HOUSTON – Everyone wants to save as much money as they can when it comes to shopping for car insurance. But do you know enough about it to ask an agent the right questions? Or what top factors insurance companies consider to get you the best coverage? What you don’t know could hurt you and your wallet big time.
Here are some very common do’s and don’ts when it comes to car insurance coverage, and you may be surprised.
Houston-area independent insurance agent Chris Mims says many people may not even have enough knowledge about the topic to get the best rates.
One big misconception, he says, is the “name your price tool.”
You can name your price, but at what cost?
“The question I typically ask is, ‘If I were to sue you, how much could I get from you?’ And then they start to think,” says Chris Mims, or Mims Integra Insurance.
“A lot of people run around with minimum liability which is only like $30,000.00 and if you hurt somebody really bad, that $30,000 is gone really quick,” added Mims.
Mims says insurance companies also look at how often you file claims.
“If you have one $50,000 claim versus having ten windshield claims, they’re going to like the person with the one $50,000 claim more.”
If you need to add a teenage driver, Mims says you should buy a car with cash, not a brand new car.
And do liability insurance only. Otherwise, it will cost you a lot of money.
And a fairly new tool to consider: telemetric monitoring on your car. How hard you accelerate and how hard you brake. It could save you money if you don’t do a ton of driving.
“Personally, I don’t use it yet because I don’t know yet how that really translates in our stop-and-go traffic, but if you’re out of stop-and-go traffic or you’re older and don’t do a lot of driving, it works really, really well,” Mims said.
Remember if you are sued, you cannot lose your house or 401K.
But they can put a lien on your home and they can take any CDs, stocks, bonds, a third car, or a second home.