Advice on how to compare car insurance quotes needs to be practical and to the point! In this part of the series of blog posts on comparing car insurance quotes we would like to focus on the need to ask questions!
As a student I was often advised that there is no such thing as a bad question. I however believe that I endured listening to a number of rather stupid questions – and might even have asked a few! Only later did I discover the truth in this statement – the fact that a question which appears stupid for one person, might offer significant value to others! It also allows the expert to become aware of important facts that are leaving ordinary people in the dark…
When do I ask about car insurance?
It is never too early to gather information! It is most important to ask questions about car insurance before you consider buying a vehicle. You should have made your decision before the date of purchase – it is simply too big a risk to drive uninsured! You do not need to wait till you become a vehicle owner – even if you don’t own a vehicle it will allow you to participate in discussions and make informed decisions later.
Who do I ask about car insurance quotes?
You will be amazed at all the sources of information you may find. People tend to be very willing to tell others about their bad insurance experiences. For some strange reason we often want to feel victimized and in need of others having to express their support and feeling sorry for us…Ask others your questions to avoid headaches later!
Consider who you ask and what you would like to know:
- Friends / Family/ Colleagues
This group of people is close to us, talk on our “level of understanding” and are easy to approach. They would be willing to provide information on bad and good experiences. We can ask them about their car insurance companies and why they chose the specific companies. Why did they choose that company or move from a previous insurer? This should provide some insight to the reputation of car insurance companies. The best information is from those who experienced vehicle damage or loss, who have been there and have gone through the whole insurance and reparation experience!
They might be able to tell us what it was like for them to talk with a representative of the insurer, the ease of filing a claim, the time it took to complete the claims process and if they would recommend using that car insurer. They would also be able to tell you which aspects of car insurance they wish to have known before the claims experience! Look for patterns and similarities from several responses.
- Financial advisors / brokers
Those who decide to use a financial advisor will be able to ask questions and benefit from the expertise and experience of these professionals. They do come at a cost, but would be able to share their experiences with a variety of car insurers and insurance claims from a number of clients. Insurers are not the same and there might be vastly different offerings. Try to gather as much information as possible about these offerings.
Even if you decide to avoid the middleman and save on commission payable to brokers – you might still have friends or family who are brokers and who are most willing to share insights and information. Even though you do not ask them to do the comparison of car insurance quotes for you – you could still ask them why they prefer specific insurers above others… [Keep in mind though that they might avoid the direct insurers as they do not receive commissions from these insurers and might have a contract with a specific short term insurer.]
- People involved in the vehicle recovery and repair industry
You might know people who work in the motoring or vehicle recovery and repair industry. People who are around others who sell, recover or repair motor vehicles might be a useful source of information. They know how people struggle after their vehicles have been in accidents and are well aware of good and bad service delivery from insurance companies.
- The consultants at insurers you have short-listed
Once you have identified a few providers, do not hold back your questions and speak to consultants from those insurers. Do so face-to-face or on the phone! By contacting the insurers you can get a better feel for how they treat their customers.
Many of these insurers also provide on their websites a section with “frequently asked questions about car insurers”. This is an important source of information – many other clients might have asked similar questions to those you would like to be answered. Ask the consultants where you can find such FAQ’S about car insurance!
What questions should I ask about car insurers and insurance?
Questions to be asked could include some of the following:
- Who is covered under the policy? Is it you, your spouse and licensed children?
- Does the policy limit the number of regular drivers?
- Which parts are covered under the insurance? Does the insurance cover manufacturer approved parts?
- What would the amount of the excess be?
- Are there “car hire options” – would I be provided with a vehicle while my damaged vehicle is repaired?
- Can I find information on rankings amongst insurers with regards to different departments within the company, such as billing, contacting the insurer, pricing, policy offerings, and the overall experience?
- Which extra services are provided? Do they provide vehicle recovery and towing assistance?
- Which fine print should I be aware of in the insurance contract?
These questions and answers should provide important awareness and allow you to make an informed decision on which companies and products to best meet your specific needs. Ask questions! – Even if it might appear to someone to be a stupid question – it will give you peace of mind and allow you to find the best car insurance!!