First Time Buying Car Insurance

First-time car insurance should be chosen carefully by (1) reading the details of the policy, (2) comparing discounts and benefits, and (3) avoiding insurance scams.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You should always read your insurance policy thoroughly to understand the inclusions and exclusions of your plan
  • Insurance companies will answer questions you have as they relate to your specific policy
  • Be sure to trust the websites you use should you choose to enter personal information online


The first time car insurance becomes part of a conversation, someone usually has a horror story to share. Too often, people do not do their homework when shopping for car insurance. Online reviews and stories are indicative of this fact.

To get online car insurance quotes today, enter your zip code now!

You can avoid your own horror story by conducting a bit of educated research. If you receive a referral from a trusted friend or relative who has been doing business with the company for years, there is a good chance you will also have a good experience.

First Time Car Insurance Policyholders

As a first time car insurance policyholder, you should read your insurance policies thoroughly. The purpose of reading these policies is to familiarize yourself with the standard provisions, which explain the terms of the agreement on your policy. The terms are exclusive to you per your agreement with the car insurance carrier.

Optional coverage may be expressed in terms of riders–or inclusions–while some policies include exclusions— established by the carrier. Some examples of riders are:

  • 24 Hour Roadside Emergency Assistance/Towing
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Percentage of Labor Costs on Repairs

Inclusions are your established amount of coverage and deductibles. Your inclusions customize your policy to meet your specific needs. Exclusions disclose what the insurance will not cover. Some examples include:

  • Unauthorized Drivers
  • Intentional Damage
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Floods

For additional premiums, endorsements are available.

Endorsements are not standard terms. They add, limit or changes terms exclusively related to your policy.

It is important to customize your policy as opposed to accepting a general policy. You will save money in the end.

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First Time Car Insurance Benefits

As an incentive, insurance companies may advertise promotions for new business. It could amount to a free month of coverage or a promotional item. As a way to attract new business, promotions and incentives are common.

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First Time Car Insurance Concerns

If you are a new or young driver, you may have some concerns. Familiarizing yourself with your insurance policy will relieve many concerns, because you know exactly what to expect.

Will the insurance company pay my claim if I am in an accident?

This is one of the top concerns of any policyholder.

Several other concerns plague first-time car insurance buyers, including:

  • Will my rate increase if I am in an accident?
  • Will my carrier drop me if I am in too many accidents?
  • Did I overlook a cheaper plan?
  • What happens if I decide to change my carrier?

These are common questions among policyholders.

To answer a couple of them, several major carriers are now offering accident forgiveness. That does not mean they will overlook every accident, but that they promise not to increase your premium after the first accident. If you find a cheaper plan from a reputable company, you have every right to cancel.

With a 30-day written notice, you can cancel an existing policy and expect a refund on unused portions of your paid premiums. Some people change carriers yearly to take advantage of available savings. Your existing carrier may offer a lower rate just to keep your business.

First Time Car Insurance Scams

The internet is a useful tool for scammers. Several companies have websites; not all are legitimate. A solvent company is able to pay your claim should you file one eligible for payment.

It is a good idea to check out your potential carrier with Standard and Poor’s, A. M. Best, or any other consumer protection organization.

When divulging personal information online, it is always a good idea to make sure you trust the recipient. Research will help to avoid future horror stories. A reputable car insurance carrier will have an alternate means of communication other than the internet.

States require insurance carriers to be licensed in the state they do business, as they are state regulated.

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How to Shop for First Time Car Insurance

Shopping for first-time car insurance online can be intimidating for some people, especially those who are not familiar with new technology. It is simple to use most car insurance comparison sites. With your zip code, you can receive a number of potential carriers to suit your needs.

Once you narrow your choices, you may be inclined to give other pertinent information for a quote.

You can start receiving first-time car insurance quotes today. Enter your zip code here to get free online car insurance quotes now!

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