When you’re buying car insurance, the provider will ask for more than just your name and address. They’ll want some important background information that will help them decide if you are a good candidate for their insurance products, and at what cost. After all, your car insurance is more about you than it is about your vehicle.
When you shop for car insurance, you’ll be asked several questions. Some may not feel relevant, but there’s always a reason why they’re asked. At some point in the car insurance applications process, you’ll probably be asked the following 10 questions, and you should be prepared with the answers.
1. How Much Do You Drive?
Your car insurance premiums are a reflection of the risk you pose to the provider. The more mileage you rack up, the higher your perceived risk of getting into an accident.
If you drive less than 7,500 miles per year, you might get a reduced quote because you spend less time on the road. If you drive more than 15,000 miles per year, your rates may increase because of the higher accident risk.
2. Have You Had a Speeding Ticket in the Last 5 Years?
Insurance companies look at speeding tickets as an indicator of future accidents. One ticket can raise your rates by 15%, and multiple tickets can raise that number even more.
3. What Is Your At-Fault Accident Record in the Past 5 Years?
Some insurance companies will “forgive” the first accident on record in the past five years. Having multiple at-fault accidents will definitely raise your car insurance premiums. It shows you may not be the most attentive or skilled driver, and that’s something the insurance company sees as a risk for future claims.
4. Have You Made Any Claims on Your Car Insurance Policy?
Has your car been involved in flooding, been stolen, or been vandalized? Even if you weren’t at fault, these situational claims can lead to higher insurance premiums. They’re a risk to the insurer, and they are accounting for the possibility of a similar claim in the future during the car insurance applications process.
At times, you might have paid out-of-pocket for minor repairs to prevent your insurance rates from skyrocketing. If you’ve done this, remember to omit those incidents from your quote request.
5. How Do You Earn a Living?
You might not think your job should matter, but your background is considered a risk factor by car insurance companies. If you’re an office worker or you have a similarly quiet job, your rates are going to be lower.
If you’re a football referee, a bouncer, or a delivery driver, there’s a higher chance you’ll be involved in a claim. Some workers, such as professional musicians, may be refused coverage altogether after submitting car insurance applications.
6. Are You Married?
This is a personal question, and it may not affect the way you drive and the premiums you pay … or it might. Married people tend to be more reserved when they operate their vehicle, taking fewer risks. Single people are seen to be more reckless and they have higher instances of claims.
7. Are There Other Drivers Living at the Same Address as You?
Anyone who is of driving age in your household needs to be listed on your car insurance policy. Even if they don’t have a driver’s license, generally anyone 16 years of age and older has access to your car and contributes to your risk factor.
8. What Level of Coverage Do You Want?
Before you begin shopping around and submitting car insurance applications, you should have a good idea of the coverage you need. While an agent may be able to help you decide on the right policy, they don’t know your situation as well as you do.
Be aware of the coverage your lender requires and your state requires, and the options in which you are interested.
9. Do You Need Any Optional Coverage?
Some coverages aren’t applicable to everyone, so they are listed separately. If you need rental car insurance, uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, medical payments coverage, or any other options, you’ll need to mention it during the car insurance applications process. This is why you should know what coverage you need before you begin shopping.
10. Do You Need Home, Life, or Rental Insurance?
Many car insurance providers offer coverage for other products as well. Whether it’s home insurance, boat insurance, life insurance, condo insurance, or anything else, you may be eligible for a discount if you have multiple policies with the same provider.
Purchasing car insurance is one of the most critical aspects of being a car owner. However, as car insurance rates steadily rise and your driving situation changes, it’s easy to get overcharged for your policy. Keep your premiums low by answering these questions to the best of your knowledge, so you end up with a car insurance plan that’s perfect for you and your budget.