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Automobile Insurance Checklist

Getting the policy that best protects your family is a matter of understanding the basics of automobile insurance, defining your needs, and researching your options. Here is a checklist that will help you cover all the bases, whether you are renewing an existing policy or are taking out a new one.

If you are in the market for a new car, consider buying one that “looks good” to insurance companies because it has few safety problems.  
Research auto insurance laws in your state to find out minimum requirements.  
Weigh your own needs and preferences, and those of other drivers who will be insured on your policy.  
Check other kinds of insurance policies you carry to see if they provide benefits that may overlap your auto insurance.  
Verify information about your driving record with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.  
When you know what you need, shop around for quotes from several companies.  
Check your state Department of Insurance for consumer complaints about companies you are considering.  
Ask for discounts that may apply for a good driving record, driver safety classes, or safety devices in your vehicle.  
Make decisions about the amount of liability, collision, comprehensive, medical coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage that is affordable and best protects your family.  
Weigh the pros and cons of “stacked” and “unstacked” uninsured motorist coverage to determine which gives you broader coverage.  
Decide whether it makes sense to choose a high deductible in return for lower premiums.  
Think about eliminating collision and/or comprehensive insurance coverage if your car’s value is low.  
Consider an “umbrella” policy that could protect your assets beyond the limits of your primary auto insurance policy provisions.  

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