What Questions Should You Ask About Car Insurance?
Buying car insurance can be difficult, especially for new drivers. Before speaking with an insurance agent, it can help to have a list of questions prepared so you know what to ask and what answers you seek.
What Coverage Do You Offer?
This is a basic but important question to ask of potential insurers. All insurance providers must offer at least the minimum auto insurance requirements of your state, but you generally need additional insurance. A full coverage car insurance policy is typically recommended, especially for vehicles that have not been paid off yet. A typical full coverage car insurance policy may include:
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages to your vehicle caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving a collision.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation for damages to your vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Liability: Liability covers bodily injury and property damage you may cause to someone else while operating the insured vehicle.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage covers medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter who caused the accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This insurance covers damages and injuries that may occur in an accident involving another driver who is not carrying insurance.
- Roadside Assistance
If you believe you need additional insurance, such as for custom parts on your vehicle, be sure to ask what coverage options you may add to your policy.
How Can You Save Me Money on Car Insurance?
No one wants to pay too much for auto insurance. Although you can compare quotes to see how much you can save, you should also ask insurance agents about what they will do to ensure that your insurance premiums stay low or possible discounts you may qualify for. Different insurers may offer different discounts depending on your qualifications.
Common discounts to ask about include:
- Mature driver discount
- Good student discount
- Low mileage discount
- Multi-car discount
- Early renewal discount
- Paperless discount
What are the Reviews?
It is important to check testimonies from previous and current customers. Some reviews can be down to a difference of personality, but commonly poor reviews about service may hint at a bigger problem. If possible, speak with previous clients to understand what it is like to work with the insurance company.
How Much Car Insurance Do I Actually Need?
Not everyone’s car insurance needs are the same. While full coverage car insurance is recommended, it isn’t necessarily required. If you do not have requirements set by a lender, you may not need the highest limits possible on your insurance policy. Lowering the amount of coverage on your vehicle can save you money, but it also leaves you open to other financial losses when it comes to an accident.
Who is Covered Under My Auto Insurance Policy?
Most car insurance policies will cover anyone you give permission to operate the vehicle. This isn’t always the case, however. Some policies have excluded drivers who will not be covered if allowed to operate the vehicle. Excluded drivers are those who the insurer bars from coverage. These drivers are usually high-risk due to a bad driving record, poor credit score, etc. If you give an excluded driver permission to operate your vehicle, they will not be covered under your auto insurance policy.
Also make sure to discuss the ups and downs of adding another person to your policy. You can name other drivers on your policy in order to guarantee that they will receive the most coverage possible, but adding another person can also affect your insurance rates. Adding more drivers can raise your insurance rates, especially if that driver has a poor driving record. On the other hand, adding a driver with a better record or credit score may actually save you money on car insurance.
Can I Bundle My Auto Insurance?
To save money and hassle, many insurers allow you to bundle your auto insurance with another policy, such as home insurance. You can also bundle auto insurance with motorcycle insurance and other recreational vehicles. Doing so allows you to pay and adjust your policy in one place. Bundling your auto insurance with other policies is generally more affordable and convenient, so be sure to ask an insurance agent about what bundles and specials they offer.
Insurance agents are there to answer your questions both large and small. Asking the right questions can help you find the right car insurance policy among hundreds of insurance providers.