Consumer Tips: Ten Questions to Ask Your Insurer
April 02, 2018
Insurance can offer peace of mind – but before buying a new insurance policy or renewing an existing one, check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage at the best price for your vehicle and your home.
Asking a few simple questions to make sure you understand your coverage options could make a big difference if a disaster occurs. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 questions to ask your insurance agent:
- What discounts do you offer? Some insurance companies offer discounts for students with good grades, while others provide discounts for buying more than one policy – such as an auto and homeowners policy. Find out what discounts you might qualify for.
- What are my deductible options? Your deductible is the amount of your claim that you pay before receiving payment from your insurance company. Deductibles typically vary between $500 and $1,000, and the higher your deductible, the lower your premium (the cost of your insurance policy). Talk with your agent to determine the balance that works best for you.
- Will my rates go up if I’m in an auto accident, even if it’s not my fault? Policies vary, so be sure to ask how your premium will be affected under different circumstances.
- What happens to my car in a collision? Don’t assume the cost of replacing or repairing your car will be covered if it is damaged in an accident. You may want to consider adding collision coverage (which protects your vehicle, regardless of fault) or comprehensive coverage (which covers physical damage not caused by a collision, such as damage from a falling tree). Before purchasing, ask about the value of your car; if you have an older vehicle with low market value, the cost of collision or comprehensive coverage may outweigh the benefits.
- What disasters does my homeowners or renters insurance cover? A standard homeowners policy will cover disasters such as fire, lightning, theft and vandalism – up to your policy limits. Damages caused by floods or earthquakes are not covered in a standard homeowners or renters policy. Talk to your insurance agent to find out if you should consider purchasing separate policies or endorsements (depending on your state) to cover these disasters.
- How much would it cost to rebuild my home in its current location in the event of a total loss? Your homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of building a new home with similar materials. The best way to determine how much coverage you need is to obtain a replacement cost estimate, then talk with your agent about your coverage. Keep in mind that the cost to rebuild your home may be different than its market value, which also includes the cost of land.
- How much is the personal property in my home worth in the event of a total loss? Your homeowners insurance policy may cover the cost of replacing personal property (furniture, appliances, clothing, etc.) up to defined limits should it be stolen or destroyed by fire or another insured disaster. The best way to determine how much coverage you need is to conduct a home inventory, then talk with your insurance agent about your coverage.
- What are the coverage limits on expensive items such as jewelry or art, if they’re stolen, lost or destroyed? You may want to consider adding more coverage through endorsements for high-value items.
- Will my possessions be covered if they’re lost or stolen outside of my home? Up to a limit, your auto, homeowners or renters policy may cover items if they’re stolen from your car or lost while traveling. If you have a child living in a dorm at college, your homeowners or renters policy may also cover their possessions. Ask your insurance agent to be sure.
- Do I have enough liability coverage? Work with your insurance agent to determine the right amount of liability protection to fit your needs. Consider a personal umbrella policy if you have a young driver on your auto insurance policy, own a swimming pool or hot tub, or own a rental property.
Call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local branch for more information about auto and home insurance.