What First-Time Vehicle Owners Should Know About Car Insurance

Getting your first car is a big deal. It’s not just the act of driving off the lot with a brand-new (or new-to-you) vehicle—the process also includes a lot of research and paperwork. This includes signing up for your first auto insurance policy in Tampa, FL.

If you’ve spent most of your driving years on your parents’ insurance, or you’ve never needed a car until now, finding the right car insurance policy can be mystifying. The terms and process are unfamiliar, which makes it harder to know if you’re getting a good deal. Not to worry—read on for an overview of how car insurance works, and what to look for when you’re purchasing your first policy.

Types of car insurance

Laws vary from state to state, and some types of coverage are mandatory. In Florida, you’ll need personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance. Other types of coverage are optional:

  • Personal injury protection: If you are in an accident, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covers all or part of the costs associated with injuries and medical treatments. Florida requires residents to have $10,000 or more in PIP insurance.
  • Property damage liability: This type of insurance covers the damage caused to property as a result of an accident you caused. In Florida, you are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
  • Collision and comprehensive: These types of insurance are optional, but you’d be wise to put them on your policy. Collision coverage insures your car if it’s damaged or totaled in an accident, and comprehensive coverage covers damage from something else, like vandalism, theft, natural disasters and even hitting deer on the highway.
  • Uninsured motorist: This type of coverage pays for your medical bills if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.

Tips for getting the best deal

When getting quotes for your first-time car insurance policy in Tampa, FL, the best thing you can do is shop around. Call multiple insurance providers to find out how much it would cost for you to get basic insurance as well as any extras that make sense for you. Do this before purchasing your car—you don’t want to get your heart set on a specific make and model only to find out the insurance costs are more than your mortgage payment.

You also need to decide how much coverage you need. For example, $10,000 each in PIP and PDL insurance is the bare minimum—most motorists add more coverage in case of disaster. You want enough coverage to pay your medical bills and cover damages if you are sued.

Finally, be aware that if you used to be on your parents’ insurance, that may not be the best deal for you and your new car. You will spend more as a first-time car owner, but eventually your rates will go down with a good driving record, age and other factors.

For the best car insurance rates, reach out to the experts at Cheap Car Insurance Guru today.