When You Buy Auto Insurance:

1. Request a quote from several licensed insurance agents. Be sure to ask for the same coverage from each so your comparisons will be accurate.

2.  Make sure you purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage up to the limits of your Bodily Injury (BI) coverage.  Often times insurers and their agents will ask you to waive your right to UM in order to lower your monthly premium.  Don’t do it – for a few dollars a month you could protect yourself from drivers with low or no BI coverage.

3. Be sure the information on your application is accurate. False or inaccurate information could cause the company to cancel your policy or refuse to pay a claim. Always get a copy of the signed application form.

4. Be sure to get a binder from the agent once you sign the application. A binder is your temporary proof of insurance until a formal policy is issued. It should show the name of the agent and insurance company, list your cars and the coverage you purchased, and be signed by the agent.

5. Always make checks or money orders payable to the insurance company — never to the agent or the agency.

6. Immediately report any changes affecting your policy to your agent. This would include address or name changes, the addition of a new driver or car, or any change in the use of your car.

7. Keep track of your policy renewal date. Policies are usually for a term of 6 or 12 months. Most companies will send you a bill at least 45 days in advance of your renewal and premium due date.