Tips for the new car buyer
When it comes to purchasing a new car, people usually focus on the technical characteristics of the vehicle itself, which often means that another important part of the buying process – getting car insurance – often becomes an afterthought, if not entirely forgotten.
But that can sometimes result in quite a few headaches when a buying decision is finally made – one might find himself or herself with an unexpectedly steep car insurance bill, which can end up making the choice of car wrong altogether.
Luckily, when it comes to hybrid owners, they have much better chances of getting a good deal on their insurance because companies seem to favor eco-friendly vehicles, although the reasons for it might not be the ones you’d expect.
But even if you’ve bought a hybrid, there are still questions you should ask before getting car insurance for a hybrid, which can help you determine the best insurance company for your needs. So some of the important questions any hybrid owner should ask themselves before choosing an insurance provider:
What’s Your Total Budget?
This one goes not only for hybrid owners, but it should most definitely be a big part of the buying process for those who plan on buying a hybrid as well.
Figuring out your total budget means that you should consider the expenses not only for the car itself, but take into account the potential insurance expenses that will come with it.
Can You Get Better Risk Assessment?
Luckily for hybrid owners, many of the top insurance providers look kindly towards hybrid drivers and often give them significant discounts on their insurance policies.
But it’s not because of the car itself – they have simply found that hybrid owners tend to be safer drivers and, additionally, drive fewer miles in general. What that means that you, as a hybrid owner, simply are less likely to get into an accident and thus there’s a lesser chance of them ever having to make a payout.
But there’s another side to insurance – if you want it to cover your repair expenses, your insurance rate might go up significantly – hybrid parts are typically more expensive and that can increase the payments.
Who Can Drive Your Car?
Another commonly overlooked question that people forget to ask themselves is who exactly will be driving the car. Is it only you? Or are other members or your family or even friends also going to drive it?
The fact is that an accident might occur while someone other than you is behind the wheel, so you have to anticipate it and make sure that the insurance company has you covered for all the people that might be driving the car.
Do They Cover OEM Part Replacement?
Don’t fall into the trap of basing your insurance choices solely on price – even if it seems they have you covered for all that you need. Always carefully check if they offer to use original manufacturer’s parts in a repair, or if they specify aftermarket parts, which are more generic and thus are cheaper, but can cause problems because they may not be specifically designed for your models.
Of course with hybrids, in many cases the company just won’t have a choice except to provide you with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. But for the less crucial stuff, they might still do it.
It’s something that’s very often overlooked by car owners looking for insurance, and this detail, often hidden deep in the fine print, can end up costing you when you have to replace at least some of the parts out of your own pocket, even when you have insurance.
Can You Get Assistance 24/7?
When you’re dealing with a stressful situation like a car accident, you obviously have enough on your plate already and just want to resolve it as soon as possible, so one of the worst situations to be in that case is if you can’t get assistance from your insurance company after work hours and have to wait until the next day, even to simply fill out a claim report.
Of course, most of the bigger companies have 24/7 claims service, but you still have to check – it’s an essential part of having insurance in the first place, so you don’t want to have any unpleasant surprises.
Also, figure out in advance what the company’s exact policy is on accepting claims – what kind of information do they need, how complicated is the initial process and how quickly can you do it.
Going through those five questions should make getting the right car insurance for your hybrid an easy choice.