At the Law Offices of John Day, we deal with insurance policies and insurance companies every single day. Unfortunately, all too often we see clients who declined uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or bought too low a limits for their circumstances simply because the right questions were not asked of their agent. So start the New Year off right by taking a few minutes to talk to your agent about your coverage so that you get the best premium possible and so you are adequately protected in the event of an accident. Below are some of the questions you should ask:
- What optional coverage is available? At the Law Offices of John Day, we believe the most important optional coverage is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. (If you are unfamiliar with this type of coverage and how it works, go to the side bar on the right and just type in uninsured motorist in the Search function. You will be taken to a number of articles on the subject). From our experience with our clients, most people decline this coverage because they think it will be too expensive. Talk to your agent. We think you will find it is inexpensive especially when you consider 1 in 5 drivers in Tennessee are uninsured. This coverage could mean all the difference if you are involved in an accident with one of those drivers.
- How will an accident affect my policy? Now some insurance companies are offering “accident forgiveness” and other similar benefits for their insureds. Discuss how an accident may affect your premium and/or even cancellation of the policy. This is especially important if you have teen drivers who tend to have more fender benders.
- How much is my deductible? Generally, the higher the deductible the lower your monthly premium, but be careful about choosing a deductible that is so high that it creates a financial crisis for you and your family if it comes to bear that you have to pay it. Depending upon how high your deductible is, it may make more sense to simply pay for the damages out of your own pocket rather than reporting it to the insurance company but again this is something you should talk through with your agent.
- What type of rental car coverage is provided? If you have ever rented a car while on vacation, you know the rental car companies will always try to get you to purchase insurance through them. Talk to your agent and determine if rental car coverage is provided by your own policy so you can save that expense. Also, you want to know if your insurance will pay for you to drive a rental vehicle in the event your car is rendered inoperable in a wreck.
- What discounts are available? One way to lower your premiums is to combine multiple types of coverage. So instead of having your home insurance with one company and your auto insurance with another, look into combining your insurance policies with one company in order to get a multi-policy discount. Another way to lower your auto policy especially if you have teen drivers is to install a GPS monitoring computer on your car as some auto insurers will provide a discount if you do so. Again, talk to your agent and see what discounts are available.
- Which drivers are covered? If you have a nanny, friend or family member who drives your vehicle, be sure they are covered by your policy.
- How do I report a claim? Find out whether there is 24-hour claims processing. Discuss how quickly a claim has to be made and what information must be provided.
Choosing the right insurance can make a big difference in your premium and in the compensation you receive in the event of an accident so be prepared and get answers to these questions and any others you have before choosing an insurance policy. And, if you are involved in an accident and would like a free case analysis, simply give us a call at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free). Our award-winning attorneys handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.