Many factors affect your insurance premium, and very often they are not factors you can control. For example a young single male driver you will undoubtedly attract a higher premium and there is nothing he can do to change it; sure he can take a few driver’s ed courses but that wont get his premium down as much he will most normally need it to be.
Similarly a single parent whose 16 year old is learning to drive will have to bear a huge spike in auto insurance premiums, or someone who lives in a neighborhood infamous for vandalism will not only have to put up with the constant fear of their car being damaged or stolen but also a much higher premium. Very often these increases in your insurance premium don’t seem fair, but its how your insurance company works. Most people living frugal lifestyles can’t afford to pay their insurance premium at one go.
The need for installment based payment plans
Insurance companies understood the fact that most of their customers couldn’t afford to purchase a policy up front for the total premium and introduced monthly payments. This gives customers the freedom to pay their premium in smaller bits and spares them the trouble of coming up with a huge sum in one go.
In many cases the customer can pay a small down payment and follow it up with monthly installments until the entire sum is paid off. Some companies also offer a no down payment facility. No down payment schemes mean that there are no associated fees involved when buying insurance; the first installment is all you need to pay to get your policy kick started. Typically the higher the down payment you make, the lower your monthly payments will be. The importance is to calculate and make a down payment as large as you can afford so as to bring down your monthly payments.
You can choose between different covers and extents of cover as per your need.
- Liability insurance covers any damage to the other person’s health or vehicle caused by you. Typically repair bills, medical bills, and remuneration for the other parties lost wages are covered.
- Collision cover protects you from damage to your car or person during an accident. Typically your repair bills and medical bills are covered, the amount paid out is the amount spent minus the deductible.
- Non collision cover protects from damage to your vehicle that was not caused by a collision with another motorist.
- Comprehensive cover protects you from almost everything from theft to vandalism to collision and even protects against damage due to natural disasters.
You can choose a payment regime with a term that lasts up to about a year. Typically you can pay for 3, 6 or 12 months.
Insurance companies charge an interest on installment payments as well as a processing fee; calculate to see that you aren’t ending up spending too much more because of your monthly payments. Shop around and request at least 10 quotes before you buy insurance. A great place to start is online where you can request multiple quotes at a time, and then compare the premium vis-à-vis the cover and extent of cover you get. Don’t go for an insurance policy just because the price is low, you might end up paying a few thousands in repair bills if you have insufficient cover.