December 14, 2019

Before the Claim: 5 Questions that Lead to Better Car Insurance Coverage

Elvis has NOT left the building.

 In fact, he is now blogging at The Claims Coach!  This week’s post comes to us from guest blogger Elvis Donnelly of Knoxville, TN.  Elvis specializes in subjects related to personal finance, auto claim and car insurance coverages (http://hydroponics-fine.blogspot.in/2012/08/ways-to-get-most-value-out-of-your.html.)  You can reach him at elvis.donnelly@yahoo.com

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So you’ve bought yourself a car that you’re very proud about. You love it, it’s perfect and it’s everything you want it to be. You want to protect it, of course, but you don’t want to demolish your life’s savings while you’re at it. So how do you go about buying auto insurancethe smart way? By having these doubts cleared out by an insurer, so that you make no mistakes about what you’re getting into.  Here are five key questions to pose to your insurance agent or to that insurer sales rep on the other end of the telephone line:

#1.  “What kind of coverage do I need?”

Different people have different needs when insuring their cars. For instance, it may not be a wise idea to carry collision or comprehensive coverage on an older car. If your car were to be involved in a car accident, the repair costs might likely exceed the car’s value. In this case, carrying collision or comprehensive coverage may not make financial sense.  Before shopping for insurance, do your homework to understand what each kind of coverage means and THEN begin the search.

#2.  “How will you price my coverage?” 

Insurance companies provide quotes after taking a many factors into consideration. Factors such as age, sex, driving history, credit history, where you live, where you park your car etc are just a few of them. What the insurance company is trying to do is calculate the amount of risk you pose.  In other words, what is the likelihood of you making a claim? So for instance, if you are an inexperienced teen, if you have five speeding tickets or if you live in a city with a high crime rate, chances are you’ll be quoted a higher price. However, it’s always a good idea to be know the parameters the company will be judging you on and so.  Moral:  make it a point to get your facts right with them at the onset.

 #3.  “Who does my policy cover to drive my car?”

You might think this to be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how little people actually know. Most often, your policy covers anyone who is listed on it as a licensed driver, but it’s always a good idea to be sure and have your doubts clarified beforehand.

#4.  “What are my payment options?”

You could make payments in bulk, at the start of the year or opt to divide up payments on a monthly, six-monthly or quarterly basis. People who pay their premiums in one shot save up on several dollars worth of additional surcharges associated with making monthly payments. Always be clear about your options.

#5.  “What discounts can you offer?”

Different companies offer discounts to people on different bases. You could be eligible for discounts if you:

  • Have anti-theft and security devices installed to your car.
  • Put in fewer miles on the car.
  • Have completed a defensive driver course.
  • Have good credit and driving history.
  • Are a member of a club or an organization like the AARP.
  • Get good grades at school.
  • Are a senior citizen.

Four Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance:

  • Shop around for good rates.
  • Increase your deductible.
  • Bundle your home and auto insurance policies.
  • Get multiple policies (life, car, home etc) through the same company

Enter the car insurance process with eyes wide open. You’ll be glad you did!

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