10 Things you should know about your car insurance


    (Part 2)

     Since we are on the subject of claims, driving safely and defensively does have its benefits.  Your insurer will give you a typical 10-percent discount on your premium.  This is called a “no claim bonus.”  Ask your agent or insurance company about it when you are up for renewal.

     If you are an incorrigible procrastinator, chances are your motor claims will not be paid if you file it beyond the 30-day period given to you by your insurer.  The 30-day clock starts on the day of the accident, so better be quick for it does take some doing, accumulating all of the necessary documents.

     At the very least, send the insurance company a note that your car got into an accident and you are building up the documents they require for the claim to be paid.

     If you are at a loss as to where to insure your car, a good place to get insurer reviews would be the insurance specialist of your car dealership.  They would be familiar as to who among the insurers pays the shop promptly and properly and those who are slow in sending in repair authorizations.

     Patronize insurers who have a good relationship with authorized shops.  A five-star rating from the dealership means you get served faster since your insurer also reacts quickly.

     If your car is stolen, the insurance company has three months to try to recover the vehicle before you get paid.  They want to make sure you did not just misplace your vehicle after an all-night drinking spree.

     Acts of God is not an automatic benefit you can buy.  Insurers now look closely at the address of the client.  If you live in low-lying areas, especially those that have histories of floods, chances are you will always get a polite “No.”

     Be careful about asking for a cash settlement from your insurer if you have an existing mortgage on the car.  The claim proceeds are automatically paid to the mortgagee bank.  If you have arrears in car payments, you will be asked to either update your mortgage account or they will deduct your car payment arrears from the insurance proceeds.

    If your car is covered by Comprehensive Auto Insurance, which is required when anyone buys a new car, pay attention to the final details of your policy. Ask professionals who really know the business because the legal language contained in that piece of paper is very precise as to what can be paid and what your insurer will decline.


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