Before purchasing auto insurance, consumers are wise to fully understand their options and the policy they are entering into on matters such as price, coverage amounts, discounts, and special rates for combined policies. Insurance companies are highly competitive in their attempts to attract new customers, but the specialization of many providers has resulted in a wide variance of protection limits, differences in the calculation of risk, and changes in claims servicing.
Asking straightforward questions to the insurance company or agent is important to obtain the necessary facts and information to make an informed purchasing decision. Below are five questions to ask an insurance company before buying a policy.
1. What Discounts Do You Offer?
Insurance companies advertise all kinds of discounts in order to attract consumer attention, but individuals should be aware that these offers are not necessarily pointed out made when dealing directly with the agent. Things to consider include discounts for safe drivers, for insuring multiple vehicles, for homeowners, and for insuring additional family members.
Discounts may also be offered for vehicles that are considered low-risk. This can become complicated because not all insurance providers use the actual make and model of the car as a primary factor when determining rates. Be sure to ask about discounts for installed theft deterrent systems, backup cameras, high-tech driver warning systems, and for vehicles that have 5-star safety ratings.
2. Are There Combined Policy Discounts?
This is one of the most overlooked discounts for auto insurance shoppers. Many of the large insurance companies offer significant discounts when auto coverage is combined with health, life, and/or homeowner’s insurance. While the shouldn’t substitute for still shopping around for other types of coverage, it is wise to be aware of the discounts available by bundling coverage.
3. What Are My Payment Options?
Remember that an insurance company wants to sell as many policies as possible. Their determination to attract customers often results in several different ways in which payment can be spread out over six months or a year. Those who pay a large amount in order to activate the policy will generally receive a small discount.
On the other hand, paying only the monthly premium each and every month will save money up front, but the total amount paid by the customer will be a bit more. In some cases, insurance providers require the customer to renew the policy one month ahead of time in order to secure the same rates currently enjoyed.
4. How Do I File A Claim?
This needs to be discussed in detail with the company or agent. If the policy is purchased through an independent agent, the claims service representatives may be contacted directly through the provider. If the agent is contracted directly through a single provider, claims may be processed by contacting the agent and having him or her gather the details.
Customers can check the provider’s history of paying on claims by viewing review/feedback boards posted online. Insurance companies and their agents will always assure their customers that claims service is rapid, but individuals are encouraged to look elsewhere for verifying information.
5. How Affordable Is Optional Coverage?
Adding a second layer of protection such as PIP, UI, or additional liability coverage may not be as expensive as it would seem. Many companies offer up to $50,000 in additional liability protection for less than a five percent increase in premiums.
It is also a good idea to verify the quote given over the phone or Internet. These initial quotes cannot be assumed to be final until all information about the vehicle and its driver has been gathered. No insurance company is going to give a final quote based solely on the customer’s zip code and the vehicle model.
This website www.discountcainsurancequotes.net contributed this article. Check out their questions and answers page to learn more and obtain free quotes.