No matter the type of insurance youre purchasing, you can feel confident in your decision to protect yourself and your loved ones. Whether thats home insurance, car insurance, or even life insurance. But the insurance purchase process can feel overwhelming. So, lets review questions to ask an insurance agent when getting a quote.
Its important to consider a number of factors to get the policy right for your needs. You know you dont want to cut corners by automatically settling for the lowest premiums. You want to make sure you have the right amount of insurance coverage.
In an industry full of jargon and technical terms, you may feel more comfortable enlisting the help of an insurance agent. But even with an agent working on your behalf, its important that you as the customer are still very much involved. A good insurance agent will walk you through the process.
You should feel empowered to ask any and all questions you have. After all, you know yourself and your situation better than anyone. When working with your insurance agent, here are some questions you can and should ask. To make sure youre making the best decision for you.
What Type of Agent Am I Working with?
There are several different types of insurance agents*, and its important to know which type youre working with. This will impact the insurance options available to you.
Independent agents: Rather than working for a specific insurance company, independent agents work as brokers. They work with multiple insurance companies to compare rates and policies for their clients.
Captive agents: These agents work for one specific insurance company and will only offer the policies available at the company they work for.
In general, its usually a better idea to work with independent agents. Independent agents can offer a wider variety of policies, which are more likely to suit their clients needs. At SelectQuote, our independent agents shop different rates and provide unbiased price comparisons from over 20 trusted carriers.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Depending on the type of insurance policy youre purchasing, there may be a certain level of coverage required. For example, in most states, car insurance policies are required to cover liability insurance at a minimum. Requirements may vary by state, asking your agent can help ensure youre meeting those minimum requirements.
After sorting out the minimum coverage, you can ask your agent to explain recommended additional coverage suited to your needs. Depending on your situation, you may want to discuss excess liability coverage to protect your personal assets where your other insurance policies leave off.
What Deductible Do You Recommend?
Choosing an insurance policy is often about striking the perfect balance between the cost of your premium and your deductible. Lower monthly payments generally lead to higher deductibles, and vice versa. By working with your agent, you can confidently weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Your agent will likely have a recommendation for you based on your personal situation. Whatever you decide, make sure you understand all the details of your deductible**. And make sure youd be able to pay that deductible to cover the costs in the worst-case scenario.
What Exclusions Are Part of the Policy?
In home and auto insurance, many policies contain exclusions. These exclusions are exactly what they sound like. They are situations in which the insurance policy will not cover damage to the insured asset.
Its important to find out the exclusions that are part of any given policy. Your insurance agent should be able to help explain it in easy-to-understand terms. Youll want to make sure you are completely aware of any exclusions in the policy before purchasing. You may even want to ask your agent whether you should consider any addendums to the policy.
What Discounts Are Available to Me?
You might be surprised by all the discounts that are available when purchasing any type of insurance policy. For example, in a homeowners insurance policy, you might be eligible for discounts just by installing smoke detectors or a monitored home security system.
From bundled policies to loyalty discounts and more, most insurers offer a way to cut insurance costs with special discounts. Ask your agent which ones youre already eligible for. There may be additional discounts you can become eligible for by taking steps to decrease risk. Its an easy way to save money, and your agent can help you run through the different discount possibilities.
What Happens If…
Any type of insurance is about the what ifs in life. First and foremost, youll likely want to know the logistics of how your insurance policy protects you when disaster strikes. Your agent should be able to answer any questions you have about the process. Whether its filing a claim, paying your deductible, receiving your insurance payout, or something else.
Additionally, you can ask your agent how changes in your personal situation*** or coverage needs will affect your insurance policy. Maybe youre anticipating a life change in the near future. Go ahead and ask your agent whether it would have an impact on your policy — positive or negative.
The Bottom Line
Buying a home or auto insurance policy is an important step in planning for the long term. By working with an insurance professional, you get an agent to help you through the process. As well as a personal level of attention.
Whatever questions you have, dont be shy about asking. A good insurance agent should be more than happy to answer any and all questions.
Our SelectQuote licensed agents are ready to assist. Contact us, or call 1-855-334-6392 to get your free, no obligation quote today. We shop. You save. And, along the way, ask us any questions you have.