Ten Important Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Car Insurance
Many people purchase car insurance in a relatively blind manner, barely asking any questions and not fully understanding what their coverage entails. The fact is an informed consumer is a smart one. Knowledge gives you power. The worst thing that can happen to a car owner is for them to find themselves in an accident without adequate coverage. Here are ten important questions to ask before purchasing car insurance.
The Ten Questions to Ask
1) What’s their process for reporting a claim?
Procedures can vary with car insurance companies and there are time limitations as to how soon a claim must be reported in order for it to be covered. Is there are local number for you to call or does the company prefer you use an 800-number? They should have somewhere for you to call for service 24/7.
2) What incidents or behavior will make your premium go up or down?
Do they offer a safe driver discount? Will one accident make your car insurance premium go up? Are their six-month or yearly reviews that may affect how much you pay?
3) Are there multiple-policy discounts available?
If an insurance company offers other types of policies, such as homeowners, renters, boat, life and other such coverage, you may be able to save money by having all of your policies with that one company.
4) Is there a local office that you can contact?
Although a much of your business will be done over the phone or online, there’s something comforting about having an office that you can call and visit. Local insurance providers make it their business to create connections with their clients and calling them with a question can save time.
5) Are original manufacturer parts covered?
Some companies will cover accident repairs but won’t pay for manufacturer’s parts. Instead, they offer to cover only generic parts or the price of such a part, leaving you to pay the rest.
6) Can you choose your own repair shop?
The opportunity to choose your own repair shop may or may not be offered. This varies quite a bit, and depending on what state in which you reside, a car insurance company may not be allowed to restrict where you take your car to get it repaired.
7) If your car is totaled how much will you be reimbursed?
This can vary a lot too. The fact is once a vehicle is driven off a car lot it loses value and if you have a car loan and are in an accident, the insurance company may not pay the full amount of the loan but, rather, what they deem to be the actual worth. This can be thousands less than you owe and you’re stuck with a loan to payoff and no car.
8) If abroad are you covered when driving a rental?
You may or may not be. If you travel, then make sure you are covered.
9) What are your liability limits and deductibles?
This is basic information as far as car insurance goes but the truth is some people have no idea. Know what you are paying for and what is covered.
10) What are your payment options?
What methods or payment will the car insurance company accept and what type of payment schedule do they offer—monthly, full payment or something in between? You may be able to save some money by making a full payment.
Ask Before Purchasing Car Insurance
Once again, you must be sure to ask these questions before purchasing car insurance. Once you’ve bought your policy and had an accident, there’s no bartering for more coverage. Be sure to ask these ten questions and any more you may have and make sure you get clear and concise answers.