When it comes to the insurance policies that cover your home, automobile and other valuables, there are things your insurance agent wishes you knew. These helpful bits make the insurance and claims process easier for everyone involved, especially you, the policyholder. It might even save you money or a series of headaches down the line. Your insurance agent wants to help make your life simpler. However, everyone has to be on the same page for this to happen.
Here are five helpful things your insurance agent wishes you knew.
Insurance Agents Are Not Mind Readers
An insurance agent can provide you with coverage, but they do not have psychic powers – even though that would be really cool. “We need to know who lives in your household and who drives your car(s),” says Frank Doyle, senior vice president for AAA Northeast Insurance. “We aren’t trying to be nosy, but if you want your policy to work to cover you, you need to let us know who lives with you.”
Insurance agents will ask you a lot of questions about your personal life because it helps them determine what kind of protection you need to adequately insure your family and property. If you have a certain need in your coverage –such as an expensive family heirloom or a pet you’d like to insure – please speak up and inform your insurance agent.
Keep Your Agent Updated When Your Circumstances Change
If there’s a new teenage driver in your family, your insurance agent needs to know. Sure, adding a teen driver to an auto insurance policy can cost you money up front, but failing to do so could be even costlier if a claim is rejected and you are forced to pay for injuries or property damage your child caused behind the wheel.
In that same vein, if you’re about to close on your dream home the next town over, your insurance agent needs to know.
If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen with granite countertops or build a 25-meter heated in-ground pool, your insurance agent needs to know.
If you get married … well, you get the point.
A change in your life means a change in the kind of coverage you need to adequately protect your most expensive belongings. Talk to your insurance agent at least once a year to see if any of your insurance policies need to be updated. That goes for anyone who recently started a job as an Uber driver, pizza delivery person or any profession where you use your personal automobile for work, so you can make sure you would have adequate protection in the event of an accident.
Insurance Agents Need You To Be Honest
If you have had legal trouble or a car accident, tell your insurance agent. They won’t judge. They just need all the information to make the best decisions for you, and that includes the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Best to be honest now then pay for it later with a policy based on false information – or worse, a rejected claim that forces you to pay for expensive car or home repairs out of pocket.
Different Circumstances Call for Different Insurance
There is no “one-size-fits-all” insurance plan. Insurance coverage is based on personal needs, which vary from customer to customer. What is best for a young family with three kids is not what is best for a single retired adult or an older couple who snowbirds in Florida. Someone who owns a house deep in rural upstate New York will have different needs than someone who lives in a Boston apartment.
You Can Ask as Many Questions as You Want
Insurance policies have a lot of components, and you are not expected to know them all. If your insurance agent or policy uses an unfamiliar term – such as “endorsement” or “actual cash value” – do not be afraid to ask what it means. If you want to know why your policy is set up in a certain way, ask. A good insurance agent will answer your questions.
And ask about discounts! Companies offer multiple discounts based on your driving history, how many cars you own, your AAA membership, your age and so much more. These discounts could save you a lot of money over the course of a year, let alone several years.
With these five items in your pocket, you should be ready to have a productive discussion with your insurance agent. They will be glad to have such a knowledgeable client and you can rest easy knowing you got the best rates and the right amount of protection for your home and belongings.
Speak to a AAA insurance agent today or get a quote at AAA.com/Insurance.