It Pays To Be Meticulous When Shopping For Auto Insurance






When shopping for auto insurance it pays to pay attention.  There are some questions you should ask and warning signs you should heed when shopping for auto insurance.

BBB

It’s always a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau before accepting a car insurance plan, and it’s even better if the insurance agency is BBB accredited.  Businesses that are BBB accredited have to pass certain standards to become BBB accredited.  Those standards involve being in business for at least 12 months,  meeting all licensing and bonding requirements pertinent to the industry, meet all advertising and selling standards, honor promises, protect customer privacy and have integrity when doing business.  If the business doesn’t meet those standards, they will not have BBB accreditation.

If the company is not accredited by the BBB, it’s a good idea to research the BBB database to see any complaints have been lodged against them.  The idea is to be fully aware of the practices and past issues of the insurance agency you’re about to do business with.

Read the Quote

Once you decide on an actual insurance agency and receive the quote, read it in its entirety.  Sometimes there are hidden fees in the billing statements and deductibles before any insurance payment is paid out in the event of an accident.  It’s important to know those hidden fees prior to signing the paperwork and to fully understand the deductibles.  A $5,000 deductible doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have $5,000 in the bank no matter the cost of the monthly insurance, and chances are good that if it’s a really low quote, it has a really high deductible or doesn’t cover everything you need it to cover.  Remember, insurance is for what you can’t afford to replace, and if the deductible is for more than the car is worth or more than you can afford to pay out of pocket, the insurance policy doesn’t do you any good.

Check License

Make sure the auto insurance company you’re about to do business with has a current license.  It is illegal to sell insurance without a license, and you’re almost guaranteed that the company is fraudulent if they don’t have a license.  To make sure they are legitimate, also check with your states insurance department to make sure the insurance company you’re about to do business with is registered.  If they aren’t registered, they aren’t legitimate and you should avoid them at all costs.

Outline Hidden Charges

The last thing to ask your insurance agent about is any hidden fees.  Do they charge a processing or transaction fee?  Do they charge to accept checks?  Is it cheaper to have an automatic debit or to make manual payments?  These are things you need to know before you sign the paperwork.  Hidden fees and charges can add between $5 and $10 a month to an insurance bill.  It’s also imperative to ask what they do with overpayments.  Occasionally, insurance companies will reassess your insurance policy and determine if you owe more or less than you’re currently paying.  Ask what they do with overpayments and how they handle underpayments.


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