When shopping for insurance rates, it’s important to evaluate the company and the agent or representative you’ll be working with. When you’re faced with an insurance claim, and stress is high, you’re going to want someone that can help you during the process. After finding an agent you trust, there are a few questions you should ask. If he or she can’t answer the questions below, it may be time to find another agent.
1. Do I have enough car insurance coverage?
Each state requires different minimum policy limits, so having “enough” insurance may mean different things to different people, and there’s no such thing as “full coverage”. One serious claim could quickly knock out your policy limits, so talk to your agent about additional coverages and features and ask for quotes on various policy limits. You may be surprised how little your premium goes up for a substantial bump in coverage limits.
Ask your agent to give real-life examples to help you understand what types of coverages and limits would come into play during various claims scenarios.
2. What isn’t covered on my auto insurance policy?
After you understand what your auto policy coverages and limits are, it’s important to know what your policy does NOT cover. Ask specific questions about what is not covered because you may be surprised. Does your policy include coverage for any rental cars you may be driving? If someone else is driving your car when an accident happens, will your policy still cover the damages? These are just a few examples of questions you may want to ask. Don’t assume you already know the answers.
3. What happens after I file a claim?
Ask your agent about the typical turnaround time for providing a claim. Ask if you will be dealing directly with the agent or with a claims adjuster on claims status updates? Having to file an insurance claim is never fun; but, knowing what to expect and how the process will go may ease your worries. Read customer reviews online about the company’s claims service to get more insight.
Alfa® lets you file a claim through your agent or service center, by phone at 1-800-964-2532, online, or through the Alfa2Go® mobile app.
4. What is my deductible? How much will I have to pay if I’m in an accident?
Your deductible is the amount of money you pay before your auto insurance will pay out additional expenses, up to the policy limit. Typically, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower the auto premium; but make sure you choose a deductible that you can reasonably afford.
Ask your agent to confirm what you will have to pay out of pocket following an accident, and find out if there are any fees beside the deductible that you may have to come out of pocket for (like the price of a rental car while your car is in the shop, for example).
5. Is there any way to save money on my car insurance premium?
Each insurance company is different, but most have a variety of auto insurance discounts that you may qualify for. Ask your agent for details about any discounts available.
If you’re already getting all the qualifying discounts, your agent may have ideas on other ways to save money like increasing your deductible to see how much that affects your premium.
6. Should I get an umbrella policy?
An umbrella policy is liability coverage that goes beyond your auto and homeowners liability limits. Considering a personal umbrella policy is always a good idea for added protection. Ask your agent if he or she thinks an umbrella policy is something you need in addition to your auto policy.
A good insurance agent will know how to describe the coverages and car insurance process in a way that you can understand, without the confusing insurance industry terms and phrases. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on anything that isn’t clear to you; and remember to reevaluate your policy with your agent every year to determine if your policy coverages are still meeting your needs.
Whether you’re a first-time insurance buyer or a long-time policyholder, Alfa’s hometown agents are ready to answer any questions you may have. Contact your local Alfa agent today and get a free quote!
*Some exclusions apply. All coverages are subject to deductibles and policy limits. This is not an insurance policy. It is intended only to provide a general description of Alfa Insurance® and/or its product lines and services. An actual policy contains the specific details of the coverages, conditions, and exclusions. Your Alfa agent can explain the policy and benefits and answer any questions you may have before you buy.