Auto Insurance Comparison
All companies are the same, right?
There can be many differences between car insurance companies and policies that do not show on your quote sheet.
Here are some of the major differences you need to be on the lookout for.
1. Who is allowed to drive the cars listed on the policy?
With some companies you are covered for anyone you allow to drive your car.
Other companies will only cover you for drivers who you list on the policy.
If you forget to add a new driver to your policy and they get in an accident, you will not be covered.
If you loan your car to someone, they will not be covered. This is a huge difference.
2. Coverage when you are renting a car
Many companies will extend your coverage to a vehicle you rent, such as when you rent a car on vacation.
The coverage will only extend to renting a similar type of vehicle.
For example: You cannot rent a U-Haul or other type of moving van and have your car insurance coverage extend to the moving van.
Many other companies do not extend your car insurance coverage to any type of rental vehicle so you need to purchase insurance through the rental company.
This is very important to know before you go to rent a vehicle. Also, if your company does extend coverage, it is typically only within the United States.
3. What is the reputation of the company for paying claims timely?
It can be tempting to buy the cheapest policy you find but it usually isn’t worth it.
You get what you pay for.
Check to see what the AM Best rating is on the company.
This is information your agent can provide to you.
The rating is based largely on the financial stability of a company and their ability to pay claims.
Many new companies do not have large cash reserves to pay claims. A company could be having financial troubles unless you review AM Best.
4. Accident forgiveness
Some companies will forgive the first accident you have with them.
Others will not.
For some people this is important to them.
All companies are different and you may find a great company whose price is significantly lower than another company that offers accident forgiveness.
It all depends on what is important to you.
5. Replacement parts
Most companies have the option of using non-manufacturer parts when repairing your car.
Some companies only use original manufacturer parts or offer that as an option to upgrade your policy.
If this is important to you make sure to ask your agent about it.
6. Zero deductible glass coverage
(also known as full glass coverage)
This coverage allows you to replace a cracked or chipped windshield, or window at no cost to you.
While this may sound like a no brainer make sure you consider the cost to you of this option.
You do pay an increase to your rate when you choose this option.
Find out what the cost difference is.
Then find out how much it would cost you to replace the windshield yourself.
Many cars the cost is between $175- $350.
If you don’t drive much and rarely get damage to your windshield then it may be wiser to save your money and just pay cash when and if you need a new window.
If you have a more expensive windshield that has sensors or other fancy additions, those cost significantly more and you would most likely want the full glass coverage.
7. Roadside assistance
If you want someone to come help you if you get a flat tire or your car becomes disabled then make sure to add this coverage.
If you already have another roadside assistance policy like AAA you may not need this on your auto policy. Make sure you are not double paying for this service.
8. Did you purchase a new car?
Some companies have an option to upgrade your policy so that if within the first year your car gets totaled they will buy you a brand new car to replace it.
Most cars lose value the minute you drive them off the lot, so you would not be able to buy a new replacement without this option.
Also, if you have a loan on the car make sure to get gap insurance.
This will cover the gap between what your car is actually worth at the time it is totaled and what the amount of your loan is.
There are some limits to these so make sure to discuss this with your agent.
Make sure that if either of these options is something you need that you choose a company that offers these options. Not all do.
9. Customized equipment
Not all companies cover customized equipment.
Those that do usually have a low limit they cover unless you specifically increase the coverage.
Custom equipment could be electronics that are added to the car, custom wheels, car racks, steps, trim and other items added.
Some of the custom equipment could have been added at the dealership and you weren’t even aware of it.
The insurance company looks at what was on the car that is factory installed. Everything else is considered custom equipment.
Make sure you have enough coverage in your policy as this does not always show on the quote sheet.
One more thing you should discuss with your agent.
Overall there is a lot to consider when purchasing insurance for your cars.
99% of people do not know what to look for in their insurance policy.
This is why it is so important to use an independent agent.
When all you are comparing is price, you are missing out and you will most likely be unhappy at the time you file a claim.
I am here when you need me,
Sondra Wendt – 623-297-1475
EZ Insurance Solutions