For Gen Y, car insurance may not always seem like the most exciting item to purchase. The premium you pay doesn’t exactly feel as tangible as the latest smartphone and it doesn’t always feel useful – that is until you find yourself in a car accident or a tree falls on your car. Trust us, in those cases, you’ll be happy you put down the money on auto insurance.  Here’s what you need to know about purchasing car insurance.

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1. It’s a Must-Have

Car insurance is simply a must-have when you own or lease a vehicle. Just about every state requires some degree of coverage, and even those that don’t (New Hampshire and Virginia) still require uninsured vehicle fees or consider a lack of coverage to be risky. Also, even if you don’t have a car, but drive a roommate’s often, you should find out about their coverage policies to make sure they have permissive driver coverage so all parties are protected.


2. Know What You Need

While you do need car insurance, don’t overpay for unnecessary coverage that you won’t use. Look up your state’s requirements for auto insurance, as while all states are relatively similar, they may require different amounts liability coverage or other specific protection, such as underinsured motorist coverage. Determine which features are important to you – easy bill pay, roadside assistance, medical coverage – and compare those with your state’s requirements to make sure you are covered in all the areas you need to be.


3. Be a Smart Shopper

Millennials are already smart shoppers. Many of us love to look for bargains, make our own DIY projects, and comparison shop to get the best deal. Car insurance is no different. Shop around and don’t necessarily accept the first offer you’re given. Don’t let any car insurance providers take advantage of your inexperience in buying auto insurance. Be the tech savvy individuals that you are, get multiple quotes, and find the deal that works best for you. Believe it or not, car insurance can be affordable, and within budget, if you search around.


4. Don’t Play Risk

According to the US Chamber Foundation, millennials are considered to be an “optimistic group.” While that may be true, that doesn’t mean we should just hope for the best and play a game of risk with auto insurance. Car accidents happen every single day – 30,000 of them, and regardless of how safe a driver you are, fender benders happen. Be prepared and purchase a car insurance policy that works for you.


5. Drive Safe and Stay Focused

The most important piece of information to remember is to drive safe and stay focused. We all love to multitask, but it’s important to use that skill off the road. Don’t text and drive, or tweet or Snapchat or Facebook and drive, or be any other type of distracted driver. It’s in your best interest to stay focused so that you and other drivers on the road are safe. Not to mention the benefit of watching your premium drop to a cheaper rate when you drive without accidents.

No, I won’t lie to you. Purchasing a car insurance policy is not nearly as fun as booking a flight for a destination summer vacation. However, it is smart and responsible, and hey, there could be worse things that being covered for your next road trip!

Photo Credit (top image): ITU Pictures, (2)