If you are like most motorists, you know that you need insurance, but, unless you work within the realm of insurance, you probably don’t know all the details. Whether you are purchasing your auto insurance for the first time or you are switching to a new provider, it is important to know as much as possible about your coverage. If you don’t know where to begin, this article can help you, here are 5 questions to ask your agent about your auto insurance.
1. What is covered?
This might seem pretty obvious, but there are a lot of fine details that many people don’t even think about during their meeting with an insurance agent. For example, is bodily injury covered? What is the difference between collision and comprehensive policies? Who is covered in the event of an accident? Often, people focus on the price, but it is beneficial to have your agent walk you through the details of your policy to ensure you do not misunderstand coverage come claim time.
2. What if I am hit by an uninsured motorist?
Although it is required by law that motorists have insurance, there is a large portion of uninsured drivers, and even more with bare minimum coverage. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 1 in every 8 drivers, or about 12.6%, are completely uninsured. What would happen if one caused an accident with you? This is important to ask to guarantee your insurance will fill the gaps and protect you. While your collision insurance will pay to repair your vehicle, it will not help with medical expenses, unless you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for physical injury.
3. Am I getting all or the discounts I qualify for?
This one is less about coverage and more about you. No one likes to pay more than they have to for anything, especially insurance, and with a number of discounts available, chances are you could save a few dollars on your policy. Most companies reward multiple policy holders with savings on their rates, as well as, new car, safe driver, and driver training discounts. If you are insuring a student, there are often discounts for that as well. To learn more about other possible discounts on auto insurance, read our post “Driven Nuts by Rising Rates?”. The best way to get all of your discounts is to discuss them with your agent.
4. How much will I pay if I cause an accident?
While most states have a required minimum amount of coverage, it is not always enough to protect you financially if you are at fault for an accident. If you do not have enough coverage to cover the damages and injuries of the person you hit, you could be paying out of your own pocket. Ask your agent about collision and comprehensive coverage and what would best fit your needs based on your car and driving history.
5. What exclusions apply?
It is good to know what you won’t be covered for before your claim gets rejected. For example, are there limits on who can drive your car? Are you allowed to use your car for your personal business needs? Many policies offer a Named Driver Exclusion option, so if you live with someone with a less than perfect driving record or with someone who won’t need to drive your vehicle, you can exclude them from your car’s coverage, thus lowering your rates. However, if that person were to damage your vehicle, your insurance would not cover them and you would be paying out of pocket. Another important exclusion is called “Livery” and it means that the insurance company will not provide coverage when you use your car to transport people or goods for money. This is a growing issue, due to ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. Be sure to discuss these services with your insurance agent if you drive with these companies, as you may not have the coverage you think you do.
Knowing what to ask when you discuss your policy with an agent, can clear up any confusion before it is too late, but if you ever have a question or concern it is best to call your agent to get the right answers from an expert. If you have any questions about your existing policy, would like to discuss a new policy, or want to get a free quote, call us at 724-929-2300.