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Finding the Right Auto Insurance in Des Moines

December 18, 2015

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Finding the Right Auto Insurance in Des Moines

Different consumers shop differently for auto insurance. Some compare quotes online; some work with an insurance company’s agent; and others shop through an independent agent. Before you begin your search for the right policy, consider carefully which method is going to most effectively get you the information you need to make the best choice.

The best decisions are well-informed decisions.

To make the best auto insurance choice, you need a lot of information. Policies can differ from each other in myriad ways; to compare them appropriately, you need to know not just the price of each but also the details of their coverage. Be prepared to spend time understanding the finer points of various policies before making a final decision.

First, develop a sense of what coverage levels you want, and narrow your search to policies that match your priorities.

In Iowa, all auto insurance policies must include, at minimum

  • Bodily injury liability of $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage of $15,000

Although a policy that only meets Iowa’s legal requirements may be the best choice for someone on a severely restricted budget, it is generally not a good option for someone who can afford more complete coverage. The costs related to an accident can easily exceed these limits, leaving you legally on the hook for the difference. Also, this type of minimal policy does nothing to cover your own losses. If your car is totaled, you’ll have to replace it out of your own funds, and you could get stuck with large out-of-pocket medical expenses if you need to meet deductibles or pay coinsurance for care received under your health plan. Consider purchasing a policy with higher liability limits as well as these additional benefits:

  • Personal injury protection can help you to meet medical expenses and, in some cases, provide coverage for income lost if an accident causes you to miss work.
  • Uninsured and underinsured driver coverage will help you meet costs for which another driver is liable but unable to pay.
  • Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car after a collision.
  • Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car when it’s harmed in other ways, such as through vandalism, theft, or storm damage.

Next, decide how you’ll conduct your search. Whatever method you use, plan to get at least three quotes for comparison.

  • While an online search gives you the luxury of accessing information when you want it from virtually anywhere, it can be very difficult to access each policy’s details sufficiently to make a fully informed choice. While you may see attractively priced policies, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting for those low rates. In the end, searching for the answers to your specific questions can end up taking much more time than talking directly with an industry professional, and failing to get those questions answered can result in nasty surprises down the road when you learn the size of your deductibles or the limits of your uninsured driver coverage, for example.
  • Agents who work for insurance companies should be experts on their employer’s offerings and able to effectively help you find a plan to suit your individual needs. Of course, if another company’s plan happens to suit your needs better, the agent wouldn’t know that (or wouldn’t be allowed to tell you if they did). Consequently, if you go this route, you should plan at least three separate meetings with different companies’ agents to get quotes for comparison.
  • Independent insurance agents can give you the convenience of comparison shopping in one place with the industry knowledge of a professional. Independent agents sell products from several different insurance providers, giving them the greatest flexibility in finding the right plan for you. An independent insurance agent is able to provide you with the most complete information you can find in one place and professional advice on your individual insurance needs.

The experienced professionals at Jones Insurance & Associates provide a wide range of insurance products from a variety of national and local Iowa insurance carriers. Contact our Urbandale office at (515) 868-0040 to set up an appointment, or click here to get started with a quote.

Author: Jayson Jones
December 18, 2015

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