Always keep in mind that insurers are often in possession of key facts you might not be aware of, so you should do your best to pick the most reliable of the bunch.
What Insurers Might Not Tell You
- The New York Times found that it’s up to insurance policy holders to make sure they understand if they qualify for a discount. Policies change, and as a consumer, it is your responsibility to review the contract before you sign for renewal. There’s not much room for excuses, as inquiring is as easy as making a phone call.
- Frills and additional charges. Some companies tack on extra charges or fees for coverage you might not need at all. The best way to make sure you’re only paying for what you need is to review every inch of your policy, don’t leave any page unturned. Go over every clause and check all possible loopholes. And if you encounter any hidden charges, talk to your insurer. Your rate could drop a few hundred dollars just by removing some of those extra inclusions you didn’t know you had tacked on your policy.
- Better payment options. Some people pay by direct debit, thinking this is better than having to pay for your insurance on an annual And if you’re not very good at saving, or putting aside enough money for your monthly insurance payments, this could be a lifesaver. However, some companies often charge a monthly interest for direct debit payments. Before you choose to pay your bills through direct debit, ask you insurer if fees apply.
- Coverage and inclusions. It’s not always about the rate. Picking one car insurance provider over another should involve more than who has the lowest sticker price. Consider each agency’s coverage and package inclusions. One might offer a ton of coverage at a reasonable price, while the cheaper policy only offers the most basic of services. Base your decision on what you need, not on what you want to save. Going for the reasonably priced insurance policy can be the better choice in the long run. To save time and money, use comparison platforms like CoverHound for all of your auto insurance comparison Having your options laid out side-by-side and spelled out in clear terms can help you pinpoint the subtle differences in policies and packages, and thus help you make the best choice.
- You can bet auto insurance agents are in the know about all sorts of discounts you’re eligible for. However, it’s not always likely that they’ll let you know; sometimes they won’t at all unless you specifically ask about them. MSN says you could qualify for a discount when your child goes off to college, when you renew your policy early, or even if you choose to go paperless. It might not have occurred to you to ask about any of these things, so make sure that you do your research and check in with inquiries about what you might be eligible for. You might even qualify for other discounts and not even know it. Before you approach your car insurance agent, generate a list of all the discounts you could qualify for, and see if you can apply them to your policy.
- Non-renewal. If you’ve just been involved in a car accident, you might not think much of filing a claim, but your car insurance agent will definitely know if your premium is going to rise. To keep that from happening, make sure you know your insurance provider’s guidelines and follow them all to the tee. If you don’t, you risk non-renewal and higher insurance premiums when you sign up with another insurance company. Remember, your driving history is not your own, and that will ultimately jack up your premium.
- Your car’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating. ISO ratings are based on information such as your car’s safety ratings and its make and model. They help insurance companies determine the risk involved in insuring your car. For instance, SUV models tend to be less expensive to insure than a fancy sports car.
Good Luck Out There
Keep these tips in mind when you’re looking around for an insurance agent. Be knowledgeable and ask questions. These will help ensure you get the best car insurance premiums, year after year, regardless of your insurance agent potentially keeping some discounts under wraps.