Companies or agents don’t have much time for explaining anymore. They assume you have done your own research online. Besides, it is costly to explain everything to every applicant. So, it is up to you to learn as much as you can. One of the best ways of making sure you are buying the right coverage, from a good insurer and at a reasonable price is to go through set of questions to ask yourself and your insurance agent. As you go through them you reconfirm your decision and make sure that there is nothing else you can do to ensure satisfactory policy purchase. Here are 12 questions to ask when buying car insurance.
- What Types of Covers Do I Want?
This must be the starting point, as you need to know what you are shopping for. This is the part only you can answer because most questions are personal. Do you want to have the largest liability coverage you can have? Do you want to insure your car or it is too old to be of any value? So, you should start with asking how much vehicle insurance do I need? Pay careful attention to liability coverage since this is the trickiest part.
- How Is My Driving Record?
Did you have any traffic violation tickets, accidents or claims in the last 3 years? How long have you had your driving license for and is it clean? How long have you been buying your own policies and do you have any recent lapse in automobile insurance? Answers to these questions show if you are a preferred risk, typical or high risk driver. Each of these classifications has own rates that determine how much premium you need to pay.
- How High Is My Credit Score?
Credit score alone can increase or reduce your premium as much as ¼. It is one of the questions most quote forms have anyway that you will need to know how good is your credit history. This will determine if you would be looking for insurers who heavily rely on financial information to offer cheap quotes or you need car insurers that don’t check credit.
- What Discounts Can I Get?
Knowing how strong your hand is help in your search for the best policy. You can get discounts for various reasons like homeownership, respectable profession, having a garage or driving low mileage. Every little helps in reducing your premium. Good drivers can get great rates from most insurers while riskier drivers may need to look for high risk auto insurance providers. Having limited choices in terms of insurers certainly put you in a tight spot. But you should persevere to find the best deals available in your current circumstances, no matter how tricky that is.
- Who Can Drive the Insured Car?
One of the key points to check when you compare automobile insurance quotes from different companies is who is allowed to drive the insured vehicle. Some policies may have special conditions like drivers over the age of 21 or 25 only. This may not be ideal or acceptable for you. And why would you want to have any restrictions on your policy when you can help it.
- What Are the Deductibles?
This is one of the first questions to ask when buying auto insurance. Different companies set different standard deductibles for the policies they offer. You can usually increase them but you may not be able to decrease them. If a quote comes with higher deductibles it may be why it is slightly cheaper. And if you prefer lower deductibles you may choose to go with the company offer them, even it means paying a little bit more.
- Any Extra Cover Included in My Policy?
Some companies woo customers by offering policies with extras like towing or roadside assistance coverage or free accident forgiveness for good drivers. Recently, several companies offer decreasing deductibles that go down every year, as long as you don’t make a claim too. Free courtesy car while yours is being repaired after an accident is another attractive benefit that may be on offer. So, check if any of the policies on offer comes with these nice freebies.
- Do I Get All the Discounts I Qualify for?
Since you have pretty good idea of your risk ratings you can judge what discounts you should get. It may not be practical to confirm every discount with each company but the premium quoted will give you a good idea as to how the insurers you applied rates you. If you more or less decided on one insurer you can check the discounts they offer so as to make sure they didn’t leave anything out.
- What Are the Premium Payment Options?
Large numbers of motorists prefer monthly vehicle insurance policies. It would be disappointing to know that you need to pay X amount more for paying your premium monthly. Besides charging for installments can make an insurer more expensive and screw your comparisons. So, find out from the start if the payment option you prefer is available or get your quotes monthly if that is what you want and offered readily.
- How Good Is the Claim Reputation?
You buy insurance just in case you may have a claim in the future. So, you would naturally want to make sure that the insurer you choose don’t mess you around. You probably have no time to chase your insurer and you certainly don’t want to. Here are the top 10 auto insurance companies for paying claims to help you. You can also check claim reputation of any company you like as this information is readily available online through the insurer’s own site or other rating sites.
- What Are My Alternatives?
Knowing what other alternatives you have clarifies the situation. When you have plenty options to choose from you can quickly move onto the next best choice. Otherwise, you wouldn’t quickly discard any company with reasonable quote and look for ways of finding cheaper coverage like buying online.
- Is There Any Room for Negotiation?
Just ask straight if there is any other discount you can get. Companies often offer small discounts to help you make your mind. For example, some companies offer 5% discount called switch and save for switching. Early renewal discount is another one that companies offer for paying for your renewal well in advance of the due date. Paying your premium in full can qualify you for a small discount too with some companies. So, just ask the question.
After all, this post is about what to ask when buying car insurance. Don’t be shy about asking them because you need the best and latest information in order to make a good decision. If you act as if you know the answers you only trick yourself and you may end up paying for choosing substandard policy, if you ever have a claim. You can also check our other post things to know when buying automobile insurance that covers questions like how coverage and premium calculations work and how to shop for vehicle insurance. It is worth having a look at.