The auto insurance industry is one that can easily be accused of resting on its laurels. It’s not much of a surprise, of course – if you want to drive a car, you have to have insurance, no matter how bad a service you experience, or how much you have to pay. It’s led to an environment where the insurance companies hold all the cars, and unless you are clued up on the bad habits and behaviors they have gotten into, it’s easy to be taken for a ride. So, if you want to save yourself some money, read on – we’ve put together a list of the biggest tricks insurance companies will play on unsuspecting drivers.
The collision insurance conundrum
Ask most people, and they will happily pay for collision insurance. After all, if you are involved in a crash, you will get some money back, right? Well, maybe not. The truth is that insurers only pay out the value of the car right now – not what you paid for it. And if you are in an old car, that amount could be covered by your deductible, anyway. In short, you will be paying for a policy that will never pay out a cent – just get the bare minimum legal requirement instead.
The small print
Be honest – when was the last time you even read the small print on your auto insurance plan? And even if you did, when was the last time you understood it? Unless you are an insurance expert, the chances are that no matter how educated you are, the language used will be incomprehensible and confusing. So, make sure you ask for a full explanation of the policy, so you completely understand what you are covered for – and what you aren’t. And make sure they know you are recording the call, too, to prompt them to give you the full story.
The coverage renewal
Another sneaky trick car insurers play is to auto-renew your current policy – often with less favorable terms than you signed up for. Watch out for those letters in the post, and make sure that you comparison sites such as cheapautoinsurance.co and others. You’ll find that insurers often keep their very best deals for brand new customers, while those on the renewal plans end up paying more.
The phone call
If something happens to your car and you end up ringing the insurers for some help, don’t assume that the sweet young lady or gentleman on the other end will be doing you any favors. If you mention the incident – at all – the chances are they will consider that call a claim of sorts. Investopedia.com point out that hey could adjust your rates, and even make it difficult for you to find insurance elsewhere because they have reported it in the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange – the tool all insurers use to work out your coverage costs. Always keep your questions and queries as generic as possible.
As you can see, some auto insurance companies can be a little sneaky. So, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls, use comparison sites to find better deals, and be careful what you say on the phone. Good luck!