Q&A: 10 auto insurance questions answered

Posted in General, Auto

 Family in car driving

When it comes to finding the right auto insurance, many are unsure where to start or what questions to ask. This Q&A will help you get started by answering some of the most common questions about auto insurance. Start here and then either find or reach out to your independent insurance agent to discuss what auto insurance is right for you.

1. How do I purchase auto insurance?
One of the easiest ways to shop for auto insurance is through an independent insurance agent, who will work with you to understand your coverage needs. Your independent agent works with many insurance carriers and can provide several car insurance quotes for you to consider. When choosing auto insurance, it’s important to consider the coverage offered, price quoted and strength and reliability of the insurance company.

2. What does auto insurance cover and how much do I need?
When working with an independent insurance agent, you’ll be asked a series of questions to learn more about your situation and your insurance agent will then asses your coverage needs. Many insurance carriers have standard auto policies with the option to add on additional coverages. Each carrier typically also offers auto discounts to help you get the best price.

Coverages to talk with your agent about include:

  • Liability insurance: helps pay for another driver’s damages if you are found at-fault or held liable for an accident
  • Collision insurance: covers repair costs to your vehicle after an accident
  • Comprehensive insurance: covers damage to your vehicle if something out of your control happens, such as theft or fire damage
  • Bodily Injury liability/Personal Injury protection: helps to cover the cost of any bodily harm to either you or another driver
  • Uninsured/Underinsured protection: covers expenses related to bodily injury caused by an accident if another party is responsible and if that party does not carry liability insurance or has lower/inadequate limits on their liability insurance

Optional coverages you should consider discussing with your agent include accident forgiveness, deductible waiver, auto replacement, loan/lease gap, roadside assistance and pet injury. Learn more here.

3. Is auto insurance expensive?
The price of auto insurance depends on the coverage you need. When working with an independent insurance agent, your agent will get a quote from many insurance carriers so you can compare and determine which policy and premium cost is right for you.

4. How can I receive discounts on my insurance?
Start by asking your agent about discounts insurance carriers offer. Many carriers offer discounts for new customers. Here are some common discounts you may qualify for:

  • Multi-policy discount: by bundling your auto and home, renters or condo insurance with the same carrier, you may receive a discount
  • Good Student discount: many carriers offer a discount for younger drivers enrolled as a full-time student with good school grade average
  • Multi-vehicle discount: if you have more than one vehicle on your auto policy, you could see additional savings
  • Usage-based program discount: carriers are starting to offer usage-based insurance programs that reward safe drivers with a discount. Learn more about Integrity’s OnTrack program here.

5. What is a deductible?
When filing a claim, the deductible is the amount you choose to pay out-of-pocket prior to your insurance company covering any cost. For instance, if you file a claim due to an auto accident and you chose a deductible of $500, you will first pay the $500. Then, remaining expenses may be paid by your insurance company depending on what is covered in your policy.

6. If I have an older car, will insurance cover it?
Most insurers will cover an older vehicle and often, your premium will be less than if you had a newer, more expensive vehicle. Typically, however, the make and model of your car plays a bigger role in your insurance costs than the age of the car does.

7. Do I have to add my child as a driver once they receive their temps?
Typically, when your child receives their learner’s permit, your insurance company will allow you to add them to your policy at no extra cost. This is until they turn 18 or become a fully licensed driver, whichever happens first.

8. How long does it take to file a claim?
Filing a claim should be easy and hassle-free. Many insurance companies let you file a claim online or through the phone. The amount of time it takes to process the claim and receive payment will depend on the claim type.

9. What is covered in an accident?
This will depend on your auto policy and what type of coverage and limits you have. Typically when filing a claim, you will work with your insurance company to pay up to the deductible on your policy and then the insurance company will coordinate with you or the body shop, towing company, etc. on repairs and what costs are covered.

10. Does my policy cover rental cars?
Generally, your primary auto insurance will cover a rental vehicle with liability insurance, which is required in all states. Liability insurance in part covers damage you cause to other vehicles and property. Additionally, if you have full coverage insurance on your auto policy, you are likely to be protected through rental cars. Contact your independent insurance agent to verify if your policy covers a rental car.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the insurance policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies.


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