First Car or Upgrading? Know the Right Things to Ask Your Agent About Auto Insurance
Buying your first car or upgrading your current one can be an exciting and memorable time in your life. It’s fun to go through different makes and models, carefully reviewing every feature to make sure you end up not only with your dream car, but also with one that will truly take you places.
As you go through the process, there is one important item that you should not neglect: auto insurance. While it may not be anyone’s favorite topic, it is a very important consideration and responsibility that drivers must bear. The good news is you do have options, and your auto insurance agent will be able to provide you with the advice and information you’ll need to make the best decision.
Here are some questions you will want to ask your auto insurance agent:
1. What kind of coverage should I get?
Like most states, Texas requires car owners to be covered with liability insurance, which basically pays for any accidents where you are at fault. This is the minimum requirement and only covers the other person’s vehicle in an accident and bodily injuries for the people in the other vehicle, and you will want to consider expanding your auto insurance coverage to include things such as collision, other-than-collision (comprehensive) and medical payments. Keep in mind that the coverage you decide on should match your current financial standing and projected needs. Many people who drive older cars might only carry liability because their car is worth less than the amount of the repairs that occur in common accidents. People who drive more expensive cars might consider carrying full coverage (all the items listed above) because they want to protect their investment in a more expensive vehicle. These are just two of many common scenarios to consider. Should you get medical payments? Personal Injury Protection? These are topics that many are not familiar with, and we can explain them to you to help you better understand what it is you are or are not getting with your auto insurance.
2. How much will my premiums be?
The premium you will pay for your auto insurance will depend on a variety of factors. Apart from affordability, your auto insurance agent will perform a risk assessment procedure. The higher the projected risk for accidents or damage, the higher your premiums will likely be. Your age (or driving experience), location (whether for home or for work) and even the type of car you are insuring will all be taken into account. If you wish to keep your premiums as low as possible, ask your insurance agent on how to best adjust your coverage amount (so that you are still sufficiently financially protected), and what payment options can be made available to you.
3. How do I file claims?
Every insurance company has a claims filing process, which is typically started by just calling their standard customer service number. There will be paperwork involved, and how quickly you can receive your claim will depend on how quickly you can turn over pertinent documents and supporting materials. Again, your auto insurance agent will be there to help you through the process. We do have the Quick Claim Foto process which can cut the claim process to matter of a day or two for most minor accidents.
Choosing the right auto insurance options to best fit your needs is very important and can prevent major losses or unexpected surprises. If you are close to buying a car or are considering switching insurance companies, or just need a fresh and informed look at your insurance coverage, we would be happy to help you. Do not hesitate to call us – we would be glad to assist you!