Are you looking for a new auto insurance policy?
The key to getting a good deal on your auto insurance is understanding what you’re signing up for. But with so much technical talk and so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for these top 10 questions to ask your auto insurance agent to get the right deal for you.
1. What’s the Full List of Discounts You Offer?
Most insurers will have a list of discounts they offer. Usually though, if you don’t ask, you don’t get so bring it up.
For example, if you have some safety equipment (e.g. Airbags), certain discounts apply. There also might be discounts for students, or types of drivers that insurers rank as “low risk”.
The only real way you’ll know if you’re eligible for any discounts is to ask your auto insurance agent. Get them to go through the entire discount list to see if any apply to your case.
2. Do Certain Premium Payment Options get Discounts?
There are usually discounts on your premium if you choose different payment lengths. For example, if you pay quarterly instead of monthly, or you go for the annual payment option.
This is one of the best and easiest ways to save money on your auto insurance. So, it always pays to ask this question when looking for a policy, or looking to renew.
3. What Coverage do I Get if My Vehicle is in an Accident?
You shouldn’t assume that your insurer will pay for a replacement or vehicle repair. Or cover the fees and provide a rental car should you need one. Liability insurance, in most states, is the least amount of coverage you must have. It only pays out for damage caused to another person’s vehicle or property.
To make sure your own vehicle has coverage, you’ll need accident collision coverage. You’ll also need cover for non-accidents like vandalism and theft.
Make sure you also discuss with the agent about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will help cover and damages or medical costs if you’re hit by this type of driver.
4. How Much Will I Get if My Vehicle gets Written Off?
In the event of a total loss, some insurers will pay out an “actual” cash value. Others will pay an “agreed” cash value.
The “actual” cash value is what your car is actually worth at the time of the incident that wrote it off. To work this out, a lot of insurers will refer to the NADA Guide.
With an “agreed” value, the at the time you take out the policy and each renewal you agree upon a value of your car. This value then doesn’t drop until it’s time to renew your insurance and revalue again.
5. Do I Have Gap Coverage?
Sometimes, the amount you owe on the vehicle can be higher than the “book value”. If your car ends up written off, you may be stuck paying the difference.
Gap coverage will cover that specific different between “book value” and “loan value”. With this coverage, your insurer will pay off your loan, even if it is higher than the value of your vehicle.
6. Do I Get 24/7 Towing and Roadside Assistance?
Make sure your policy includes towing for accidents or mechanical fault. As both of these things can happen at any time, it’s important to make sure you won’t get caught out. You should always be prepared for an emergency.
Also make sure you have access to 24/7 roadside assistance for this same reason. Having this coverage will save you time, frustration and money in the long run. In the event of an emergency, there will be less expense you’ll be liable for.
7. Does My Policy Cover the Original Manufacturer Parts?
If your vehicle needs repairs, some insurers won’t pay for identical manufacturer parts. If they can, insurers will try to use “aftermarket” parts instead to save money.
Some insurers will cover a few set OEM parts like airbags. But they’d then use “aftermarket” for things like mud flaps or wipers. While it’s not a deal breaker, it’s good to know if you care about the cosmetics.
8. Do I Have Multi-Driver Coverage?
Your policy will cover you driving, but what if your partner needs to borrow your car? Or a friend/relative needs to borrow it?
How would that work if they have an accident in your vehicle? You might be driving someone else’s car, so what happens if you have an accident in this case?
You should check how this works with your insurer, and the laws of your state. You shouldn’t assume your insurance policy will cover these types of incidents.
9. How Do Some Jobs Affect My Policy?
When applying for a new policy, your agent will ask you about your driving habits. This includes commuting distance, what your job is and whether you use your car for work.
Your policy will likely exclude some specific jobs. For example, it’s not uncommon for policies to exclude delivery work. This means that you’ll need to find separate cover for your work related functions. If not, and you get into an accident on the job, you won’t have cover.
10. What Could Cause My Premium to be so High?
If you feel your quote or existing premium is too much, it’s fair to wonder this. What you’re asking the insurance agent is to specify exactly why your premium is so much. You want a detailed breakdown, so you can address the offending issues.
For example, previous traffic violations might have spiked the cost in your premium. In some cases, taking a driving course could bring those costs down again.
Make the Most of Your Auto Insurance Agent
So there you have it! Now you know these top 10 questions to ask your auto insurance agent so you’ll have all the facts.
While some details will remain similar across the board, auto insurance can vary. Think about your needs and what you want covered, then make sure your chosen insurer can provide this.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts today!