Financing a car and auto insurance are two things that go hand in hand. But do you know how to read your auto insurance policy? Some of the most important car insurance facts you need to know are your policy period, when to renew, and what your policy covers.
Your Policy Period and its Importance
Your policy period usually begins on the day you purchase your insurance. Though insurance policies can vary in both length and coverage, typical policy periods are 12 months long. There are six-month and monthly policies available also, though these are often given to higher-risk drivers.
It’s important to know your policy period, because it tells you when your payment is due. If you pay monthly, the date you started the policy will be the date your payments are due each month. If you have a six- or 12-month policy and pay it in full with one payment, it'll be due on that date at the end of your policy.
You should know that most insurance policies end at 12:01 AM on the policy expiration date, so it’s a good idea to not wait until the last minute to make a payment. Typically, policies end the day after the payment is due. To find your exact policy period, you can check your proof of insurance, the declaration page of your policy, or you can call your insurance agent, to be sure.
Renewing Your Car Insurance
At the end of your insurance policy, you typically have the choice to either renew or switch carriers. The only time you don’t is when your policy is being cancelled for non-renewal. Non-renewal means your insurance company isn't accepting you any longer.
When this happens, it’s commonly for one of three reasons:
- Your driving record – If you received multiple moving violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, or a recent DUI, your insurance company may choose to not renew your policy.
- Multiple claims – Filing several at-fault claims in a short period of time may seal your fate when it comes to your insurance company. The typical rule of thumb is three strikes and you’re out. Three strikes equal three at-fault claims in three years.
- Moving out of state – If you move out of state without contacting your insurance carrier and making arrangements, you’ll likely be non-renewed. Typically, policies are state specific.
If you do have the choice, it’s often easiest to switch to a different insurance provider at the end of your current policy. If you want to renew with your current carrier but need to make changes to your policy, such as adding a driver, you typically don’t need to wait. A call to your agent should do the trick.
Car Insurance and Auto Financing
Anyone with a car loan should know that you have to carry full coverage insurance when financing a vehicle. Insurance policies and what's considered “full coverage” vary by state, so make sure you know exactly what you need and have the appropriate coverage before you drive off the lot.
If you aren’t sure if your credit is good enough to get full coverage insurance, let alone the new car you need, don’t fret. There are lenders out there that can provide auto financing for people who struggle with credit issues. Here at Auto Credit Express, we specialize in helping you find the dealers that work with those lenders.
We want to help you get on the right path to the auto financing you need. To begin, simply fill out our free, no-obligation online auto loan request form and we’ll start the process of matching you with a local dealer today!