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When it comes to selecting car insurance, at times it’s easiest to go with your friends’ recommendation or the latest commercial.
However, it’s probably not the way to go about it. Bear in mind that service quality and car insurance can differ considerably among policies and selecting the lowest cost could be more costly if you’re involved in an accident.
For this reason, it’s important you ask your insurance agent the right questions. This way, you’ll save yourself frustration and time. Here are 10 questions you need to ask.
1. Do I have a high risk?
The insurance rate offered by insurance companies is dependent on numerous factors that encompass the amount of risk you pose to the insurance company.
Companies use data including your age, gender, credit rating, and residential area to establish your risk. Therefore, premiums for first time drivers will possibly be higher.
2. Will other drivers fall under my policy?
Numerous people tend to overlook this question yet occasions arise when a family member or friend borrows your vehicle. Insurance carriers will differ in the manner in which they handle each of these circumstances.
Furthermore, the laws in your state will also determine how the firm will handle the case. Never assume that your carrier will cover each incident merely because you have a car insurance policy.
3. How high should my deductible be?
If you’re involved in an accident, you must pay a specified, pre-agreed amount towards treating injuries or repairing damages before your carrier covers the remaining costs.
Although you may be tempted to settle for a lower deductible so the insurance covers the expenses immediately in the event of an accident, a higher deductible can decrease your premiums substantially.
This can result in huge savings over time. However, the deductible shouldn’t be so high that you’ll struggle paying in case of an accident.
4. What payment options do I have?
Auto insurance is a huge financial commitment, so establishing how you plan to pay for it is vital. Most car insurance companies provide the option of paying a lump sum annually or half the annual amount every six months.
The most common frequency of payment is on a monthly basis because it makes budgeting more realistic. However, it could make your yearly costs more expensive in the long run.
5. Do I qualify for any discounts?
Almost every insurer offers a range of discounts, but don’t presume your agent will give you those you’re eligible for automatically. You must inquire about the discounts offered by the company and ask to have those you qualify for applied to your account.
Insurers often give discounts for having safety car features such as air bags or a car alarm. Additionally, some companies will offer discounts for things such as parking your car regularly in a garage or owning an eco-friendly vehicle. However, you must inquire to obtain the savings.
6. Do I have collision and comprehensive coverage? Are they worth it?
Collision coverage pays for car repairs when an accident takes place-whether you hit or another car hits you. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage will cover damage caused by anything besides a collision, for instance flood, theft, or vandalism.
Both types typically need you to pay a deductible first before the carrier pays the claim. If you own a newer vehicle, having both is advisable because you probably lack the means to replace or repair a car that costs $20,000 or $30,000.
7. How will my car’s value affect my premiums?
When estimating your premiums, you should consider the value placed on your car by the insurance company. If you select an expensive vehicle, you might find the premiums unaffordable.
Bear in mind that if you purchase a secondhand one from an unreliable dealer, the car will be uninsurable. Therefore, research is vital.
8. Is Your Claims Service 24/7?
Being involved in an accident is stressful even if no one sustains injuries. Don’t put yourself in a more stressful situation such that your insurer doesn’t open for business over the weekend.
Numerous companies currently allow 24/7 claim reporting, both online and by phone (toll-free number) so ensure you choose the one that does.
9. What kind of repairs will you offer?
If damage occurs on a vehicle, most people would expect manufacturer’s originals as replacement for their car parts, possibly like those that existed initially. When repairing a vehicle following an accident, after-parts may be used since they’re cheaper.
Consider the value you place on the origin of the substitute parts before choosing a company and bear in mind that numerous vehicle insurers use a combination of OEM and after-parts depending on the type of repair.
10. Can we meet in person?
These days, it seems like numerous businesses take place over the phone or online. However, when discussing complex matters such as insurance, it can be helpful to meet with an agent to discuss details in person.
Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility, so is insuring it. Here are 10 important questions to ask when you purchase car insurance that could help you find the right balance between rates and coverage.