Agents don’t have much time for explaining anymore. They assume you have done the 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 have the right coverage, from a decent company and at a reasonable price is to go through set of questions to ask yourself and brokers. As you go through them you reconfirm decisions and make sure that there is nothing else you can do to ensure having a satisfactory policy. Here are 12 questions to ask when purchasing 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 it is a highly personal affair. Do you want to have the largest liability coverage you can have? Do you want to protect 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? Take notice of the liability section 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 a license for and is it clean? How long have you had continuous coverage and do you have any recent lapse in automobile insurance? Answers show if you are a preferred risk, typical or high risk driver. Each of these classifications has own rates that determine how much the premium is.
- How High Is My Credit Score?
Credit score alone can increase or reduce rates as much as ¼. It is one of the questions most quote forms have anyway that you will need to know how good is credit history. This will determine if you need car insurers that don’t check credit or you would be looking for the ones who heavily rely on financial information to offer cheap quotes.
- What Discounts Can I Get?
Knowing how strong your hand is help in finding the best policy. You can get discounts for various reasons like homeownership, respectable profession, having a garage or low mileage. Every little helps in reducing the premium. Good drivers can get great rates from most sources while riskier ones may need to look for high risk auto insurance providers. Having limited choices certainly put you in a tight spot. But you should persevere to find the best deals available in current circumstances, no matter how tricky that is.
- Who Can Drive the Insured Car?
One of the key points to check when you compare quotes is who is allowed to drive it. 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 when you can help it.
- What Are the Deductibles?
They all set their own standard deductibles. 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 you may choose to go with the company offering them, even it means paying a little bit more.
- Any Extra Cover Included in My Policy?
Some of them woo customers by offering extras like towing or roadside assistance or free accident forgiveness for customers with no troubles. Recently, several of them 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 carriers offer these nice freebies.
- Do I Get All the Discounts I Qualify for?
Since you have pretty good idea of risk ratings you can judge what discounts you should get. It may not be practical to confirm every one of them but the quotes will quickly tell you as to how the companies you applied rates you. If you more or less decided on one you can check the savings 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. It would be disappointing to know that you need to pay X amount more for settling the premium monthly. Besides, charging for installments can make a carrier more expensive and screw comparisons. So, find out from the start if the option you prefer is available or get quotes monthly if that is what you want and offered readily.
- How Good Is the Claim Reputation?
You purchase a policy just in case you may have a claim in the future. So, you would naturally want to make sure that the provider you choose don’t mess you around. You probably have no time to chase them and you certainly don’t want to. Here are the top 10 auto insurers for paying claims to help you. You can also check it for any company you like as this information is readily available online through independent websites 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 reasonable quote and look for ways of finding cheaper sources like buying online.
- Is There Any Room for Negotiation?
Just ask straight if there is any other discounts you can get. They often do something about it to help you make your mind. For example, some companies offer 5% for switching called switch and save. Early renewal is another one that they offer for paying for the renewal well in advance of the due date. Paying in full can qualify you for a small reduction on it too. So, just check.
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 explains how coverage and premium calculations work and how to shop. It is worth having a look at.