10 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Car Insurance

So… you’re shopping around for car insurance. What do you think you need to know? Well, there are lots of things most people ask me when they come into my office. Here’s a few answers to some questions you probably have.

1. Will My Rates Go Down When My Policy Renews? – Most of our clients believe insurance rates are based on tenure with an insurance company. There is some truth to that, as most insurance companies have discounts available, but those discounts usually don’t kick in until you’ve been with the same company for 3 to 5 years. Rates are based on a variety of factors, such as how long it’s been since you’ve had a ticket or accident, how long you’ve had insurance in total, and the performance of other people your company insures in your area.


  • Tip. Talk to your agent about what they’ve seen happen recently. Some policies come with loyalty bonuses just for renewing your policy every six months.


2. How Long Do I Have Until My Policy Cancels? – Most policies have a grace period of 5 to 7 days from the due date, unless you are at your renewal. At renewal, there is no grace period and those payments must be made on time to ensure coverage is in force if you have an accident.


  • Tip. Make sure you know exactly how long your grace period is. Talk to your agent so you know you’re covered at all times. To avoid lapses, consider setting your policy up so it’s paid by automatic bank draft. Your payments are never late, and you won’t have a lapse if you overlook your grace period.


3. What Coverage Does The State Require? 

Arizona currently requires Bodily Injury Liability limits of $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage liability.

New Mexico currently requires Bodily Injury Liability limits of $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage liability.


  • Tip. If you have anything to lose, I hope you aren’t relying on the State to save you. Talk to your agent about what is really right for you and your family.


4. How Long Do Tickets and Accidents Stay On My Insurance Record? – Tickets usually stay on your insurance record for 3 to 5 years, depending on what you were cited for. Speeding and other minor violations usually stay out there for 3 years. DUI’s and other Major violations can stay on your insurance record for 5 years or more! Accidents, including ones that weren’t your fault, can stay on your record for the same 3 to 5 years, depending on the insurance company you are with.


  • Note. To get detailed information on your policy, ask your agent. Hauser Insurance


5. When Do I Have To Add My Children As Operators on My Policy? – If your young one is licensed to operate a motor vehicle, you should add them to your policy immediately upon being licensed. Once your insurance company is able to run Motor Vehicle Reports on their license, add them. This is the only way to make sure they are covered drivers on your policy. Many people are worried about the additional investment of adding their children to their insurance properly. Simply consider the cost of not doing so. An uncovered liability loss where another person is injured could easily be financially devastating, even if the injuries to the other person are minor. Health care costs have tripled in the last 10 years, and a visit to the ER could leave you with a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars.


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