You’ve probably been hearing about cheap car insurance companies from friends, family or advertisements. If you’re like most people and you have a ticket or two and maybe even a small infraction, you might be tempted to switch to save money, but is that a good idea?
It turns out that like most things in life, when it comes to car insurance you get what you pay for. Opting for the discount insurance provider could leave you in a lurch if anything happens. Read on to discover 7 reasons why cheap car insurance is a bad idea.
1. Not everyone is covered
Most car insurances allow you to lend your car occasionally to another driver and they will be covered while using your vehicle. Say for example if your mom or dad need to use your car while theirs is in the shop, they would be fine under normal insurers. However, nonstandard policies typically exclude anyone other than the insured from being covered on the vehicle, which can cause problems if you aren’t aware ahead of time of this clause.
2. More record checks
Typically, an insurance company checks your driving history once a year to re-assess your costs. If you’ve had an infraction, the costs go up and if you haven’t they go up less, stay the same or sometimes even go down. Discount insurers run checks more frequently so they can raise rates immediately if you get a ticket, have an accident or forget to pay that parking violation.
3. No goodies or incentives
Discount insurers don’t offer any goodies that you have come to expect from a car insurance company. There will be no vanishing deductibles, no roadside assistance and no accident forgiveness. Just bare-bottom coverage in exchange for lower rates.
4. No punitive damages
When you get in an accident, there’s always the possibility you might get sued. If that happens, your auto insurance company usually backs you up in court and even sends a lawyer and takes care of the awards if the court rules in favor of the other guy. Discount insurance companies don’t do that, so watch out in case you’re in an accident because you’ll be on your own.
5. Less repair coverages
Another way that discount companies stay profitable is by limiting their repair coverages. They don’t pay as much for repairs as full-price insurers, which can reduce your options for a garage. If you have a mechanic you prefer working with, you may find that you can’t get the repair done at your favorite shop because it just isn’t in your tiny repair budget.
6. Lower mileage allowances
Some policies for speciality cars, show cars and other vehicles that aren’t driven frequently include mileage caps. Discount insurers are often less liberal with their mileage allowances than other insurance companies, so you may not be allowed enough miles to get to the car shows to show off your specialty vehicle.
7. No business coverage
If you use your car for business, you probably can’t use a discount insurer. Most discount companies won’t cover cars that are used at all for business purposes, which means pizza delivery boys, massage therapists and visiting nurses had all better find other coverage.
The bottom line is that sometimes it’s better to pay a little extra to have the coverage you need when you need it. You can’t predict the future and there’s no way to know if you’ll be in a car accident tomorrow. While paying less for your insurance is tempting, ask yourself if it is really worth it and if you even qualify for nonstandard coverages before signing up. Odds are you’ll stick with more expensive, more inclusive coverage.