4 Must-Ask Questions When Switching Auto Insurance Carriers

Sherri Ramos

Whether you're unhappy with your current auto insurance carrier's customer service or are simply looking to save some money, switching to a different auto insurance company can be a smart choice. As you shop compare quotes, however, it's important to dig a little deeper. By asking the right questions, you can ultimately decide whether or not a particular car insurance carrier is worthy of your business.

What's Your Claims Process Like?

If you get into an accident or otherwise need to make a claim on your policy, you'll want to make sure that the process will be as smooth and stress-free as possible. This means finding out ahead of time exactly what the claims process is for any given car insurance company before you make the switch. Specifically, you'll want to know what kinds of documentation will be needed to process your claim and how long the average claim takes to pay out.

Is Accident Forgiveness Included?

Many car insurance companies offer some sort of "accident forgiveness" plan that will prevent your rates from increasing with your first accident. However, it's important to find out whether your carrier will include this plan with your policy or if you'll have to pay extra for it, as some carriers charge for accident forgiveness coverage.

How Long Will Discounts Apply?

If there are any discounts that have been applied to your coverage quote, it's also important to find out whether these will expire or will be applied to your policy indefinitely. Some car insurance carriers, for example, may offer a "new policyholder" discount that only applies to the first policy term. By knowing which discounts are renewable and which will expire, you can plan accordingly for your future expenses.

Will There Be Direct Contact With an Agent?

Ideally, you'll be assigned an insurance agent with your policy. This means you'll have a single point of contact if you need to make a claim, make changes to your policy, or have any questions/concerns. Not all car insurance companies assign agents to policyholders, so if this is something that's important to you, it's certainly worth asking about.

Asking the right questions can go a long way in helping you choose the auto insurance carrier that's right not just for your budget, but for your overall needs. From there, you can purchase your policy with a little more confidence. Contact an auto insurance company for more information.