Types of Car Insurance

How To Buy Car Insurance For Teens

Most teens will get their driver’s licenses at some point between 16 and 18, and few parents or families really prepare in advance even though planning can help save on car insurance for teenagers and young drivers.

There are several ways to get cheap car insurance for teens, including discounts for young drivers who will be on their parents’ policy. A little research can help parents find the best car insurance company for teenagers before they add a son or daughter to their coverage. Here’s how to buy the best car insurance for your teen.

Cheap Car Insurance For Teens

Finding The Right Auto Insurance Company

Not all car insurance companies offer teenagers discounts, so shopping around and asking questions is a good idea. It is important to realize that even the best auto insurance companies calculate rates differently, which is why a car insurance quote comparison will yield varying premiums.

One insurance company may specialize in insuring high risk drivers with DUIs and multiple traffic violations, while another carrier may prefer customers with clean driving records, no accidents or violations, and high credit scores. For this reason, picking the right insurer that provides cheap car insurance for young drivers is critical to finding low premiums, which is why we recommend comparing car insurance quotes, coverage, and rates online. It is frankly the only way to know who provides the best, affordable rates.

Multi-Policy and Multi-Car Discounts

Furthermore, combining other policies such as life, homeowners, boat and/or RV insurance with the same carrier will help parents save money on all their coverage needs as well as take advantage of the discounts for teen drivers when they add their student driver to the policy.

Raise Your Deductibles

Raising your car insurance deductibles can lower your rates no matter who you are – a teen driver, adult, or senior. Most insurance policies come with a standard $500 deductible. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 prevents you from filing small claims and ruining your “No Claims” bonus, resulting in companies rewarding you with cheap quotes.

Good Student Discounts

Quite a few insurance companies offer “Good Student Discounts”. Since young drivers do not have a driving record or history, carriers need to use other indicators to calculate and determine risk. Good students with good attendance at school demonstrate more responsibility than students with poor grades and poor attendance, therefore students with GPAs of at least 3.0, or a “B” average, may qualify for a “Good Student Discount”, which can save their parents’ as much as 15% on car insurance.

Working or Volunteering Can Lower Rates

A clean driving record demonstrates a responsible attitude, but with no driving record to check, other indicators of responsibility can help teenagers keep their rates low. A good work record or employment history at a weekend or after-school job, or volunteering several hours a week for community service shows a good attitude and a sense of responsibility.

Insurance companies and colleges look for many of the same qualities in young adults, so parents can help teens prepare for driving and college at the same time. Cheap car insurance can also allow parents to save more towards college.

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Drivers Education Classes

Most high schools offer drivers education classes for student drivers. These driver-safety courses prepare students to take the written exam and road test for their permit or license. In addition, many car insurance companies offer discounts to teens who successfully complete a high school driver’s education program.

If a teen’s school doesn’t offer a safety program, signing up for a course at a private driving school may qualify you for the discount. Just make sure to ask your insurance company in advance.

Defensive Driving Discounts

In several states, car insurance companies provide a 10% discount for drivers who complete a defensive driving class. By requiring their kids to take the defensive driving class, parents can make their own car insurance quotes more affordable, and in some states, lower their teen’s rate as well. Defensive driving classes are cheap, take about 8 hours to complete and keep rates low for up to two years.

Choose The Right Car Insurance Coverage

Optional coverage like collision and comprehensive can be expensive when adding a teen to a policy, so if mom and dad are driving new cars, it may be a worthwhile investment to buy an older sedan or compact car for a teen. Liability-only coverage for old vehicles is cheap compared to full-coverage for luxury or sports cars.

If you’re trying to save money on car insurance, don’t ever place your teen as the primary driver for a new car with full-coverage and a $500 deductible. Research the different types of car insurance before choosing the right one for your family.

Should A Teenager Have His Own Insurance Policy?

If a teen is a minor, he/she may have to be on the parents’ policy. Usually, it is cheaper for teens living at home to be on their parents’ policy since most companies offer discounts, such as multi-car or multi-policy discounts that lower the rates for the entire family.

If a teen is over 18 and not a full time student, parents must decide if the teenager should find and pay for his/her own auto insurance policy. However, a better option would be to include the young driver on a parent’s policy and have him/her pay the premiums. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

What If A Teenager Gets A Traffic Ticket?

For a teenage driver, a traffic ticket can increase car insurance rates significantly. In some states, if a driver is cited for a moving violation, he/she may opt to attend traffic school and have the ticket removed from their driving record. This maintains a clean history and low rates. In states where traffic school is an option, the one-time fee for traffic school is a lot more affordable than 2 or 3 years of higher premiums.

Parents With Preferred Rates

Parents can save money on car insurance for teenagers if they themselves qualify for preferred rates. Parents who maintain a clean driving record and a good credit score qualify for the lowest rates. When parents secure preferred rates, their teen driver’s premiums are usually lower, too. This can also set a good example for children who learn that good driving habits and financial responsibility save money.

Teens or Students Living Away From Home

If your young driver is over 18 and a full-time student living in a college dorm more than 100 miles away from home, he can stay on your insurance policy. Just call your company, let them know your child is away at college and you will earn a huge discount on your premiums.

If your child is not a full time student, is employed full-time, and living on his own, he will probably have to buy protection independently.

Teenagers or young drivers who are members of the Armed Forces maintaining their parent’s home address as their own usually qualify to be added to a parent’s policy.

Teens In the Military May Qualify For Discounts

Although not all insurers offer special discounts for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, many car insurance companies do provide discounts to members of the military. If a teen or young adult in the military is still insured on their parents’ policy, the parents should ask about military discounts. If a teen is out of the country on active military duty, parents should notify their company since the teen is not driving the car on a regular basis.

Safety First

While finding and keeping premiums low is important, the safety of teen drivers is paramount. Buy your young driver a safe car with a high safety rating. Insurance companies check to make sure vehicles have a variety of safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control systems, and alarm or anti-theft systems.

Cars with side curtain airbags provide protection from head injuries. Anti-lock brakes and other safety features help teens avoid accidents, and companies often reward high safety-rated make and model vehicles with affordable car insurance.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online

Planning ahead, getting all the right discounts and comparing free car insurance quotes from different companies can help families find cheap auto insurance for teenagers. Even if you aren’t interested in switching carriers, just increasing the deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage can save money, and it’s free to find out how much the savings may be.

Complete a car insurance rate comparison today and see how good grades, a safe car, defensive driving programs and various other discounts can get your family cheaper coverage.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Auto insurance is mandatory in almost every state in the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, with the exception of New Hampshire. Each state and jurisdiction makes its own determination of which types of insurance, options, and policy limits are required to meet their state’s minimum car insurance laws. Most states require liability insurance, but in some states with no-fault regulations, liability coverage is optional. Other forms of coverage, such as comprehensive, collision, GAP, and personal injury protection, are offered as additional policy options.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about every type of car insurance coverage available. Consider this “Car Insurance 101” and your first step to learning how to compare policies, companies, rates, and quotes.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Liability Car Insurance

“Liability” is a legal term which refers to fault, or being responsible for a debt. In the case of auto insurance, liability arises out of a negligent act or omission by an insured person which causes damage or injury to a third party. A negligent act could be speeding in a school zone and an omission could be failure to stop at a stop sign or red light. Simply put, liability car insurance offers you protection in the event of an at-fault accident.

If an accident which causes damage to a party occurs as a result of these circumstances, the insured driver is legally obligated to pay for the party’s incurred damages. It should be noted that deliberate acts with the intent to cause bodily injury or damage are excluded by liability coverage.

Liability auto insurance is an agreement by the insurance company to assume your legal obligations and expenses in a covered car accident, up to the limits of your policy. In the case of auto repairs, your carrier will pay the mechanic or body shop for parts and services rendered. For litigation, the company stands in your place, hires attorneys to defend legal actions by third parties and pays for your legal costs. If your litigation costs exceed the limits of your policy, you are then personally responsible for the excess amount and those become “out-of-pocket” expenses.

Liability Limits

There are two components of liability coverage: bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD). Although liability can be bought as a single limit to cover all losses in an accident, it is most often sold as separate coverages with separate limits.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury coverage (BI) pays third parties injured by your negligence for medical expenses and bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and permanent disability. The limits of bodily injury are usually shown separate, for example 25/50. This means your carrier will cover a maximum claim of $25,000 for each person injured in an accident with a maximum of $50,000 to cover all persons injured in the accident.

Property Damage

Property damage liability coverage (PD) is a single limit amount for each accident, although it may be shown as the last number with the BI limits as 25/50/10. The first two figures represent the limits on bodily injury, while the last indicates this policy offers $10,000 in property damage protection for each accident. Property damage can include cars, houses, street signs, fences or any other property, public or private, damaged in a car accident for which you are at-fault.

Is Mandatory State Minimum Car Insurance Enough?

Since you are still financially responsible for claims which exceed the limits of your policy, state minimum car insurance is often not enough to fully protect you and your assets. Anyone with financial assets, such as cash, equity in a house, an investment portfolio or even a healthy bank account, should buy more than the minimum state requirements.

High-income households or individuals who earn reasonably high salaries should consider that courts may garnish income to satisfy court-ordered judgments or settlements arising from auto accidents. This is another reason drivers should carry enough liability insurance to protect their future earnings, but does not mean you need to buy a $1,000,000 plan.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance pays for damages to your vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, arson, acts of God, natural disasters (hail, fire, floods, and/or earthquakes) and collisions with wildlife (deer) or livestock. Comprehensive coverage does not pay out for claims related to an auto accident unless the accident occurred while your car was stolen.

Although comprehensive car insurance is not mandatory, it is often required by banks and lenders as a condition for a car loan, new or used. Comprehensive policies will best benefit drivers with a financed or leased car, or a newer vehicle in good condition that you may want to replace or repair in case of loss. Comprehensive coverage is not beneficial for drivers with older cars that have low replacement values.

Comprehensive Insurance Deductible

You may choose a deductible amount between $250 and $1,500. You will have to pay the deductible when your claim is approved in order for the car insurance company to pay the rest of the claim. For example, you choose a $1,000 deductible and your car sustains $1,500 in damages, you will pay $1,000 out-of-pocket and the company will pay $500. Generally speaking, higher deductibles mean cheaper rates.

Collision Insurance

Like comprehensive coverage, collision insurance is optional and may be required by a bank or lender as a condition for an auto loan. Collision coverage protects and pays out on claims relating to your vehicle during a collision or accident with another car or stationary object. Similar to liability and comprehensive, collision also forces you to choose a deductible.

Collision insurance pays for the repair or replacement of your vehicle regardless of which driver was at fault for an accident. Although neither the collision nor comprehensive option is state-mandated, insurance companies may be legally obligated to notify the lender who financed or leased your vehicle if the coverage lapses.

A lapse in full coverage car insurance (meaning all 3 types of protection) could void the loan agreement and result in repossession of the vehicle. The deductible for collision insurance works the exact same way as it does for comprehensive coverage, and benefits the same types of drivers – ones who lease or finance their cars and want to protect their vehicles from total loss.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM and UIM)

Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in 20 states. It acts as liability protection against other drivers who have no insurance. Your auto insurance company will pay for your repairs, litigation expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the other driver is at-fault, but does not have car insurance.

The other uninsured driver can still be held responsible for damages and may have to reimburse your carrier for their payments. All legal penalties for driving without insurance are still assessed against the uninsured driver. UM and UIM coverage is intended to provide protection for you, the policyholder, not for the uninsured driver breaking the law.

In some states, the UM/UIM policy add-on can be used as a supplement when the opposing driver involved in an accident did not buy high enough limits to cover all of your expenses. If the other driver’s liability limits are exhausted, you can submit a claim against your own provider for the balance. Your carrier will payout and cover the difference.

Uninsured Motorist Limits

In most states, the limits of UM policies are equal to liability limits. If you have a $50,000/$100,000/$50,000 policy, the uninsured motorist coverage limits would be UM-BI $50,000/$100,000 and UM-PD $50,000.

UM/UIM Deductibles

The property damage portion of UM coverage does have a deductible which must be paid. As a rule, the deductible on this part of your policy is lower than the deductible on collision and comprehensive insurance. If your carrier is able to recover a portion of the claim from the other party, they will refund you the deductible.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covers you, family members living in the same household, and passengers in your vehicle. Personal injury protection pays for medical, hospital, and funeral expenses, without regard to fault. PIP coverage may extend in some states to cover pedestrians or passengers in another car.

As a rule, PIP is attached to you, the policyholder, and reimburses for injuries incurred in most types of auto accidents. Some no-fault statutes cover all injuries arising from the use, ownership or maintenance of a vehicle. Under these laws, medical bills for an injury sustained while changing a tire are covered under PIP insurance, too.

Who Is Covered?

  • The policyholder (you)
  • Your relatives living in the same household
  • Passengers in your automobile
  • Other authorized drivers on the policy
  • In some states, the policyholder and family members when injured riding in someone else’s car as a passenger

Currently, 12 states have no-fault laws and the provisions of the laws vary widely between the states. PIP insurance coverage pays medical bills arising from an auto accident up to the policy limits in all twelve states, but not all the states have provisions for other losses, such as lost wages or essential services benefits which cover the expense of hiring someone to perform household tasks while an insured is disabled.

Some states even provide for funeral expenses and have a death benefit while others do not. PIP is mandatory coverage in most states with no-fault laws, but may not be mandatory in states with no-fault choice laws.

In the states where no-fault insurance is mandatory, health insurance companies may not pay for medical bills arising out of a car accident covered by PIP insurance, since in these states, PIP coverage is considered to be the primary medical coverage. As a result, you are not allowed to submit a claim and collect a payout under two different policies (auto and health) for the same medical expenses. However, in certain cases, one may supplement the other.

Medical Payments Insurance

Medical payments insurance is an optional coverage offered in states where personal injury protection (PIP) is not mandatory. You select the policy limits, which are typically between $1,000 and $5,000. Medical payments coverage pays for medical bills arising from a vehicular incident. The bills may include emergency room treatment, x-rays, doctor visits, necessary prescription drugs and other medical costs up to the policy limit.

Persons covered by medical payments insurance coverage include you, members of your household and passengers in your car. The policy limit is applied per person, so each covered person would have their medical bills from an accident covered up to the policy limit. Unlike PIP insurance coverage, you can collect under both medical payments and health insurance coverage in most cases.

How No-Fault Accident Laws Work

Under pure no-fault accident state laws, each party assesses their own damages and collects retribution from their own insurance company, with no right to sue or litigate against another driver. Unfortunately, no state has pure no fault regulations, although some states like Florida and Massachusetts limit the rights of parties to make claims against other drivers for injuries or damages.

In some limited claim states, the medical bills of an injured person must exceed a certain amount, for example $2,000, before that party can file a lawsuit against another driver. Other limited states restrict tort claims to people whose injuries are permanent, disfiguring or disabling.

Meanwhile, other states allow individuals to choose the option of suing a third party for injuries at the time they buy their auto insurance. These are called “choice” states and you can receive cheaper quotes in exchange for legally relinquishing your right to make an injury claim against a responsible third party. If you give up the right to make a claim against others, you gain the right not to have any tort claims made against you for auto accidents. New Jersey, Kentucky and Pennsylvania all have this combination of no fault and tort law for claims.

Since each state has vastly different and intricate no-fault laws, drivers in each state should review their policies or ask their representatives to understand the provisions of the laws in their state. To illustrate my point, New Jersey’s law is among the most liberal with coverage for medical bills, lost wages, essential services, funeral expenses and a death benefit. On the other hand, Florida’s basic PIP insurance only covers medical bills up to $10,000.

PIP and Commercial Vehicles

Some no-fault statutes limit PIP coverage to private passenger vehicles. Private passenger vehicles cannot be used for commercial purposes such taxis and limos or delivery vehicles. Vehicles with commercial registration are automatically excluded from PIP.

Vehicle owners should be aware that most private policies contain exclusions for commercial use of a personal vehicle and this includes delivering pizzas or newspapers for compensation. Individuals who use their private vehicles for commercial purposes must have this option checked on their policy, either personally or through their employer, or they may be in violation of their state’s laws. The exclusion applies in all U.S. states.

GAP Insurance – Loan/Lease

GAP insurance is another type of optional coverage for individuals who have a car loan or lease. Without GAP insurance, in the event that your car is a total loss, your carrier is only required to pay the actual cash value of your vehicle. Unfortunately, due to the depreciation of cars and the interest on the auto loan, the balance owed on the loan may be more than the actual cash value of the car. This may require you to make a lump sum payment to your lender or continue making monthly installments even though you are not driving your vehicle because it is totaled.

GAP insurance requires your provider to pay the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the balance of the loan so you aren’t liable. GAP avoids an out-of-pocket expense. With GAP insurance, car owners don’t end up making loan payments on cars they no longer own or can’t drive due to damage. It does not pay finance charges or excessive wear and tear charges on leased vehicles.

This option may be purchased as a separate rider (add-on to your policy), but it is usually less expensive to add it as an endorsement to an existing contract. Most standard insurance companies offer a GAP endorsement, but some carriers that specialize in minimum limits may not, forcing you to buy the coverage separately.

Custom Car Insurance – Custom Parts and Equipment

Custom car insurance can be added to a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage and is used to cover non-factory or after-market parts and equipment such as stereos and sound systems, rims, high performance engines or parts, custom paint jobs, decals, truck bed liners, camper tops, specialty lights and other legal after-market items. Items which are not legal in a jurisdiction, which may include tinted windows or undercarriage neon lights, are not protected or reimbursed.

Emergency Roadside Assistance – Towing and Labor

Emergency roadside assistance coverage is offered through both automobile clubs (AAA) and auto insurance companies. Towing a vehicle following a loss covered by collision or comprehensive insurance is included. Emergency roadside assistance pays for towing, lock outs, roadside breakdowns, flat tires, dead batteries or even running out of gas. Labor, service and parts are provided without charge.

Roadside assistance generally has a monetary limit which varies between policies, but most allow up to $100 per incident and no more than 3 incidents per year. Emergency roadside assistance may be purchased on polices which do not carry collision or comprehensive insurance as well.

Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance can be broken down into two categories – reimbursement and protection for you when driving a rental car.

Reimbursement

Comprehensive insurance pays for a rental car for up to 30 days following the theft or damage of your vehicle. Most companies offering rental car insurance contribute a limited amount towards a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Rental car reimbursement can only be purchased on policies which have collision and comprehensive coverage.

Some car insurance companies have agreements with rental agencies which bill the insurance company directly. In these situations, the cost of the rental is covered in full for a period of up to 30 days. Otherwise, your carrier may simply reimburse you directly, per the guidelines set forth in your contract. Rental reimbursement may not cover the full amount of your rental and may require an out-of-pocket payment so be wise on how much you spend.

Coverage On Rental Cars

Many drivers are unaware that if they rent or borrow a car, their existing policy transfers coverage to the rental car. Standard insurance policies usually have a clause which states that if your car is disabled, a temporary replacement vehicle will be covered with the same insurance as your actual car.

If your automobile is undergoing repairs, even those that are not covered under your policy, your insurance company will cover a rental or borrowed car during the time your car is out of commission and not in-use.

Pet Insurance

Americans love their pets and often travel with them in the car. Veterinary bills for injured animals can be almost as expensive as healthcare costs for humans, and some carriers have begun offering pet accident insurance as part of an auto policy package. As a rule, accident-only pet insurance covers veterinary expenses incurred as a result of an injury to a pet from a car accident.

There is a limit on the total amount of expenses, which may be as low as $500 or as high as $5,000. These endorsements may be offered free as an incentive for consumers to purchase their auto insurance from a particular company. Otherwise, the policyholder can request the pet accident insurance as an addition to his/her policy. Not all providers offer pet insurance.

Umbrella Policies

Umbrella or excess insurance policies are not specifically auto policies. Instead, umbrella insurance offers liability coverage in excess of the limits of any liability insurance held by you, including auto, home, life, health, renter’s, and boat insurance. Should an injured person make a claim exceeding the liability limits of your auto insurance policy, your umbrella protection would cover the additional amount of the claim up to the umbrella policy limit. Umbrella insurance can range from $250,000 in coverage to millions.

When a claim exceeds the limit of the primary insurance policy, the company will notify you regarding your potential exposure. You must then notify your umbrella insurance company of a potential claim. This essentially means you will have 2 companies working to protect you. The umbrella insurer will provide legal representation and pay the amount of a legal judgment not covered by the primary liability insurance policy, up to the limit of your policy. For instance, if you bought $100,000 worth of liability protection in your auto policy and $500,000 in your umbrella contract, a $250,000 judgment against you would exhaust your auto policy and your umbrella would pay out the remaining $150,000.

Insurers who provide excess coverage may require that the primary policy have a liability limit of a certain amount before agreeing to underwrite the excess coverage. As a rule, excess or umbrella insurance is cheap compared to primary liability policies since it only covers claims that exceed the first policy, therefore posing less risk of loss to the insurance company.

Car Insurance Coverage

Choosing the right car insurance coverage is part of financial planning. Understanding what types of coverage and policies are available and which are necessary to provide enough protection is important. Mandatory state minimum car insurance does not provide enough coverage for most U.S. drivers seeking to buy adequate car insurance. To find the best car insurance, always research and compare policies, companies and rates before purchasing coverage.

Car Insurance Deductibles: How Do They Work?

A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you must pay on a claim before your auto insurance company begins to payout or cover additional damages, repairs, expenses or medical bills beyond the deductible. Generally speaking, higher auto insurance deductibles come with cheaper annual premiums since companies assume policyholders will be less likely to file smaller claims given the out-of-pocket expense. For this reason, picking the best car insurance deductible is critical to calculating your rates.

Car Insurance Deductible

How Do Car Insurance Deductibles Work?

If your insured car suffers $2,000 worth of damage in a covered accident and you have a $500 deductible, the car insurance company will pay $1,500 to fix your vehicle and you must pay $500. The deductible applies each time a claim is made for damage or repairs to the car under the policy. When buying auto insurance coverage, most insurers will offer you a choice between a $250, $500, and $1000 deductible.

Choosing The Right Car Insurance Deductible

While liability car insurance coverage is mandatory, collision and comprehensive coverage are not. Collision coverage protects your vehicle when you are in a car accident, paying for repairs and damages to your own property; meanwhile, comprehensive coverage covers damage to your vehicle in instances other than an auto accident, such as natural disasters. Both optional insurance coverages have car insurance deductibles and the amount of the deductible has a big impact on how affordable your car insurance rates may be.

Before buying the best car insurance for your needs, get multiple car insurance quotes and compare the auto insurance deductible on each policy to see which company is offering the best deal and coverage.

What Is Collision Insurance Coverage?

Collision coverage insures against damage to a vehicle caused in an accident like a collision with another car or a stationary object. Although collision car insurance is not mandatory under state minimum insurance laws, it is usually required by banks or lenders when you buy a new car. The deductible on collision coverage is usually between $250 and $1500, but the most common deductible is $500.

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to an insured vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, acts of nature and collisions with animals. Like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage is usually required by lenders who have a financial interest in a vehicle such as a car loan. The deductible options on comprehensive coverage are the same as those for collision coverage, with the average deductible being $500. In the case of theft, many comprehensive policies cover a rental car for up to 30 days.

Effect of Deductible on Car Insurance Rates

Since lower deductibles mean the car insurance company faces more risk of claims, payouts and reimbursements, the premiums for low deductible collision and comprehensive insurance coverage are higher. On the other hand, higher car insurance deductibles are priced with cheaper monthly premiums.

The catch is that the policyholder must have enough money to cover the amount of the deductible should the car be damaged. While a $1500 deductible gets you cheaper car insurance, some policyholders may not be able to pay $1500 out of pocket for repairs if their car was damaged or involved in an accident.

A Deductible Savings Account

The safest way to choose a high deductible is to put enough money in a savings account to cover the deductible if the car is damaged. By doing so, you will enjoy lower premiums and collect interest on your savings. The bank account means you will always have the money to cover repairs if your car is damaged. For those who cannot afford to bank the full amount of the deductible, opening a savings account and making regular deposits can help reduce the risk.

Get The Cheapest Car Insurance

Everyone wants to save money on car insurance, but before raising your deductible to save money with a cheaper policy, consumers should compare auto insurance companies to find the lowest rates on a policy with the deductible they need.

Car Insurance With No Down Payment

Many U.S. drivers simply can’t afford to buy car insurance with a down payment, and therefore need coverage that offers them the option to make a low down payment or no down payment at all. Getting cheap car insurance with no down payment is not difficult when you compare auto insurance quotes online to find companies who offer these policies and payment options.

Car Insurance With No Down Payment

States and Companies With No Down Payment Car Insurance

Not all states offer the option to buy no down payment car insurance; the states that do include Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington, to name a few. However, the state with the most companies that offer no down payment insurance is California. The best part is that many of the top insurance companies offer the coverage as well, such as GEICO, State Farm, Progressive, and Allstate.

How Does No Down Payment Car Insurance Work?

When paying for your policy, auto insurance companies offer you 2 main options: either make a one-time payment for 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month coverage, or make monthly payments with no commitment.

Advantages of Car Insurance With No Down Payment

The obvious benefit of a car insurance policy that offers a low or no down payment option is that drivers do not need to pay the full premium upfront, avoiding a huge cash commitment. Instead, you will pay a small administrative processing fee and make monthly payments to continue receiving coverage for the remainder of the policy’s term.

This gives you the option to renew coverage or find another auto insurance company. The advantage is that you to get the mandatory insurance you need without a long-term commitment, meanwhile having the freedom to shop around and get cheaper rates.

Disadvantages of No Down Payment Car Insurance

While buying a no down payment car insurance policy may be the only way you can afford coverage, you should still be aware that the option is actually costing you money. When you pay your car insurance premiums upfront for 6 or 12 months, insurance companies offer you a discount. The longer the policy and premiums are locked in, the greater the discount the carrier is able to give. With no down or upfront payment, you forego this discount.

Additionally, many car insurance companies charge a monthly billing fee of around $10, which adds up to $120 annually. This money is not being spent on additional coverage, but rather on administrative fees.

Finally, when considering low down payment car insurance, consumers should expect to have their credit score and history checked. Most major companies will run a credit check before issuing a policy. If you have bad credit or a low score, your car insurance rates may be higher. If this happens, check with other carriers. The insurance industry is very competitive and providers are always looking for ways to get more business and customers.

Get Cheap Car Insurance Rates

You should always research or ask if there are any fees associated with a no or low down payment policy. In most circumstances, the company or agent wants your business bad enough where you can negotiate any fees that may be due on the policy start date. You may even be able to get the coverage you want without paying any fees at all except the first month’s premium.

When you are comparing car insurance quotes on no down payment coverage, you should always ask the following questions:

  • Is there a billing, processing or administrative fee?
  • How much would it cost to pay for a full 3, 6 or 12 months up front?
  • What discount do I get if I pay upfront?
  • Are there any ways around the fees?

Many of the best car insurance companies will usually waive the monthly fee if you allow payments to be directly debited from your checking account. In the end, the best way to find cheap car insurance with no down payment is to compare policies until you find the one that best meets your needs.