image of car driving through missouriNow that it’s 2018, you’re likely seeing a lot of annual tasks roll back around. You might have to renew insurance policies, re-sign leases or review your taxes. Don’t forget, now that it’s 2018, you’re probably going to need to pay attention to your car. Most states require you to maintain your vehicle’s registration to drive on public roads.

Preparing your car for the New Year will require several different tasks. This might include renewing your registration, reviewing your insurance, having comprehensive maintenance and improving your car’s security. If you take these steps, you can make your car safer to operate for the next 365 days.

Renew Your Vehicle Registration

Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas requires resident drivers to register their vehicles with the state. Most drivers must renew their registration each year.

Vehicles over 10 hp must have registration, even if drivers don’t use them regularly. The type of registration your vehicle needs might vary based on the vehicle and its uses. Vehicles that do not need annual registration are those with junk or salvage titles. If you drive without registration, you could face penalties of varying degrees.

You can usually renew your registration online or through your local tag offices. The tag office will send all fees and documents to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Keep in mind that you will have to present certain documentation to renew your registration. This might include your title, lien, and proof of insurance or odometer readings. Oklahoma does not require emissions inspections with registrations renewals. However, if you move into Oklahoma from another state, you will have to undergo a VIN inspection. This will verify that the vehicle is not reported stolen anywhere else. Also, if you move into Missouri from another state, you will need to provide a statement of non-assessment to prove you don't owe taxes. Kansas also has its own requirements if you are moving there from another state. Before you can register your car, you will need to have it inspected at an inspection station. 

Review Your Auto Insurance

Most car insurance policies expire after a year. Therefore, you’re likely going to have to renew your policy at some point during 2018. Now that it’s the New Year, pull out your policy and look for the expiration date. Renew your policy or buy new coverage before that date.

Oklahoma requires most registered drivers to carry minimum levels of auto insurance. This includes mandatory liability insurance valued at:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability protection per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability protection per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident

Missouri requires most registered drivers to carry minimum levels of auto insurance. This includes mandatory liability insurance valued at:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability protection per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability protection per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability coverage per accident

Kansas requires most registered drivers to carry minimum levels of auto insurance. This includes mandatory liability insurance valued at:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability protection per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability protection per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability coverage per accident

This liability protection is important for all drivers. It will help drivers compensate others who sustain harm as a result of the insured’s actions.

However, liability insurance isn’t the only type of coverage that most drivers need. Remember, the state’s minimum levels might not meet the needs of all drivers. Take the time during the New Year to look at your present coverage. Keep in mind:

  • Many drivers need higher levels of liability coverage than just the state minimums.
  • Most drivers add comprehensive and collision coverage to their policies. These two types of coverage can cover repairs to your vehicles following wrecks or other accidents.
  • Insurance policies can often come with extra protection. This might include rental car coverage or roadside assistance protection. Ask your insurance agent about the best way to insure yourself with this coverage.

Furthermore, the New Year offers a lot of opportunities for policy savings. If you feel like your coverage has gotten too expensive, now is the time to look for ways to save on your policy.

  • As independent insurance agents we compare your policy options with various insurers. You might be able to switch to another provider, and get essentially the same coverage at a lesser cost.
  • There may be several discounts available to you. These discounts can apply for various reasons, such as remaining accident-free. Contact us each year to see if you are eligible for new discounts.
  • Consider increasing your policy deductible. If you raise your deductible, your insurer might have to pay out less money in the event of a claim. The insurer might offer drivers lower rates if they carry higher deductibles.

Ensure that your policy reflects the value of your vehicle, as well as your personal risks. Ensure that you secure coverage limits that protect you, but at an affordable price. You should strive to find a suitable balance between cost savings and coverage.

Other Steps to Take this Year

Once you have registration and insurance, there are still things you can do to improve your driving.

  • Commit to safe driving. You should always obey the rules of the road, and keep an active driver’s license.
  •  Protect your vehicle by ensuring you keep it locked, stored and out of harm’s way. Always secure your vehicle, even when it is in your driveway.
  •  Ensure that your vehicle receives regular maintenance checks. You will likely need oil changes, tire rotations and filter replacements at least annually. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend these services every three to five months.

Take the time this year to keep your vehicle in good working order. That way, whenever you hit the road, you won’t have to worry about your own security. If you have questions or concerns about your auto insurance, contact one of our agents today at 816.282.0224.

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