1. What type of coverage do I need? While liability insurance is the only requirement for most states, check to see what coverage is mandated by your state. Then, work with your agent to decide if collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, or uninsured or underinsured motorist protection is the best fit for your personal situation.
2. Who is covered by my policy? Ask your agent what insurance will pay in the event of an accident involving yourself, as well as your family and friends who may be driving your vehicle. You should also ask what your policy covers for accidents involving a vehicle you’ve borrowed. Knowing who is at fault and what insurance will cover in each situation is crucial for avoiding surprise fees after an accident.
3. Are there any discounts? While the majority of car insurance companies offer discounts, never assume that your agent will bring them to your attention without you asking directly. Research beforehand to know which discounts you’re qualified for, and ask that they are applied to your policy.
4. What kinds of payment plans are available? Most companies offer annual and six-month premium payment options. Ask your agent for a complete list of options to determine what works best for your budget.
5. What risks will influence my insurance rate? Your rate increases by factors that determine your likelihood to file a claim. While certain factors are age and gender, others can include criminal record, driving record, and credit rating. Ask your agent how you can minimize your risk in the eyes of the insurance company for a lower rate.
6. How will my current driving record impact my payment? Before you get a quote, know how your driving record will impact the cost. If a ticket or points you’ve earned will soon disappear from driving record, you’ll save money by waiting to get a quote until after the penalty is removed from your record.
7. How will my vehicle’s value play into my rate? It’s no secret that a flashy sports car comes with a higher insurance rate. Knowing the value of your car, and where it falls in the spectrum of high-to-low insurance rates is important both when purchasing a vehicle and understanding how it affects your rate.
8. Can claims be serviced 24/7 by phone and online? In the event of an accident, the last thing you need is a claims service that is not there to help at the moment you need it most. While most companies provide around the clock assistance, both by phone and online, don’t wait to find out your accident occurred outside of business hours, and you must wait to receive the service you need.
Finding the right auto insurance coverage for your specific needs is no easy task. However, doing your research and asking the right questions can help you to make an informed decision. Don’t be afraid to ask, you just might open doors to savings and services you never knew were available.
If you still feel like you need help understanding your policy, feel free to bring your policy down to our Bardstown office. Chad McCoy will be glad to take a look at it with you and make sure you’re getting the coverage that’s right for you.