Questions You Should Ask Before Getting Car Insurance

Auto insurance is one of those things for which you can easily shop around. Every company will give you a different quote, so you want to be sure that you get the best coverage for the best price.

To really understand what each company is offering you, you need to ask questions. Gathering information before making a final decision is essential to ensuring that you get an excellent overall value, and that the insurance policy you buy will offer you everything you need.

Do you need coverage above the state minimum?

Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance coverage, and these minimums are very low. They are typically not enough to cover an accident involving a serious injury.

Because accident expenses can be incredibly high, most people should get additional coverage. How Stuff Works suggests that drivers should at least add coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers.

This covers you if you’re in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your expenses. Making a claim against this coverage won’t raise your insurance rates.

If you can’t afford to replace or repair your own vehicle, then you may consider getting collision coverage as well. It will pay for damages to your car up to the value of the vehicle.

Lastly, if a serious injury would put you in a bad financial situation, you should consider personal injury protection. Some states do require this coverage. It pays your medical expenses and for things like lost wages.

What factors influence your premium?

Each insurance company uses its own formula to determine the cost of your premium. You want to ask about what those factors are, so that you can make changes, if possible, to lower your rate.

Money Under 30 explains that you can then follow up with questions about what you can do to help lower your rates. For instance, if you have a bad driving record, taking driving courses might help combat that.

In general, the insurance company will look at anything that could make you a risk to insure. A risk to insurers is someone who will make a claim. They see risky traits like younger drivers, expensive vehicles, bad driving records, and lapses in insurance coverage.

Knowing the answer to this question can also help you as you shop around for insurance. Ensure that you consider a few different companies and use resources, such as to help you make a final decision.

What change would you see if you increase your deductible?

Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay on a claim before your insurance company pays for anything. You get to choose your deductible. Depending on the company, it could be as low as $200.

The standard is usually $500. However, $1,000 is often your best choice if you want to save a little money.

You can discuss this with your insurance agent to see how different deductibles would impact your rate. Make sure, though, that you don’t choose a deductible you can’t afford to pay. It offers very little value to raise your deductible, so high that you won’t be able to pay it because then, you won’t be able to access your insurance coverage.

What discounts do you offer?

Asking about discounts is incredibly important because many agents won’t volunteer them. Some companies will issue standard discounts, such as continuous coverage or multiple vehicles. However, there are often additional savings available that you won’t know about unless you ask.

Discounts can add up to huge savings. You might qualify for them based on where you work or to which organizations you belong. Many companies offer good student discounts, or those for having specific safety devices in your vehicle.

You may also be able to get a reduction on your premium for paying it in full instead of making payments. It’s also possible to save if you bundle your auto insurance with another type of insurance the company offers.

Will your policy cover work use?

If you use your vehicle for work, it’s essential to ask if your policy will cover that use. The worst thing that can happen is that you get into an accident while working, and your insurer refuses to cover it.

You may have to get additional coverage, depending on how you’ll use your vehicle. You can usually expect it to provide coverage for driving to and from work, but beyond that, you need to clarify.

Most policies will cover things like driving from one office to the other for meetings. However, they generally won’t cover the actual use of your vehicle for a job, such as delivering food.

Your policy may expressly exclude coverage in certain situations. You have to understand these exclusions to ensure you have coverage when you need it.

Does roadside assistance come with your policy?

It’s a good idea to clarify everything that comes with your policy. Roadside assistance is often standard these days, but some companies make you add it if you want it.

If you don’t have coverage through another roadside assistance program, it’s usually a good idea to add this to your policy. Just make sure that you check the cost. You may be able to get it cheaper elsewhere.

Also, ask what comes with the roadside assistance coverage. Some companies limit you to using services a specific number of times a year, while other companies have no limits. Coverage will also vary as to towing distance and covered services.

Will your policy cover other drivers?

You want to be sure that if you loan your vehicle to someone, and that person has an accident, your insurance will cover it. It also helps to know if your insurance will cover you if you drive someone else’s vehicle.

Policies vary as to what they cover in respect to other drivers using your vehicle, and you driving vehicles that aren’t your own. State law can also impact coverage for these things.

Make sure you completely understand the coverage, so that you make good decisions and keep yourself protected.

Wrapping Up

Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you get a quote from your insurance agent. You have the right to thoroughly understand your policy and what it does and doesn’t cover.