10 Questions to Ask Before Getting Car Insurance
Despite the precautions we take to prevent them, accidents happen. Sometimes a relatively safe practice, such as driving a motor vehicle, can be the cause of many emergencies.
In situations like these, unexpected expenses can be difficult to deal with, which is why car insurance is mandatory for any vehicle. But where do you start looking for car insurance?
Insurance companies vary in their rates, types of coverage, and the speed of their claims service, which is why it’s important to shop around. Although most people have some form of basic knowledge of car insurance, it may not be enough to get you the best deal when it’s time to purchase a policy.
Understanding your policy options is essential to ensure you get the best plan and the best value for money. If you’re in the market for car insurance, we’re here to help you navigate the process.
Not every insurance representative will give you an in-depth explanation of all your options, which is why you need to have your questions ready. Here are 12 questions you should ask yourself before settling on a car insurance plan.
1. How much do you drive your car?
The amount of time spent on the road can differ from one person to the next. Ask yourself how much you drive for work, school, and errands. Your policy should reflect the number of kilometers you commute or drive to school one way, on a daily basis and the total amount of kilometers you drive your vehicle in a year.
2. Are you considered an ‘at-risk’ driver?
In some cases, the cost of your premium is the result of factors that are outside of your control. Some of these factors include age and gender. Other factors that may be under your control, such as your driving record, are also taken into consideration by your insurer.
Find out all the risk factors that you are exposed to, as this could affect the type and level of insurance coverage you can get, especially if you find you are defined as an ‘at-risk’ driver.
3. What type of car do you drive?
The type of car that you drive will impact the pricing of your insurance. Insurance companies research and collect data to help them understand which types of cars are more likely to be involved in claims.
New, sleek sports cars are more likely to be stolen than older models — and will be much more costly to repair if damaged. On the flip side, you may get a discount on your insurance if your car has a high safety rating.
4. Will my new policy cover other drivers of my vehicle?
If you are the one signing up for a new car insurance policy, it’s understood that you will be covered while you drive your vehicle. However, does this also mean that family members who borrow your car for quick errands are also covered under the same policy? Does the car insurance policy also cover you if you are borrowing another vehicle to drive?
Depending on your car insurance policy, each of these situations will be handled differently. It’s important not to assume that all these scenarios will be covered.
5. What does the law require?
Car insurance requirements can vary depending on where you live. Ask yourself what insurance may be necessary on top of what is minimally required by your province.
The most basic insurance that is legally required will usually keep your premium costs low but will typically offer you the least amount of coverage. In these cases, additional coverage would be good to have.
6. Can different jobs affect my coverage?
People use cars differently depending on their lifestyle. When you are applying for car insurance, you will be asked about your driving habits, such as the distance you drive to get to school or commute and whether you use your vehicle for work purposes.
Certain types of jobs are excluded from car insurance policies, such as cars used for sales or deliveries. This means that although you may be covered under your policy, you will not be covered for accidents that may occur while on the job.
To fully cover yourself, you need to get commercial auto insurance to cover you for any accidents that may occur during work-related tasks.
7. Can you please provide a list of all available discounts?
Who doesn’t like a discount whenever possible? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find out about all the discounts you could be eligible for.
Most car insurance companies have different discounts, each with their eligibility criteria. Ask to see a complete list of all discounts available so that you can go through the eligibility criteria for each one. This way you can be sure you don’t miss any opportunity to save yourself some money.
For example, most insurance companies offer a discount based on the premium payment option you choose. It may be cheaper to pay on an annual basis rather than quarterly or monthly.
8. Is my car leased or financed?
When you lease a car or have a loan on your car, you are usually required to get what is known as ‘gap coverage.’
If you owe money on your car or are expected to return the car in good condition once the lease expires, you will be expected to insure it for its full value, which includes the difference between what you owe and the car’s market value. This way, your collision and comprehensive will cover any damage to your car, while the gap coverage will take care of the rest.
9. What is the process of repair for my car following an accident?
As your insurance company will be paying for the repairs on your car following an accident, it’s important to know the parts that will be used during the repair process. Based on your insurance plan, your repairs may involve new or second-hand parts.
It’s important to weigh your options. Although second-hand parts will be cheaper, it may not be the best idea to use older parts in your car. If you only want the best parts for repairs, it may be wise to look into more extensive coverage that includes brand new parts.
10. Does the policy include towing and roadside assistance on a 24/7 basis?
As prepared as you may be, an unexpected accident or mechanical breakdown of your car can happen at any time. In these situations, roadside assistance and towing services are essential.
Ask whether your car insurance policy offers roadside assistance and whether it’s available 24/7. Calling a local mechanic for a breakdown can be costly, so having this as part of your coverage can save you a significant amount of money over the years.
Basic car insurance is required by law. There are many different companies and plans you can choose from, that the options can become overwhelming. But researching different car insurance companies before signing up with a plan is essential to getting the right coverage and the best deal. Make sure you do it and remember to ask these questions.
To learn more about what questions to ask before getting car insurance, call Goodison Insurance at 1(800) 403-7703 or contact us here.