Many people who own cars only have basic knowledge of car insurance practices and procedures. But, that won’t help much when shopping for a new car insurance plan. Before you shop, you should know the right questions to ask to cover the more delicate details of a car insurance policy. It’s not about getting the cheapest or the best plan, but preferably the one that will offer the best value for what you pay or your money.
1. What are my options for payment?
There are several payment options that are offered by insurance companies: quarterly, monthly, six months, and annual payment plans. Monthly payments are the most common plan used by car owners because it conveniently spread the total bill over several months. However, frequent payments can be more costly long-term than paying an annual lump sum. Before purchasing a car insurance plan, gather estimates for car insurance to compare the best prices.
2. Who is covered by my car insurance policy?
Typically, your insurance policy covers you when driving your car. But what happens if you get into an accident with someone else? Or a family member is involved in an accident while driving your vehicle? How will the policy help if a friend borrowed your car for some task? When buying a policy, you need to get all the answers to these questions to ensure not only you are covered, but others are covered as well.
3. How will my car be repaired after an accident?
This relates to the type or quality of the parts that are going to be used when repairing. Will the vehicle be repaired with brand-new parts? And if yes, will brand new parts work with an older car? Or do they only use second-hand parts? The coverage could be less expensive if they opt to use second-hand parts, however, you may put yourself in a riskier position.
4. Do I get a discount if my partner owns a car?
Some plans offer a discount if your partner or spouse has his or her car. Make sure you tell the insurance provider to see if they give discounts on the same plan. This could save you a lot of money, as some insurance providers offer discounts up to 20%. Adding another family car in your plan can certainly reduce the cost of your car insurance premium.
5. How will my car be valued?
Your car is valued based on the age, make, and model of your car. You should determine the value of a car before buying it and then check the insurance policy quickly to determine if you can afford the coverage cost and the vehicle together. You can use a service such as Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your car.
6. Do I need collision coverage?
If your car doesn’t have significant value, then you may want to cancel the collision coverage. But will the safety and specs features of the vehicle affect the cost of an insurance premium? Of course — the safer the car, the more you will save on an insurance premium. You should also have an anti-theft system in your vehicle, which is another excellent way to save on the total cost.
7. Should I haggle?
Haggling may be considered past tense, but there is nothing wrong with asking the insurance company for a discount if you don’t already have one. It would help if you also told them you had shopped around and compare quotes to get a competitive deal.
8. What optional extras are included in my price?
You should only buy what you truly need. But still, the insurance provider is obliged to explain the add-ons or extras to your policy. If you don’t need add-ons, you have a right to refuse. But, if you feel you need add-ons such as roadside assistance or personal injury protection.
9. Should I go for lower or higher deductibles?
If you are driving a new car model, then you need the lowest deductibles available. If you drive an older car that is closer to the deductibles, then it is advisable to choose the higher deductibles. The other important factor is whether or not you can afford repairs for your car should it be involved in an accident.
10. Can I meet my insurance company in person?
Face-to-face interaction with your insurance company creates a better business relationship and customer service. You should ask the agent if they have a physical office where you could visit and discuss the plant in detail.
It’s important to take time and ask the questions before you sign the deal to get a clear picture of what is included and what is not covered by your plan. Hopefully, this article helps you get an idea of what type of questions you need to ask before committing.