The Two Crucial Things Insurance Agents Probably Will Not Tell You
If you think you are fully informed when it comes to car insurance think again. What you understand are mere fundamentals. For instance, you probably know that certain cars are more expensive to insure than others. You probably know that when you apply for insurance your driving record is pulled. You also understand that once you file a claim the premium goes up. These are basic benchmarks of insurance coverage. What about a total loss? Do you know how your insurance company calculates it? Do you know that where you live can be a factor in how total loss is calculated? How about discounts? Most commercials avouch for safe driving but what about the amount you drive? Believe it or not, that may save you money on your premium. So can parking in a garage overnight.
Insurance agents know the score. They fully understand the ins and outs of how insurance works. They are dedicated to providing you a good car policy that protects you from the worst, but they also understand the bottom line of business. They also have to protect their company as well. So, if you really want to get the best coverage for the best price you need to be better informed. Here are the two main things that insurance agents probably will not tell you.
Ways to Save on Premiums
As a tax agent, insurance agents know the various ways you can shave money off your premium. Most of them do not disclose this information unless asked, and it is not clearly stated in company policy. They cannot refuse to tell you, but nothing requires them to actually tell you.
Drivers can receive discounts for a wide variety of reasons, but not all the discounts work. It is wholly dependent on company policy as to what is or is not accepted. Discounts are available for renewing early, carpooling to work, taking a driving course, even having a child in college. You would be surprised at the discounts you may be eligible for. Most of these perks are unknown by the general public, but insurance agents know.
Your agent can tell you what vehicle safety features garner a discount. If low mileage on your car offers a discount. Many car insurance companies will even discount your premium based on where you work. Agents also have a complete list of these discounts on hand. They also know the ISO score of your car. These are not released to the public but agents have them. They cannot reveal the exact score to you but can quote you the exact premium. Many companies endeavour to be completely open about the discounts they offer, whereas others simply refrain from mentioning them. So next time you deal with an agent be sure to ask about their discounts.
They Have Underlying Motivations
There are two types of insurance agent: captive and independent. A captive agent works for the company selling the policy. They offer only policies from that specific company. Independent agents offer policies from several different companies. Each of them works for commission and only make money off of sales. Most people who deal with agents understand this. It’s like working with a car salesman. You know deep down he just wants to make money off of you. In the insurance world, this is also true, but there is a little more to it. Agents selling insurance are fully aware of what they will make of you, and they also understand how the company will try to protect itself.
Independent agents will often steer you towards a certain company because they pay better. Some may even refrain from telling you about certain policies so that it will leave you with less options. This is so they can garner higher commission, or meet the necessary quota required by the company. It is always a good idea to research policies yourself beforehand. You can also ask them how much they are making off the sale. Some states like New York now require them to tell you.
Captive agents may offer you plans knowing your specific situation will not be fully covered. This does not mean they will lie to you, but they may refrain from alerting you in order to finalize the sale. They may push certain plans that have an incentive attached, even if they know the plans are not good. Captive agents will also try to upsell you. Make sure you understand the fine print whenever you deal with a captive agent. Also, do your own homework on the plans they offer, and make sure your specific situation is fully covered.
Policyholders try to protect themselves as much as you in the plans they offer. This is why it is important to always protect yourself. Take time to fully understand your policy and all that it covers. Make sure you understand your options in every type of situation and take steps to insure your insurance actually does its job if needed.