For many people, choosing an auto insurance policy is a painful process, and they try to get through it as fast as possible. They go with a company they are familiar with or a company they often see advertising their services on TV. Through bad customer service or confusing claim filing processes, these people later find that their auto insurance is causing more problems than its worth.
Purchasing auto insurance is a major financial decision almost all of us must make, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You didn’t rush the process of buying your home, or your car; why take shortcuts when insuring your car? Continue reading below to find out the most common types of car insurance problems, how to buy auto insurance the right way and how to prepare for the future so you don’t have any problems.
The Top 5 Most Common Auto Insurance Problems
The best way to avoid future auto insurance problems is to know what to look for. Here are the most common auto insurance problems that affect drivers in America today – and how you can avoid these problems in the future.
1. You Waited Too Long to File a Claim
This is one of the most common problems with auto insurance claims. You waited too long to file a claim, and now it’s too late. Ideally, you’ll contact your insurance company immediately after the accident. Your first job is to make sure everyone is safe, then call the police and file a police report. The next step is to call your insurance company.
How to Avoid It: Call your insurance company immediately after the incident takes place. Your chances of a successful claim get lower with each passing hour.
2. You Have No Idea What’s Covered On Your Policy
Many drivers believe they have great car insurance – until they get into an accident and realize they have hardly any coverage. In other cases, the insurance company has quietly added items to your policy, and you’re paying money for coverage you don’t need – like rental car insurance when you’re already covered through your credit card.
How to Avoid It: Spend a few minutes reading through your insurance policy. Take the time to look up terms you don’t understand. Contact your insurance company if you want to add or remove coverage from your policy.
3. You Don’t Have Enough Evidence
Ideally, you’ll be able to provide high-definition video footage of the accident to your insurance company. Of course, most people don’t use dashboard cameras (dashcams). The more evidence you can provide to your insurance company, the more efficiently your claim will be processed.
How to Avoid It: Get photos, a police report, and other information to ensure your insurance company has sufficient information to process the claim. If you drive frequently and want maximum peace of mind, consider buying a dashcam.
4. Valuation Issues
You get into an accident and your car is totaled. The damage to your vehicle is worth more than the car itself. You wait to receive an offer from your insurance company. Unfortunately, your insurance company has given you a check that’s significantly lower than what you expected – say, a $2,500 check to cover the loss of a vehicle that was worth $10,000. Sometimes, valuation disputes are legitimate. Your vehicle is rarely worth as much as you think it’s worth. However, in other cases, the insurance company is taking advantage of you.
How to Avoid It: Consider hiring a car insurance attorney.
5. You Failed to Disclose Accurate Information When Buying your Policy
Some drivers get themselves into trouble long before a collision. You might have provided inaccurate information when applying for car insurance. Sometimes, this is an innocent mistake. You might write that your car is a 2014 Honda Civic when it’s really a 2015 Honda Civic, for example. In other cases, you’re deliberately misleading the insurance company. You might have listed yourself as a primary driver to get lower car insurance rates when it’s really your spouse – who has a DUI – who drives your vehicle.
How to Avoid It: Check your insurance application carefully. Avoid lying on your application. Car insurance companies investigate things – and your claim might be rightfully denied if you’re caught.
The Smart Way To Buy Auto Insurance
Vehicles are liabilities, not assets. They start depreciating in value the second you start the engine at the dealership and start your drive back towards your home. From there on out, your car will continue to drop in worth and cost your money. With that being said, the last thing anyone wants to happen is to lose their car entirely, or have it cost them too much money (in repairs, etc.). This is why choosing a suitable auto insurance policy should be something that is not taken lightly. Invest your time is finding the car insurance coverage that is right for you.
The first thing you should do when choosing an auto insurance plan is to look over the details and terms multiple times to ensure you know exactly what you are getting. Many people don’t pay much attention to these items until they are involved in an accident, and its too late to do anything. Often times people will jump on the lowest quote they get. What the fail to notice is that the coverage is very limited.
It is important to not only insure yourself, but everyone else that may be driving your car on a regular basis (you might even consider getting non-owners auto insurance if you have to).
Many people try to save money by not including family members on their policy. By doing so, they are greatly restricting their coverage on their vehicle. Many people lend their car to someone to run errands for the day, only to find out they’ve been involved in an accident, and their policy won’t cover the damages or injuries (in this situation, one day car insurance might be useful).
When you change auto insurers, be sure you cancel your old plan. Many people neglect this simple step and end up having to pay two times their monthly payment, or worse if on a semi-annual payment plan. All of this is in addition to the down-payment that the new insurance company might slap you in the face with.
Prepare For The Future
As you can see, all these preventative steps are common sense, and require little effort. If you just take the extra time to protect your investment, the chances of something coming back to bite you are greatly reduced.
Remember – the cheapest insurance policy is not always the best. You need to look at many factors when choosing an insurance provider and not only the price. Customer service, consumer reviews and ratings, and financial stability are all things that you should look at before diving into an insurance policy.
To find an auto insurance company that is reputable and will not cause you a headache down the road, use our price comparison tool to find a company that will treat you right. Scroll back up to the top of this page and enter your zip code to begin!