Everyone who owns a car is required to have some sort of auto insurance, so here is some advice to help make sure you know what you’re getting into. Even if you’ve been buying auto insurance for years, there might be a few more things you could be doing to make sure you’re getting the most from your auto insurance policy.
Make sure you’re getting the most from the Policy you are Currently under
Policies are constantly changing. Just like all your applications on your phone need to be updated, so does your knowledge about your insurance policy. Make sure you are reviewing your policy with your agent every 18-24 months so you can keep up to date on benefits or reductions that your policy may now include.
Don’t just know what the policies cover; understand them exactly. This will help you out later when you need to file a claim and you know the right lingo for talking about what you want, what you need and what you feel you deserve with your agent. If you can understand the lingo beforehand, it makes it easier to know what’s happening while it’s happening, so you don’t get lost in translation and miss something important.
If you have difficulties communicating with your insurance agent or they don’t seem to follow through with keeping you informed, don’t be afraid bug them about it. It’s their duty to keep you up-to-date. If this becomes a consistent issue, don’t be afraid to reach to another agent for a different perspective. It could also be beneficial to test the waters and see what they could do for you instead of your current agent.
Choose the Right type of Policy for you.
There are different types of policies out there, and not all of them are going to fit your needs. Policies can suit needs for different types of cars: private passengers, commercial and recreational vehicles or motorcycles.
There are also different types of policies you can buy for your specific type of vehicle. At the very least everyone is required to own liability insurance, but you might also want to buy insurance that protects you as well as others.
A lot of insurance agencies advertise full coverage insurance, but what exactly “full coverage” means can differ at different agencies. Make sure you are asking exactly what “full coverage” actually covers. Some full coverage policies also include personal injury protection (PIP) which can include some insurance coverage for medical bills if you or a passenger gets hurt in an accident.
If you’re going to be renting a car, it’s important to make sure you understand the requirements for rental insurance. Some insurance agencies allow you to rent a car, and then have the rental place bill your regular insurance agency directly. Ask your provider if this option is available to you, because it can be a quick solution for people who rent cars a lot for travel or business.
Keep your Credit Rate up
Your credit rate doesn’t just affect when you want to get a loan anymore. Most insurance companies now use credit in their rating system. It can positively or negatively help your insurance rate, so make sure you’re keeping your credit rate high so you can also get a good deal on your insurance rate.
If you have a good agent, you’ll have to do little to stay informed about what changes occur to your auto insurance policy. On the other hand, it still doesn’t hurt to stay proactive and communicate with them regularly. To get the most out of your policy, keep your credit rate up and make sure you have the right policy for you.
Stephanie Wilmsmeyer is an auto insurance agent for State Farm.