Buying car insurance should be nice and easy, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. Policies and rates vary depending on the age of your car, your driving record and even your credit score. So as you’re shopping for car insurance in Summerville, SC, take time to do your research and then sit down with your agent to ask these five essential questions.
- What coverage is required?When it comes to insurance, you want to ensure you’re properly covered in the event of accident. But, at the same time, you don’t want to overpay for car insurance in Summerville, SC. Consult with your agent about the best coverage at the best price.
Start with minimum amount of liability insurance required by the state of South Carolina. If you’re financing your car through a bank or vehicle manufacturer, you’ll likely be required to carry additional liability and comprehensive insurance. If your vehicle is older (usually over 7 years old), you may not need to carry as much collision insurance.
- Does my credit score impact my insurance rate?It’s not common knowledge that car insurance companies will use your credit score to set your insurance rates. They will review your credit scores to determine the likelihood that you’ll file a claim. Drivers with excellent credit are seen as less likely to file a claim and will be given better rates. The difference varies depending on where you live but averages $214. Car insurance companies don’t have to tell you they’ve been looking at your credit score, so put it on your list of questions to ask.
- What discounts are available?Oftentimes insurance companies will offer a variety of discounts, but they aren’t always widely advertised so don’t hesitate to ask. Common car insurance discounts include safe driving, good student and discounts for having safety features on your car. You may also qualify for a discount if you bundle your car insurance in Summerville, SC, and homeowners or renters insurance under one company.
- What happens if my car is totaled?You may have an older car that’s in great condition with low mileage, but the car insurance company only will look at the depreciated value of that vehicle if it’s totaled in an accident. If you have a new car – one you’re still paying for – you may want to consider purchasing gap insurance, which will cover the gap between what the car is worth and what you still owe.
- What can I expect in the claims process?It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to roll out the red carpet when they’re courting your business. But once the deal is done, will you receive that same level of top-notch customer service? Ask about the process for filing a claim – is it online or via phone? Find out the average time for getting a claim processed and resolved.
You also can do some of your own research in this area, checking online review sites, the company’s Facebook page or other social media accounts. If multiple people are similar complaints about problems with the claims process and customer service, you may want to continue shopping for car insurance in Summerville, SC.
As you’re shopping around for car insurance, make sure you ask each agent these five questions so you can compare answers and determine the best insurance for your budget and lifestyle needs.
Learn more about Manning Insurance Services’ Car Insurance Polices.