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Auto Insurance Quotes: 5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Agent

Updated: April 11, 2018

A lot of people make the mistake of taking auto insurance quotes at face value.

Instead of looking deeper at what the insurance quotes mean in terms of the coverage offered, they simply select the policy that has the cheapest monthly premiums.

While everyone wants to get a cheap car insurance policy with low premiums, it is better to understand the coverage on offer.

If the cheap auto insurance policy has a low premium, but comes with little to no protection for your vehicle, it is not worth the money.

Here are five questions you should be asking your agent before agreeing to any auto insurance quotes.

Do I Have the Right Coverage Amounts?

There are many facets to auto insurance policies. Even cheap car insurance comes with different types of coverage. It is important to ask your auto insurance agent whether you have the right levels of coverage for liability, comprehensive and collision insurance.

If you have a new vehicle or a valuable older vehicle, you will want to get comprehensive and collision coverage.

Liability insurance is required by state law in most of the United States, which means it is always included in auto insurance policies. However, comprehensive and collision coverage are almost always optional.

If you have a new vehicle or a valuable older vehicle, you will want to get comprehensive and collision coverage. Speak with your agent about how much coverage is included in each quote they are showing you.

This can help you compare policies across different insurance companies. If one policy is cheaper than the other, but only includes liability insurance, it may not make financial sense compared to the other, more expensive policy.

Selecting the right coverage may mean you have to pay a higher premium every few months, but it also provides you much more protection against out of pocket expenses after a car accident that was your fault.

Am I Getting Every Available Discount?

A lot of people do not know about the fact that auto insurance companies offer a variety of discounts based on certain factors. These discounts can really help you get a cheap car insurance policy, even if you are getting more coverage than is mandatory.

It is impossible to know exactly what types of discounts you are eligible to receive unless you ask your auto insurance agent about what they are offering.

Some of the discounts offered in cheap auto insurance policies include discounts for good grades at school or college, clean driving records, no traffic violations on your record, getting more than one policy from the same company or being the member of a group or organization.

It is impossible to know exactly what types of discounts you are eligible to receive unless you ask your auto insurance agent about what they are offering.

Agents may not mention certain discounts because they would not know if you qualify for them.

Other types of discounts include those on offer for increasing the safety rating of your vehicle. This is helpful with older cars. Individuals can add air bags, safety features, car alarms and GPS tracking software to reduce their premium rates for collision and/or comprehensive coverage.

Can I Drop Certain Coverages Later?

When getting an insurance policy, it is important to ask whether certain types of coverage are droppable in the future. Cheap car quotes may include a fair price for significant coverage, but you may not want all that coverage in a few years.

A prime example of dropping coverage includes comprehensive and collision insurance. These two polices are great for new cars, but do not always make sense for older vehicles.

People’s financial situation changes. If you are unable to drop certain coverages at any time, you may be stuck paying insurance premiums you cannot afford. In contrast, policies that allow easy dropping of coverage would provide you with a safety net should you use your stream of income or face other unforeseen circumstances.

A prime example of dropping coverage includes comprehensive and collision insurance. These two polices are great for new cars, but do not always make sense for older vehicles. As your car loses value, you will want to drop one or both of these coverages.

If your insurance company makes it easy to drop these policies, you are good to go.

If your agent says that the cheap auto insurance quote refers to a policy where you cannot drop coverage at any time you want, this policy may not be in your best interests.

What Are the Payment Options?

There are often multiple options for how you can pay for auto insurance. While the auto insurance quotes will not always talk about these payment plans, every major insurance company offers them. All you have to do is ask your insurance agent about them.

Another advantage of paying your premiums on a yearly basis is that you never have to worry about losing coverage in the middle of the year because you forgot to pay the monthly bill.

For example, most auto insurance providers will give you a discount if you pay your entire year’s premiums in one go. While this may require you to forego a significant amount of money at the start of the year, it saves you money in the long-run.

Another advantage of paying your premiums on a yearly basis is that you never have to worry about losing coverage in the middle of the year because you forgot to pay the monthly bill.

Other individuals may prefer to pay on a monthly basis, because their finances simply cannot handle a large lump-sum payment one time a year. Talk with your insurance provider and make sure the cheap car insurance quote you see refers to the monthly rate.

If the company charges significantly more for paying per month, the cheap quote you see may not be that cheap after all.

Is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Available?

Not a lot of insured individuals know that it is necessary to get underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage in the auto insurance policy. Cheap car insurance comes with liability coverage, but this only protects other drivers when you cause the car accident.

If this is the case, your only recourse is to take the other individual to court and request that they pay you for damages incurred to your vehicle and/or medical expenses.

The only way you can get compensated for accidents that are not your fault is through the other driver’s liability insurance. However, they may not have coverage, or their coverage may go below the state’s legal limit.

If this is the case, your only recourse is to take the other individual to court and request that they pay you for damages incurred to your vehicle and/or medical expenses. But this is a long and often frustrating process.

It is a lot easier to get underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage with your policy, which means your insurance company will pay you for damages caused by accidents involving those types of motorists.

While this coverage will increase your monthly premium, it is a very good way to avoid potential legal problems with other parties who do not have auto insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is most helpful if you drive around major cities.