Selecting an Auto Insurance Company: Four Questions to Ask an Agent

Selecting the right auto insurance company can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to ask an insurance agent. You don’t want to act hastily and make a bad decision. This means you’ll need to make a few basic inquiries. Here are four basic questions you should ask an insurance agent when shopping for an auto insurance company.

What are the deductibles?

Ask an insurance agent about their deductibles. A deductible refers to how much money a driver pays for costs before an insurance company begins paying. Consider that the higher your deductible is, the less you’ll have to pay for your auto premium. On the other hand, having a higher deductible means paying more in out-of-pocket expenses for repairing a vehicle.

What types of optional coverage do you offer?

Be aware of the different types of optional coverage that an auto insurance company offers. In addition to the main insurance liability package, there are several other types of optional coverage that you can buy. The ones that are recognized the most are collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

  • Collision coverage reimburses you for physical damage done to a car caused by a vehicle colliding with a tree, another vehicle, or any other type of object. It isn’t required by law and can be somewhat expensive.
  • Comprehensive coverage is cheaper than collision coverage. It pays for damage to your vehicle from almost all causes, such as vandalism, severe weather, fire, theft and floods. It also covers windshield damage and broken glass.
  • Other types of optional coverage may include reimbursement for medical payments, rental cars, vehicle towing and labor for repairs.

What discounts are available?

Be sure you know about the discounts that an auto insurance company offers. Insurance companies give insurance premium discounts to drivers considered to be lower risk customers. Because not all states offer all discounts, ask an insurance agent if you meet their qualifications. These may include being awarded discounts for:

  • Being a good driver
  • Earning good grades at school
  • Having low gas mileage on a vehicle
  • Using anti-theft devices
  • Taking driver education courses
  • Owning multiple vehicles

What occurs if you have an accident when driving a rental car?

You’ll need to know what happens in case you have an accident when driving a rental car. Sometimes drivers are involved in accidents when operating a vehicle that belongs to someone else. Keep in mind that various companies handle these concerns in different ways.

Do you have a teenager who is just learning to drive? Another issue that could occur is your teen driver having an accident when driving your car, so ask how a company handles this situation. An accident could happen when someone else borrows your car. Again, it’s critical that you know whether or not a company offers coverage for this issue, along with all the details.

What are a company’s credentials?

After you think you’ve found a good auto insurance company, check the credentials of the business.

  • Be sure that the company is licensed for selling auto insurance in your particular state. This can be done by checking with the website of your state’s Department of Insurance.
  • Find out how a business stands with the BBB (Better Business Bureau), which gives companies grades, ranging from A+ to F. The BBB website can also tell you how long a company has been in operation, along with providing customer complaints and resolutions.
  • If there are bad reviews, examine the complaint ratios.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Figure the amount of coverage that you need for your particular state as this varies, depending on where you live.
  • Ask if a company has a local office that’s close to you if distance is a priority.
  • Find out if you can bundle insurance policies. Also called “multi-line coverage,” this is a policy that some companies offer in which they give discounts for buying at least two lines of insurance coverage, such as homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call Illinois Insurance Center. Please contact us and find out what we have to offer.