Given the state of the economy, rising gas prices and the widespread struggle to make ends meet, auto insurance is not a priority for most people. Since it is illegal to drive without insurance in most states in the USA, a common tendency is to pick the cheapest possible quote available, irrespective of the reputation of the insurance company, and purchase just enough coverage to meet the state mandate. Years of paying for auto insurance without receiving any kind of remuneration whatsoever can be extremely frustrating and lead people to believe that it is a complete waste of their hard-earned money. Understandable as it is, getting insufficient coverage or opting for an unreliable provider are insurance mistakes you may regret for the rest of your life, because a split second is all it takes for an accident to occur, for damages to life and property to take place, and if you do not have adequate auto insurance coverage through a reliable and established company, that split second could cost you everything you are worth, and more.

Many of us start making insurance mistakes at the first step itself; they choose the wrong insurance provider. There are numerous insurance companies to be found online, all of which are vying for your money. Tempting as it may be to pick the company nobody has ever heard of just because it gives you the cheapest quote, think again. Firstly, this company may end up costing you more than you saved if you file a claim because chances are it won’t have the resources to support you. Besides, a common ploy is to lure customers in with dirt-cheap quotes and then raise their premium the following year for no reason whatsoever. Since you are paying for insurance anyway, spend a little bit extra so you don’t have to worry about whether the company will deliver or not. You need to look at auto insurance quotes from companies that actually have a reputation to protect and the means to deal with your claims in the manner you deserve.

One of the biggest insurance mistakes people make is regarding their coverage. They get just the minimum coverage required by the state and trust that their spectacular driving skills will be all the security they need. But the fact of the matter is that anyone -even you- can make a mistake and this could lead to damages beyond your means. Moreover, with the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers out there, you need to get adequate auto insurance coverage; nothing is more painful than having to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Understandably, you may not be able to afford the kind of coverage you want. Do the best you can; get the most thorough auto insurance coverage from the most reliable company that you can afford. The better your auto insurance coverage, the better you will sleep at night.

Understand your insurance policy, read the fine print and do not sign it unless you are certain that it is in accord with your insurance needs and financial limitations. Do not let your agent decide for you, and never let him/her push you into making a decision you are not comfortable with. Also, higher deductibles generally mean lower premiums and though the idea of having smaller frequent payments may be appealing, make sure you will have enough to fork out in the eventuality of a claim before opting for a high deductible. Two very costly yet common insurance mistakes are failing to make payments and not renewing a policy in time. The best case scenario for both is a warning and the worst case scenario would be having your insurance policy cancelled/having your rates shoot through the ceiling.

There are ways to save on auto insurance without compromising your coverage. Many auto insurance companies offer a discount on the deductible every year that you manage to keep a clean driving record. Others provide discounts on auto insurance to customers who complete a defensive driver’s credit. Also, make safety your priority by installing air bags and anti-theft devices; chances are you’ll get an auto insurance discount if you invest in car safety. Ask your insurance agent about other discounts offered and whether you are eligible for any of them.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to your insurance policy. It might just save you a fortune in the long run. By purchasing a good auto insurance policy you are effectively purchasing the peace of mind and the knowledge that even in the event of a car accident you will not lose everything you have worked for.

Author's Bio: 

Christoper Smith is a retired personal finance consultant, interested in adventure living. He loves to explore new places, people and cultures with his wife. He writes regularly during his travels; mostly on the road, from his trailer. His interest lies in the fields of finance and insurance home, life and auto insurance - his favorite subjects from the past.