This might come as bad news, but auto insurance companies do take advantage of their customers on a daily basis by charging them more, and cutting off their benefits whenever they can. Here are some of their best kept secrets that help them make and save millions every year.
Did You Know?
The popular urban legend about the color of the car affecting insurance premiums is totally false.
If you are driving a car, the law says that you need coverage for it. It doesn’t matter how safe your driving is, other drivers on the road can’t be trusted.
Auto insurance companies do give the security of protecting the car against any unforeseen damages, but sometimes these companies take innocent consumers for a ride, indulge in unfair practices of charging them more through the concept of hidden fees, and shy away from paying the damage fees when needed.
It is not just auto insurance, it is the entire insurance market that is too opaque for an average American to understand. We all know that we have to pay a certain amount, but how did the insurance amount reach that figure? No one knows, and very few ask.
There is also the popular concept of hidden fees, which not many know. The following pointers are often used by auto insurance companies to save or minimize the payments made to customers.
Agents Are Not Your Best Friends
Insurance agents might seem extremely well-mannered and polite, but always remember that they work for the company, not for you. Their main aim is to save money for their employer.
Just imagine, if the agent you’ve met really had your best interests at heart, he would have lost his job ages ago. So, any offer that the agent makes to settle the accident claim is surely not what you are entitled too.
As a policy holder, you might think that the insurance company is being too generous, but in reality, they are not paying the amount they are supposed to.
Credit Scores Can Impact Rate of Premiums
You may or may not know this, but most insurance carriers check the credit score before determining a premium quote. A bad credit score raises caution flags for the carrier as they believe that you might not be able to pay the bills.
The credit score check might be looked upon as a discriminatory factor by many, but it sure is in practice except for California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
Taking Accident Pictures Immediately is Important
It is extremely essential that you take photographs of the accident scene, the damaged vehicle, and any visible injuries, such as bruises and scars.
Ensure that the photographs are clear, as it is an important way to ensure that you receive a fair compensation for the accident. Recording the entire incident on a video is also good enough.
Consulting Your Own Attorney Helps Save Money
In a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, it was revealed that people who consulted attorneys after being involved in car accidents received over twice as much as money in comparison to those who didn’t.
Having an attorney by your side helps, as you get valuable information which no insurance carrier will provide. Hence, seek the services of an insurance attorney immediately after the accident, to ensure that you are awarded a proper settlement.
There is a Time Limit to Make a Claim
This is the most well-guarded secret of the auto insurance world. Let us suppose you’ve been in a serious accident and are on bed rest.
The agent assures you to get the best medical treatment and not worry about the insurance formalities, as the bills would be covered by the company.
Just because the agent has given you the assurance, don’t just sit there and relax. Every insurance policy comes with a time limit to file a claim, and if the time expires in your case, then any attempt to claim a settlement can be termed as illegal.
A MIST Claim is Never Entertained
MIST stands for Minor Impact Soft Tissue. A MIST claim is a scenario where the car involved in the accident has suffered minor damage, and you have gotten a stiff back or neck.
Most insurance carriers don’t entertain this claim, and don’t even realize that most cars do suffer hidden damages that don’t come out until the car visits the garage. To ensure that you are fairly compensated for the damages, please visit an experienced attorney.
Adding the Spouse and Kids Saves Money
Here’s another secret which most people have no clue about. It is a common misconception that adding the number of people on the policy increases the premium rates.
In fact, adding your spouse and kids, if they have a valid license, is actually cheaper than buying each one a separate policy. It can also cover them if they happen to be in an accident while driving your car.
People spend an insane amount of money on insurance every year. Hence, it is extremely important to weigh all the pros and cons before choosing a policy for your benefit. Don’t shy away from asking questions, and if you don’t understand certain phrases and terms, ensure to get in touch with an attorney to get all your doubts cleared.