These days, an agency that doesn't offer a free car insurance quote online is in the minority. But just because it's easy and free to get a quote doesn't mean you're getting the best quote. And it doesn't guarantee you'll be saving money.
The fact is the number of things that affect a quote vary and can include things like the type and quality of coverage offered — your driving record and what kind of customer service you can expect. A one-size-fits-all mentality isn't going to serve you well if you're trying to get the best quote to meet your needs.
That's why understanding what factors impact rates is critical if you want the best auto insurance coverage from the best insurance agent.
Let's dive into a few of the things you should consider when getting an auto insurance quote.
Your Driving Record
Perhaps the most obvious thing to consider when getting an auto insurance quote is your driving record.
Insurance companies want to review your history to see what type of risk you pose. So it makes sense that a clean driving record, which means lower risk, will likely result in lower rates. Teen drivers are also considered to be riskier due to inexperience.
Things like numerous accidents, DUI's, and moving violations, on the other hand, indicate higher risk and will likely result in higher rates.
Some auto insurance companies won't even sell you a policy if your risk factor is too high.
The nature and severity of any accidents and who was at fault will typically affect your quote. Most car insurers look back from 3 to 5 years to determine risk, but some will even go back as far as seven years.
What Causes Your Insurance Premium to Go Up?
Should You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
The number of uninsured (and underinsured) motorists can vary state by state. Drivers in the Mountain state should realize that a quarter of automobiles on the road aren't adequately insured.
Uninsured motorist insurance typically covers your medical bills and loss of income related to accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers if the accident was their fault. So while many people aren't thinking about this when they're shopping quotes and coverage options, it's something to consider.
You need to know if the insurance rate you're quoted includes bodily injury liability coverage for medical expenses incurred by you or any of your passengers who are injured during an accident or auto-related event— regardless of who was at fault.
What about injuries as a result of having been hit as a pedestrian?
Does the quote include any coverage for you and your family members in this event?
What about injuries for things like having slammed a finger in the door of an automobile?
Or chiropractic visits following an accident?
Are those things covered?
Some affordable options can provide peace of mind, including things like MedPay coverage.
Say, for instance, that you are hit as you cross a parking lot — not your vehicle, but your person. MedPay will handle your medical bills MedPay might be the only way you get compensated for your bills related to the accident. But many companies providing free insurance quotes may not offer or even know about this type of coverage.
It pays to ask the right questions, so when getting a quote, keep these top of mind.
Other Areas of Coverage
As your evaluating your vehicle-related coverage and future life planning, take a look at life insurance offerings. Usually, people start looking to purchase life insurance during some life transition, but as you are adding or changing your policies, it's a good idea to look at your overall coverage.
Keep your budget as a whole in mind when evaluating your individual coverage needs and look for competitive bundling rates.
If you don't have life insurance yet, this could be an opportunity to get that started at a lower cost than individual purchase. Either way, prepare to go through the screening process so they can determine a quote. More about life insurance is available here.
Will Your Agency Be Involved In The Claims Process?
You may be shocked to learn how many insurance agencies in West Virginia are never involved with the claims process. Many agents consider their job done once you've turned in your claim.
What you need to know when getting auto insurance quotes is whether your agent will be involved in the claim process.
Why is this important?
Because it can mean the difference between a claim dragging on for months and it gets resolved in a much shorter time. Plus, agents can act as a liaison between you and the adjuster who probably won't translate insurance terms for you to make the process easy to understand.
If you've purchased additional coverage not included in standard policies, the adjuster may deny your claim if he or she hasn't read your policy carefully (or at all), and an involved agent can catch these things right away.
If reducing the likelihood of headaches and delays is essential to you, you need to know if your quote includes an agent who will be involved, or if the quote assumes the agent's job ends once you submit the claim.
Make Sure You Get the Right West Virginia Agent To Give You A Quote
There are many options for car insurance in West Virginia, each with different terms and conditions. And not all of them are the right fit for your circumstances.
So don't make the mistake of going with the first agency you pull up in a web search or the agency that spends the most advertising their "LOW LOW rates!" on television.
At Songer Insurance, our goal is to provide real answers and solutions to real problems. We're specialists in auto insurance coverage, and our goal is to provide our clients with several options that provide them with just the right amount of insurance, so they're not over- or underinsured.
We don't believe in giving half-hearted answers or taking short cuts that leave our clients holding the bag when an accident happens. We're obsessed with customer service, and we believe our commitment doesn't end when you submit your claim.