I’ve always been told “Nothing is ever a problem until it becomes a problem” by Paul Gordon, Head Instructor at the S.O.R. Training Center. That gem of wisdom is totally irrelevant to this article, except for the fact that in car insurance, as in life, you don’t realize you have a problem until it’s a bigger problem. I vaguely remember the first time I needed car insurance for a 2001 Hyundai Entrant. First vehicle I had ever owned, and let me tell you, it was ugly. But, either way, it still needed to be insured, and I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to proceed as a 17-year-old kid, new to the world and just as naive. In this article we are going to have one major focal point; Car insurance, and how to proceed with acquiring said insurance.
As much of a headache as the whole process is, it’s kind of similar to bathing. Let me shine some light on that comparison now. Bathing is one of those things where even if you don’t really feel like you need to bathe, before you get out and about, you probably should. Car insurance is a lot like that. Even if you feel you’re an amazing driver, before you get out and about, you should probably get car insurance. Even though it makes me sad to admit it, you can only control your actions and some drivers might not be as gifted as you behind the wheel.
Before we talk about the process of getting insurance, maybe we should talk about some of the criteria that dictates the insurance rates you’ll pay. One key factor is the driver’s age, and it makes sense that insurance companies would be more concerned with the 16-year-old, inexperienced driver versus the middle-aged driver with years of driving experience. Another factor taken into account is your driving record. Yeah, that’s a big one, so I’d have to advise against idolizingEvil Knievel. But, there are numerous other factors that play a part in your insurance rates, such as the make and model of your vehicle, the estimated worth, any advanced safety features your vehicle comes equipped with, and a laundry list of other things. So, with that being said, I’d encourage you to shop around, or find websites that allow you to compare options and rates of various insurance companies before just signing up with the first company you see.
Now we are getting to the entrée, the meat and potatoes, so to speak. Let’s put the first thing first and check out the requirements for insurance mandated by the state you live in. After we’ve gotten that out of the way we can start shopping quotes. You’ll be required to bring a myriad of information, but if you’ll make a checklist, I’m sure it won’t be as large of a feat as it initially sounds. Below, I’m going to give you a checklist that you can print off and use to help this process go smoothly.
- Have on hand the age and gender of the driver(s)
- The number of total drivers in your home currently
- Driver’s License Number of each driver(s)
- A physical description of the car you’re wanting to insure. (make, model, year, VIN #)
- What type of coverage and stipulations you need
In a perfect world that would be all the information needed, but each company is different and they may require more, but this list is a basic overview of what’s required when getting car insurance.
I hope you’ve found some of the information here useful, and this has adjusted the learning curve slightly for younger drivers reading this. All that’s left to do now is get out there, start researching companies, and find the best quote for you. Good luck, stay safe, and happy hunting!