When it comes to car insurance, we’ve found that almost everyone is looking for the perfect combination of coverage and price. Having the policy features that are right for your situation at the most affordable rate available is a winning plan.
We know what some of you are thinking: “We only buy car insurance because we have to, not because we want to.” But taking a short-term savings approach may not pay off in the end, and there may be a number of coverage types that are not only right for you, but they’re also low to no-cost options in many cases.
If you’re close to renewing your current auto policy, or thinking about getting a new insurance company, we sugest that it’s worth your while to consider these seven bargains in the world of car insurance.
1. Accident forgiveness
Accident forgiveness is almost as simple as it sounds. It’ll help you avoid seeing a rise in your car insurance policy due to a single accident. While most insurers offer accident forgiveness as a free-of-charge option to its customers, not everyone will qualify. These programs are normally available only to drivers who have clean driving records and limited claims histories. Ask your insurer if you qualify.
2. Full glass
If you have full coverage (liability plus collision and comprehensive) you’ll normally have coverage on windshields and other types of auto glass breakage. However, you’ll be on the hook for whatever deductible amount you carry on your comprehensive policy. Some states require that windshields are a no-deductible option, however, so check how this will apply to you.
Full glass coverage eliminates all deductibles on broken auto glass, and in some cases, insurers will offer full glass coverage at no extra charge, just for being a customer.
3. Declining deductible
We’ve discussed how deductibles can affect the amount you pay for car insurance many times, but for a select few drivers – those with excellent driving records and limited claims history – a deductible may not even be required in the event of a claim.
Some insurance companies offer declining deductible programs. In essence, with each year you go as a claim-free customer, a significant amount of $50-100 is removed from your specified deductible while your rates stay the same.
4. Rental reimbursement
One of the most common add-ons is a rental reimbursement rider. In the event your car is damaged or stolen, you’ll be provided with a rental car without cost, although you can certainly pay the difference and upgrade your rental car. If your car cannot be driven and needs repair, you’ll have a rental car to replace it. Same goes for situations where you’ve been the victim of an auto theft. This coverage is normally just a couple of dollars a month.
5. Roadside assistance
Another popular addition, roadside assistance covers the cost of a tow truck, water and fuel delivery, or other services you might need when your vehicle breaks down. These packages are usually extremely cheap – just a few dollars a month in most cases – and can be well worth those couple of dollars with a single use.
If you travel frequently, you should definitely consider a roadside assistance package. Because coverage and cost will vary with insurance company, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t cheaper third party options before you take this add-on.
6. Towing and Labor
We’ve already covered that you can get a rental car if you’re left without your car after an accident, but what happens to your car? It will have to be towed, that’s what. Towing and labor, depending upon your insurer, may also be available as part of a roadside assistance package if your breaks down and you need it towed to a repair facility. These are also very low-cost options, available for just a couple of dollars a month in most cases.
7. Gap insurance
For those who are upside down on their car loans, gap insurance can be a lifesaver. This optional coverage pays the difference between what you still owe on your car and its actual cash value. Keep in mind that gap coverage is generally only available if you have collision and comprehensive coverage, and if the car is financed or leased, so you may not be eligible for this add-on.
Remember, it’s a wise decision to re-examine your auto insurance needs at least once a year. Next time you do so, you might find one of these seven insurance add-ons may fit the bill for your situation.
Don’t just simply decide to forego any or all car insurance add-ons – you should ask friends and family about their experiences, and consider each add-on separately. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be well equipped to make the decisions that are right for you.