to get billed directly or through direct deposit. Choose what option is the most convenient for you, but also be aware that some options may earn you a discount, such as paying in full or paying via direct deposit.

6. What is Your Deductible?

One aspect of car insurance that you really need to look at is your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay before the insurance kicks in when you file a claim. If you opt for a higher deductible, you’ll pay less in your premium and vice versa. USA Today says that raising your deductible from $200 to $1,000 could save you around 40 percent on your premium, but it’s all about what best fits your situation, so make sure to consider this aspect when you sign up for a new policy.

Before you sign up for an insurance policy, make sure to take these questions into account, and then check out these additional tips to better prepare yourself.

Harper Kelly has worked in the insurance business at Travelers Insurance in Maine for 9 years and loves to write to help others out in her free time.

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