When researching for a new car insurance policy, there are a lot of options available. So how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve come up with a list of 10 questions to ask your insurance provider as you get ready to sign a policy in order to find the best fit for you.
- Does this policy contain uninsured and underinsured motorist protection? Also referred to as UIM and UM, this portion of your policy protects you in case the other driver does not carry enough insurance, or if the other driver is not insured at all. Usually there is a limit on the amount you will be able to collect, but it comes with no deductible. This is mandatory in the state of North Carolina for all drivers.
- What is the amount of personal injury protection? This part of your insurance covers your medical bills and/or loss of wages when you are involved in an accident. This usually also covers you if you are riding as a passenger in someone else’s car too, but be sure to check to be sure. North Carolina requires you to carry at least $30,000 worth of coverage for each person.
- What is my risk assessment? The price you pay for your policy depends on the way that your insurance company rates you. Several factors make up this assessment such as age, gender, driving record, credit score, criminal record and where you live. Check to see how each company rates you, and the risk assessment that they are giving you.
- Who does my policy cover? Is it only for you when you drive your car? Does it cover other family members who drive your car? Or friends who may need to borrow your car in a pinch? Be sure you understand the terms of your insurance before signing off.
- What is the deductible? How much do you need to pay before the insurance payments kick in? A higher deductible means that you pay less now, but if you ever need to make a claim, you are going to have to cover more of your own costs. A lower deductible now means that you will pay more for your policy, but if something happens, you will pay less at the time when you need it. Just be sure that whatever your deductible is, you can afford it if you get into an accident, otherwise you may not have a car.
- Does the agency offer any discounts? Find out where you can save money before you get involved with a company. Do they offer discounts for good driving? How about for a car alarm or for having a good student in the family? Be sure to ask when you get ready to sign up.
- What are my payment options? Do you have to pay for your policy in one lump sum? Or can you make monthly payments? Is there a discount for paying all at once? These are all good things to know when you are considering how you are going to pay for your car insurance policy.
- What’s the value of my car? The sale price of your car is not what your insurance company will tell you that your car is worth. Find out how your insurance company will calculate what your car is worth, and what that means for your insurance policy. If they are going to charge you a lot more for your fancy car, you should know about it up front. Or if your car needs tons of repairs, the insurance company may actually tell you that they can’t insure your car.
- Do you have claims services 24/7? If you get into an accident on a Friday night, and it is a holiday weekend, you aren’t going to want to be waiting around for the insurance agency to open up again on Tuesday morning to get started on your claim. Find out if they have a way to file a claim even on the weekend and holidays so you can be sure you are getting your car back within a reasonable amount of time.
- Will my policy pay for original manufacturer’s parts for my car? Check the fine print and the wording on your policy. OEM parts, or Original Equipment Manufacturer parts are new parts that come directly from the manufacturer of your car. Aftermarket parts are much cheaper and are not always as good of a fit for your car. Know what you are getting when you sign up for the policy.
Another good thing to find out is if your insurance agent has an office where you can sit down and chat face to face. Meeting with a person is sometimes a lot easier than dealing with an automated phone system all the time. Just be sure to go over the details of your policy with your agent before signing anything. Amistad Insurance Services is here to help you with all your Raleigh auto insurance needs. Give us a call today at 919-926-7166 so we can walk you through the details of a new policy and show you how much you could be saving.