When shopping for insurance, make sure you ask questions about anything you are not comfortable with. Take the time to learn everything there is to know about your insurance policy regardless if you are shopping for auto, home or life insurance. Most insurance agents will only tell you the basic information about your insurance policy. They will not tell you everything you might need to know in order to make an informed decision. This is why you will need to be proactive in your search and find an insurance agent you can trust.
Below are 10 things you should know about your insurance agents. These are some of the things your insurance agent won’t tell you when shopping for health insurance, car insurance or life insurance.
1. If you did not pay your auto insurance policy and it is canceled for non-payment, your original quote can also get canceled and reported to credit agencies. This sends a bad message to prospective insurance companies, so either pay it on time or cancel it before it gets to this point.
2. Your insurance agent might try to sell you add-ons even though you might not necessarily need them. Find out about the minimum insurance policy you need and about all the options and insurance packages available. Also take the time to find out if you really need to have the add-ons that they may offer.
3. Your credit score can affect your insurance quote. Your insurance agent may not tell you that they are factoring in your credit score to determine your insurance quote, so make sure your credit rating is good. Get a copy of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), look for errors and get them removed.
4. Your auto or home insurers agent may not tell you that they get commissions forsigning you with a particular carrier or for seeking clients with a low loss ratio. These incentives may have an impact on your insurance policy. The incentives may make your insurance agent recommend unnecessary coverage.
5. Your insurance agent won’t tell you the process they use to set premiums. Your age, the state you live in, your driving record, previous limits on other policies, your credit history and homeownership may be added to the way they set your insurance premium.
6. If you totaled your car, you may have difficulty collecting the full value of your car. If your car is totaled, you do not have to accept your insurer’s first offer. Find out what they should be paying and negotiate to get a better offer.
7. The auto mechanic they refer you to works for them. This gives the insurance carrier too much say in the repair process and might not be a good idea to get referrals from your auto insurance company. See if you can choose your own mechanic.
8. Most insurance agents are in business to sell insurance policies and to make a profit, not necessarily to look out for what is best for you. The cost of the premium is much more important to most insurance agents than anything else. So even though they are selling you something that benefits you, it does not mean that you are getting the best deal there is. Shop around until you find an insurance quote that you are happy with.
9. Changing insurance carriers without notifying your current insurer is a big mistake. Switching insurance companies by stopping payment may have a negative impact on your credit score. So cancel your current policy and get it in writing before you switch to a new policy.
10. Your insurance agent might try to sell you an expensive life insurance policy instead of one that is best for you and meets your needs. Some life insurance policies are sold individually as well as a package deal. Find out about all your options and choose one that is best for you and your family.
These are 10 things your insurance agent won’t tell you when shopping for health insurance, car insurance or life insurance. Be an informed consumer. Do your research and ask questions before signing the contract. Remember that you are paying for their commission, so don’t let them call all the shots.
If you have more to add to the list, please leave them in the comments section.
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