Retail

Mar 5 2019

How to Buy Car Insurance for a Used Car: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Buy Car Insurance for a Used Car

Determine your contractual responsibility to carry insurance. If you own your vehicle, outright, you can choose whether to simply buy liability insurance, or to buy optional expanded coverage to protect your auto. However, if you are leasing a vehicle, or owe money to a bank or dealership for your car, you likely are contractually required by your loan or lease to purchase a certain amount of additional coverage. If you don’t own your car outright, contact your lender to determine what coverage you are required to buy. [1]

Choose your liability coverage. Liability insurance pays for any damage you cause to other people or their cars while you are driving. All drivers are required to carry liability insurance by law. This cost will be identical in buying insurance for a used car as it would for buying insurance on a new car. [2] In most states, you are required to have insurance of at least $15,000 in liability coverage. [3]

  • Your insurance policy will have a liability limit, which is the maximum amount the insurance will pay in case of an accident. If you have valuable assets, such as property or savings account, you may want to protect these assets in case of accident. For more information, see how to determine car insurance liability limits .
  • The liability limit on the policy does not limit the amount of damages that may be rewarded in the event of a lawsuit. As a consequence, many people carry excess liability insurance for extra protection.

Decide whether to buy other coverages. Comprehensive insurance pays for damages not caused by automotive accidents, including damage caused by natural events and animals. Additionally, collision insurance is another optional coverage that pays for damage on your car from striking another vehicle or object. [4]

  • When deciding whether to opt for comprehensive or collision coverage, you should consider the value of your car. Your insurance company will pay at most the fair value of your car before any damage. If, for example, you drive a dated VW Jetta worth only $1,500, it likely isn’t cost effective to pay each month for comprehensive coverage in case of an accident. [5] A good rule is to drop these coverages if they cost more than 10% of the value of your car each year. [6]
  • The costs of these coverages will vary with your chosen deductible (the amount you are responsible to pay before the insurance covers you). Generally this is between $500 and $2,000, but you can also choose to have a $0 deductible. The lower your deductible the higher your insurance payments will be, but the less you will need to pay out of pocket in case of an accident. [7]

Research other factors that may increase your insurance costs. Insurance costs are tabulated by insurances providers using complicated models that predict the risks associated with certain owners and cars. Several variables beyond the price of the car can have an effect on your rates, including:

  • If your car includes the words “turbo” or “supercharged” in the name, or is a highly powerful or four-wheel drive vehicle, your rates will experience a significant boost. [8]
  • If your car has ever been in a serious accident and been rebuilt or had any other serious modifications or repairs made, your rates may be significantly higher. Check the vehicle’s detailed history report to see if this is the case. [9]
  • If your car is commonly stolen, this may also result in higher rates. And don’t think that your car is not commonly stolen just because it is an old model; the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that 7 of the top 10 most commonly stolen vehicles in 2012 were models dating from 1991 to 1999. [10] Check out the NCIB’s Hot Wheels campaign to learn more about which cars are commonly stolen.

How to Finance a Used Car

How to Know Which Insurance to Take on a Rental Car

How to Buy a Used Car from a Private Party

How to Apply for a Used Car Loan

How to Determine Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident

How to Dispute an Insurance Total Loss on a Car

How to Get the Most from a Car Accident Claim

How to Sue an Insurance Company After an Auto Accident

How to Calculate an Auto Insurance Settlement

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance for Young Drivers


Written by SAVINGS


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