New cars bring the need for auto insurance, and liability coverage alone will not be adequate. Although it may satisfy the state’s legal minimum requirements, it will not be enough to compensate for most accidents. In most cases, vehicle owners have unpaid loans to think about, so repairs are almost impossible to pay for. Even spare parts are expensive if they are available at all. As soon as a new car leaves the showroom or lot, its value depreciates considerably. For this reason, the majority of vehicle owners feel safer with insurance that covers accidents, theft and natural disasters. Consider the following tips when looking for coverage.
1. Shop Around
People who are serious about buying a new car should start comparing various policies before signing the papers and taking the keys. The first step is to obtain quotes from several companies. These quotes are free, and they offer a reasonable estimate of what premium amounts will be. Some insurers may have cheaper rates than others. Several factors contribute to determining a premium, so it is very important to shop around.
2. Pay Attention To Comprehensive & Collision Insurance
Since people like to save money any way they can, they often skip extra coverage beyond the state-required liability minimums. Comprehensive coverage protects vehicle owners form a wide array of incidents aside from collisions. Natural disasters and several other calamities are covered. There are usually add-on policies available for hail damage or other specific events. Collision insurance provides money for damages resulting from an accident. The funds are available whether the vehicle owner was at fault or not. When compared with the cost of paying for accidents upfront, insurance is very affordable. For example, one accident where a person is at fault and two other injured parties are involved could easily cost over $100,000. If either of the injured parties sustained permanent injuries that require lifelong treatments, the at-fault driver could be in a financial mess for a long time.
3. Think About GAP Insurance
Many new car owners prefer this type of coverage. It provides funds for the difference between the vehicle’s market value and the unpaid loan amount. If a vehicle is lost or stolen, there will be adequate compensation. This is a great choice for people who own expensive luxury cars or have sizable loans to repay. When the amount of money owed is higher than the vehicle’s market value, GAP insurance is a good choice.
How to Make a Car Unattractive to Thieves
The rate of car theft is so high today that it would be a Fortune 500 company if stock analyst firms measured it. Although thieves may not be the most upstanding citizens in society, they have excellent organizational skills. Discriminating thieves will not just break into any random car to look around. When they make the effort to steal, they make sure it is worth their time and the risk of getting caught. In many cases, they may be after the vehicle itself instead of the contents of it. What they are after is economic gain, so they choose carefully. Unfortunately, people who own vehicles that are popular to buy usually also own automobiles that are popular targets for car thieves. This information may sound discouraging to many car owners. However, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent theft.
To be better prepared and protected, vehicle owners need to know what to do to combat organized car thieves. The steps to better protection are not very difficult. The first goal should be to make the vehicle a difficult target. When thieves do a quick assessment on a car, they are likely to pass up one that is better protected. From their perspectives, they want vehicles they can quickly break into and take. There are several simple things car owners can do to make their vehicles less attractive to car thieves.
1. Never leave the keys in the ignition. Do not leave the keys sitting on the seat or in the glove box. Keep the keys in hand while the car is not occupied. More than 10 percent of stolen vehicles are taken because the keys are left in the car or in the ignition. Never leave the car running unattended, and do not leave children in it.
2. Lock the vehicle. About 50 percent of stolen vehicles are taken because they were left unlocked. Modern locks are difficult to pry, and thieves prefer unlocked doors. Be sure the windows are rolled up completely.
3. Do not hide a spare set of keys in or under the car. If this trick is so popular that there are special magnetic key holders in every auto supply store, rest assured that thieves know about them. Many car thieves watch their targets, so they may know exactly where to look for an extra key.
4. Choose attended lots over unattended areas. Vehicle thieves despise witnesses, so they try to avoid them at all costs.
5. Park under plenty of light. If a parking lot is dark and unattended, find a safer location. Thieves love places where it is difficult to be seen.
6. Limit key access in attended lots. Not all parking lot attendants are upstanding citizens, so it is important to be wary of them. When handing the keys over, only give attendants the keys to the door and the ignition. If the vehicle has a trunk with the same key as the door, have one of them changed. By doing this, vehicle owners can put important items in the trunk without worrying about lot attendants stealing them. Make sure any backseat access to the trunk is restricted. Always make sure the battery, spare tire and regular tires are in tact after returning to the car.
7. Never leave valuables in plain view. Leaving a purse or valuable item on a seat is like leaving a steak on the porch when there are stray dogs nearby. Valuable items are just bait for thieves.
8. Use the garage. Vehicle owners who have garages should use them. Thieves are not likely to want to break into a garage and a vehicle. They want something quicker and easier. Be sure to lock the garage and the vehicle.
9. Never leave the title or registration in the car. It is best to carry registration proof in a wallet that will not be left in the vehicle. Keep the title at home in a safe place. Thieves can use these documents to sell stolen vehicles.
10. Use the emergency brake. This increases car safety, and thieves will have a harder time trying to tow it.