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Learn2 Shop for Car Insurance (continued)
Step 2: Avoid unnecessary coverage

Before you opt for a particular policy, make sure you're not paying for coverage you don't want, or duplicating coverage you already have via other insurance. Once again, let's drill through the Big Four coverage areas, rooting out potential areas for cutting costs.

Liability: Some people (usually those with considerable assets) have what are called "general" or "umbrella" policies that cover a wide range of potential liabilities, in or out of the car. If you're one of these upscale individuals you'll probably still need some auto liability insurance--but you may be able to opt for a much lower level. Ask the insurers who issued your umbrella policy for an exact reckoning of how you're currently covered in case of automotive mishaps.

Medical: As we mentioned in the previous step, if you have major medical insurance you probably don't need special medical coverage for car accidents. But check with your medical insurer first before turning it down.

Collision/comprehensive: Got a fancy, spanking new deluxmobile? Then you'll probably want insurance in case of an accident. But if you're driving a clunker, you might consider foregoing collision/comprehensive insurance; the costs, compounded over just a year or two, might be more than the potential cost of repairs (especially if you're willing to live with dents and dings). Just make sure you can afford a replacement when and if the time comes: a fender-bender might mean a day or two in the shop for a new car, but the end of the line for a worn-out jalopy.

Uninsured/under-insured drivers: Again, if you have major medical coverage and disability insurance, this coverage will probably prove redundant and you can consider declining it. However, it could provide payments for pain and other non-economic damages, so it does offer some additional benefits. It will also cover your passengers, who might otherwise be stuck with medical bills and other costs if they are injured. That said, you are neither legally required to do this, nor would you be liable for their injuries.

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Step 1: Calculate the minimal coverage you need
Step 2: Avoid unnecessary coverage
Step 3: Consider high deductibles
Step 4: Research special discounts
Step 5: Comparison shop on the Internet
Step 6: Contact your state's insurance commissioner


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