Auto Insurance Tune-up: Top Mistakes People Make When Buying Auto Insurance

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New Year's resolutions are in full swing, and as many people review their financial goals, it's also a great time to give their auto insurance a tune-up. GMAC Insurance, the company that keeps your life moving, reveals the top mistakes people make when shopping for auto insurance and offers tips to help get the most out of your coverage.

you get what you pay for

1. Shopping for the Lowest Price Available.

We've all heard the claims that we could save money on our auto insurance - but many times, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is true. You should compare not only price, but policy features as well. Many companies offer enhanced benefits, such as superior claims handling, collision parts and customer service guarantees, roadside rental car delivery, replacement car service and online account management. Assess all of the benefits that are included to see the true value you'll be receiving.

2. Underestimating the Value of OEM Parts.

Does your insurance company specify the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts in collision repairs after accidents? Many companies use less expensive aftermarket parts, which may decrease the value of your car, affect its appearance and jeopardize the warranty. Don't wait until it's too late to find out that your insurance company doesn't use OEM parts.

3. Leaving Yourself Financially Exposed.

Choosing lower liability limits - how much your insurance company will pay for damage to others - can leave you financially exposed. You may pay less, but at what real price? For example, a bad accident that causes serious injury can result in medical bills and lost wages amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which would far exceed minimum liability coverage limits. Make sure you aren't settling for minimum coverage that does not protect you and your assets in worst-case scenarios.

4. Missing Out on Potential Discounts.

Have you investigated all of the potential discounts you can receive? You may be eligible for discounts that correspond with your lifestyle, such as low-mileage driving. Often you can also receive discounts for having multiple policies through the same insurance carrier, whether it's for an additional automobile or even your homeowner's insurance. Make sure you ask your insurance company or agent about any available discounts that you may qualify for.

5. Neglecting to Consider a Major Life Change.

Be sure to keep your policy current. Something as basic as forgetting to add your new teen driver can cost you dearly in the case of an accident. If any of the following apply to you in the past year, you may need to alter the type and amount of coverage you carry to make sure you're properly covered:

-- You purchased a new home, new car or other property

-- You've had a change in marital status

-- You started a business

-- Your child started driving

-- You moved residences

-- You retired

For more information on auto insurance, please visit

The GMAC Insurance Group is one of the largest automobile insurers in the United States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). GMAC Insurance Personal Lines offers automobile, RV, motorcycle and specialty vehicle insurance, as well as homeowners insurance, to consumers through a number of distribution channels, including independent agents, affinity groups and the Internet ( With a nationwide network of claims professionals, local independent agents and a 24-hour, toll-free claims hotline available 365 days a year, GMAC Insurance provides superior claims service for its customers.

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Anne Houseman
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