Automobile insurance can be a confusing topic for those who are unfamiliar with all of the paperwork and terminology that insurance agents use. Knowing what to ask your insurance agent ahead of time can help you learn what you need to know about your policy.
1. Do you review credit reports?
While auto insurance inquiries shouldn't affect your credit score, it is important to know if your company checks your credit rating. You might see your insurance rates change based on what they find, and they can check your scores at every renewal.
2. What discounts am I receiving?
Make sure your company is giving you every discount you qualify for. They might not be very proactive in lowering your rates, so you need to be.
3. Do you offer a discount for having multiple policies?
If you have your auto and home insurance with the same company, they might offer you discounts of around 20 percent or so just for having more than one policy with them. If you have policies with different companies, considering consolidating companies.
4. Do you have claims adjusters in my area?
An adjuster reviews your car for damages after an accident. Make sure your insurance company has someone knowledgeable in your local area, and find out how claims are handled if they don’t.
5. What does my rental coverage actually cover?
Rental car coverage won’t necessarily cover the cost of a rental car. Rental coverage is based on a certain dollar amount for each day you need the rental car. Don’t assume 15 dollars per day will cover the full rental cost.
6. What is included in my roadside assistance coverage?
Some roadside assistance will cover towing for up to a specific number of miles, and others require that your vehicle be towed to the nearest service station. Knowing what is covered ahead of time can help you minimize out of pocket expenses.
7. Do you have a 24-hour phone number?
If you have a local agent, make sure you know who you can call with questions or changes to your policy when your agent is out of the office. If you buy a new car when your agent is out, you will need that number.
8. What discounts do you offer continuous customers?
Some companies offer new customer discounts that end at the first renewal. Making sure your new company has you covered down the road will show you how much they value their existing customers.
9. Am I covered if I am hit by an uninsured driver?
Each state has different laws covering drivers who are hit by someone who doesn't have insurance. Some states require that you carry uninsured motorist coverage to cover yourself, while others don’t.
10. What medical bills are covered if I am in an automobile accident?
This is a question you should ask both your automobile and health insurance companies. Some health insurance will cover you immediately so you won’t need to carry any coverage on your auto insurance; others require you carry a certain amount on your automobile policy before they will kick in.
Asking these questions of your insurance agent can insure you know as much as possible about what coverage you have. Don’t feel silly asking your agent questions—asking questions is the only way to let him know you are unsure of something.