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Getting a New Insurance Policy

Questions Insurance Agents May Ask vs. What Questions You Need to Ask

Getting a new car insurance policy can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many different companies and you may not even know where to start. You could stick with the same company your parents have always used, pick one of the companies you see all the advertisements for on TV, or maybe try to find a smaller local company. For the most part, you will be able to find the coverage you are looking for from any insurance company; however, car insurance is not one size fits all and a lot goes into determining what coverage you may need.

Not all insurance companies are the same but here is a list of questions you may be asked when getting a quote for a new insurance policy. If you do not have exact answers to all of these questions, the agent may not be able to give you the most accurate quote.

  • Are you currently insured? If so with what company?
  • What is your reason for getting a new policy?
  • Date of birth?
  • Marital status?
  • Level of education?
  • At what age did you obtain a driver's license?
  • Driver's license number?
  • Make, model, and year of vehicle?
  • Vehicle identification number?
  • Is the vehicle equipped with all the safety equipment?
  • How far is your commute to work?
  • Have you been involved in an accident in the last 3 years?

The coverage you think you need may be different than the agent recommends. Here are some factors to consider when determining what kind of policy you may need.

Your Net Worth

The purpose of insurance is to protect your assets by “insuring” that if you create liability, the insurance company is responsible for a portion of the payment up to the coverage amount. If the costs of personal injuries and/or property damage exceeds the coverage amount, your personal assets may be at risk. The other party may take legal action against you and your personal assets may be at risk. It is highly recommended that consider your net worth when selecting insurance coverage.

How low minimum limits coverage actually is…

If you are hit by a distracted driver who only has a 30k/60k policy (the minimum policy limits in North Carolina), the most you could receive from his insurance company is 30K for your life threatening injuries.

Consider the importance of purchasing insurance to protect you from uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers (this means that they don’t have enough coverage). Many drivers are underinsured or even uninsured. Luckily, your own insurance will help cover damages if you are in an accident where the at fault driver is uninsured or under-insured.

If you aren't familiar with Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, check out these articles on the Wallace Pierce Law website for more information.

https://www.wallacepierce.com/durham-car-accident-lawyer/car-insurance-coverage/underinsured-motorist-accidents/#~Y3N5S03

https://www.wallacepierce.com/durham-car-accident-lawyer/car-insurance-coverage/uninsured-motorist-accidents/#~Y3N5S03

Age of Drivers on your policies

If you have an inexperienced driver on your policy, the chances that they will cause an accident are much higher. Evaluating your insurance options and picking coverage to assist you with the likelihood of your inexperienced driver causing or being involved in an accident is worthwhile. You may want to discuss a low deductible, UIM/UM, comprehensive coverage, and high property damage coverage to protect your assets from the inexperienced drivers in your family.

Price of the vehicle you drive

In NC you are not required to have insurance to cover the damages to your own vehicle. Meaning if you do not have collision coverage, you will have to pay out of pocket for your damages if you are at fault.

Insured drivers in NC are required to have minimum 25,000 in property damage coverage. However if you drive a car that is worth more than 25,000 it is recommended to have a higher policy limit.

Distance you drive in a year

This is possibly the most ignored factor in seeking insurance coverage. Some factors that may be taken into consideration include: the length of your commute, whether you drive professionally, or if you drive as an extra source of income. Driving for lyft or uber is something that you should discuss directly and specifically with your agent, as a small commercial policy will likely also be required.

Getting the Most out of Your Call

It is also important not to assume that the insurance agent you are speaking with is going to tell you every little thing that you need to know. Before calling an agent we encourage you to prepare a list of questions so that you can get the most information out of your call.

Questions to ask the insurance agent when getting a new car insurance quote:

  • Ask about coverage recommendations. For example, what kind of coverage would you recommend for a family of four with two inexperienced drivers?
  • Do you believe that this coverage is sufficient considering my net worth?
  • What does liability insurance cover?
  • Does this policy include collision? If so, what all does that cover?
  • Does this include comprehensive? If so, what all does that cover?
  • Does this policy provide coverage from animal related accidents?
  • How much coverage is typically recommended for someone with assets in excess of $X?
  • Is uninsured motorist coverage included? What kind do you recommend?
  • Is underinsured motorist coverage included? What kind do you recommend?
  • What about medical payment coverage?

Why get a new insurance policy?

If you are happy with your current policy you may be wondering why you need to change policies. Staying loyal to your insurance company may not always be in your best interest.

Whether you are getting your first insurance policy or are planning to switch, don’t hesitate to call around. Different insurance companies offer the same amount of insurance for different prices. Don’t just accept the first offer. More importantly, check whether your insurance company is providing you a competitive price every 2-3 years. You are not rewarded for being a long-term policy holder. We recommend 2-3 year range as changing insurance companies too often can have a negative impact on your pricing.

This process may not be as straightforward as you hoped and expected. Insurance companies can be difficult to communicate with, especially after you have been involved in an accident. Due to these complexities, we would recommend always contacting an experienced personal injury attorney after being involved in any accident.

Call the skilled attorneys at Wallace Pierce Law today at (919) 887-7892 to discuss the details of your case.

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