Before signing on the dotted line, ensure that you are getting the best deal and covering all the bases when getting auto insurance by preparing a list of questions to ask your car insurance agent. The agent will help you understand everything that you need to be included in the coverage.
Do not shy away from asking questions, be detailed and if you do not understand something, ask follow-up questions. This is because a lack of grasping all the information or misunderstanding may leave you vulnerable and suffer losses in an accident.
Questions To Ask Your Car Insurance Agent
Below is a list of five questions to ask your car insurance agent before signing on the dotted line.
- What Type of Coverage Do I Need?
The type of insurance coverage to get depends on the state you reside in. First and foremost, irrespective of where you live, if you own a car, you are required to have liability insurance which will provide coverage for accident-related injuries, death, auto damage, property destruction, and legal fees.
Once you know the insurance you’ve chosen meets these needs, it’s time for your insurance agent to give you a thorough explanation of each type of coverage and recommend the best ones.
The types of car insurance insurance policies include:
- Collision coverage:
An insurance policy helps you pay for damages if your car gets into an accident with another vehicle or object. Or if you have a natural accident like rolling over a mountain or embarkment.
This cover will help you pay for property damage if you hit a building or other people’s properties. You will be required to pay a deductible, so when selecting, consider what you can afford if you need to file a claim.
- Comprehensive coverage:
It is an insurance policy that covers non-collision-related damages to your car. These include:
- Animal damage
- Natural causes, such as storms, earthquakes, hailstorms, fires, and flooding
- Vandalism or riot
- Falling objects like branches and rocks
- Uninsured and underinsured Motorist Protection:
The idea of someone driving on the road without insurance may give you goosebumps. But you must realize that not everyone treasures their lives and those of others.
So to protect yourself from such drivers, you must get uninsured and underinsured motorist protection for your vehicle. This ensures that in case of accidents with such motorists, all your medical bills are covered.
The upside of this coverage is that it extends to your family and passengers. Although the requirements for this coverage vary from state to state, most of the state coverage only covers bodily injuries.
While on the same question, you must clarify with your insurance agent if your coverage will provide cover if you get into an accident and someone is injured or dies. Bodily injury liability coverage is one of the most crucial auto insurance every driver should have.
Read Also: How to Save Big on Your Car Insurance
The insurance will sort all accident-related expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation, and legal fees. So, if your insurance policy does not provide maximum coverage, ask your insurance agent to recommend additional options. These may include:
- Personal injury protection policy
- Medical payments policy
- Total disability
- Work loss insurance policy
- Burial expense policy
- Accidental death benefits
- First party benefits
- What Discounts Do I Qualify for?
We all love discounts, so check with your agents about the various types of car insurance discounts you might qualify for. The cost of your policy will primarily depend on the coverages, deductibles, and risk rating. Your age may also determine, your gender, driving record, location of your garage, and insurance score, so the better these factors are, the better your chance of scoring a discount.
For instance, if you buy home insurance, what discount will the insurer give if you decide to bundle your home and auto insurance? While this is a great idea, ensure that the discount they extend to you is of great value compared to what you’d have got if you purchased them separately from another insurance company.
For people living in cold countries, installing winter tires should afford you some discount since you have minimized the risk of accidents. Also, suppose you purchased various insurance policies with the same company for several years and are not considered a high-risk customer.
In that case, your insurer might afford you discounts of up to 20%. And if you continue staying loyal, the insurance company may give you other benefits. If you are driving electric vehicles, some insurance companies offer green discounts.
You may also get a discount if you pay the whole amount upfront or when you pay your premiums on time. So ask your insurance agents how to ensure that you qualify for most if not all of the discounts.
- Who Else Can Drive My Car?
Another essential question to ask your insurance agent is about the people protected by your coverage while driving your vehicle and what the car should be used for.
For instance, suppose you have children who are of driving age, you should make sure that your insurance policy protects them when they are on the road with your car.
And if you lend your car to someone who isn’t listed on your policy, know that you and your insurance are responsible. So is they get into an accident, you and your insurance are liable for any damages, and as a result, your premium will be hiked. So consider asking them to take insurance, or include them in yours if you often lend your vehicle.
Sometimes people use their cars to run errands for their businesses, so you must ensure that your insurance coverage permits use of the vehicle while you are out on your errands. Think of the various ways your car is used in the family and clarify that your coverage is sufficient to provide protection.
- What Will Happen if I Fail to Pay the Premium For a Month or Two?
You may forget to pay your premium, or lack of income due to job loss may cause you to fail to make a payment or two. If you just keep quiet and fail to correspond with your insurer may lead to outright termination of your policy.
And sometimes, some heavy penalties may be imposed. However, insurance companies differ, and the one treat missed premium payments is not the same to another company.
Life happens, and upon finding yourself in a financial fix, it’s essential to know how the insurance company you are settling for handles missed payments. This will enable you to plan your finances to ensure that you never miss a payment.
Have a sit down with your insurance agent, develop a payment plan, and ensure that the dates work for you. If you are salaried, it would be best if your date of payment coincided with your payday. Set automatic payments to ensure that you never miss a single payment.
- What is My Deductible?
A deductible refers to the money you agree with your insurer to pay out of pocket while you wait for the insurer to clear the remaining costs related to your partially-at-fault claim. The insurance company does not set out your deductible; you are given the freedom to set your deductible.
However, don’t set a high deductible such that you will not be in a position to pay in the event of a collision. Although we are advised to set the deductibles low, increasing your deductible lowers your premiums in some instances. So know your financial ability and then set the deductible accordingly.
Note that a deductible is only eligible when you have comprehensive or collision coverage for your vehicle. And won’t be applicable if you only have liability insurance that protects you if someone is injured or their property is destroyed.