Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Motor Insurance: How to Get the Right Coverage

When you are buying motor insurance, consider the type and amount of coverage you need first. Then you can start shopping around for coverage. Be sure to ask about available discounts before you make a buying decision.

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Depending on the state where you live, you may need to have a certain amount of third party liability in place. This is insurance protection that pays for damages incurred by the occupants of the other vehicle when an accident occurs.

Motor Insurance: Coverage Available

Along with bodily injury liability coverage, you will also need to have property damage insurance in place. This is coverage that pays to repair the other driver’s vehicle, as well as public property damaged in the accident (sign posts, mail boxes, light stands).

Consider some other insurance coverages too:

  • You can also buy coverage to protect your vehicle. Collision coverage pays for the cost of repairing your car after an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays out your vehicle is damaged by something other than a collision. This part of the policy covers you against losses due to hail, wind, vandalism, fire and theft.
  • In no-fault states, you will probably be required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance pays for your personal medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages following an accident.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is also available. Uninsured motorist protection comes into play when the at-fault driver in an accident does not have coverage.

While you can buy a policy that will cover you only for the minimum level of coverage required by law, it may not be enough protection if you are the at-fault driver in a serious accident. Your insurance policy would pay out up to the policy limit, but any damages owing above that amount would be payable by you personally.

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Discounts Available on Motor Insurance

Insurance companies offer discounts to customers in a number of circumstances:

  • The best way to get the lowest prices for your car insurance is maintain a clean driving record. Insurance companies offer the best rates to customers who present the lowest levels of risk. They look at past events as a way to predict how someone will perform in the future. If you are accident and ticket-free for at least three years, you should qualify for a good driver discount.
  • Keeping your annual mileage low can help you get a break on your car insurance premiums. The less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident. Taking public transit to and from work or using carpooling will save money and are good for the environment, too.
  • Be sure to operate a vehicle that is equipped with safety devices. An ABS brake system and automatic seat belts can help you save money. Installing an anti-theft device will also help you qualify for better rates on your insurance coverage.
  • Good students who maintain a B average or higher can get a discount on the cost of their car insurance coverage. If you are the parent of a college student who will be away from home and not driving for part of the year, be sure to let the insurance company know. It will adjust your rates to reflect the fact that one driver does not have access to the vehicle for several months.
  • Insuring more than one vehicle with the same company can qualify you for a multi-policy discount. If you have several drivers in your household, consider buying coverage from one insurance provider to save money.

Shop Around for Best Motor Insurance Rates

If you want to avoid paying more than you have to for motor insurance, get quotes from several companies. Each one sets its own rates for customers, and by comparing pricing from different ones, you can find a company that will give you the protection you need at affordable rates.

The insurance company will ask you a few questions about yourself, your vehicle and your driving history before it can give you pricing information. Your age and gender are factored in, since young male drivers have a higher risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.

When you get quotes, be sure that you are looking at pricing for policies offering the same type and level of coverage. This strategy will help you make a better buying decision.

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