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Monday, May 11, 2015

TOP 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE BUYNG AUTO INSURANCE (Part 2 of 2)

The prior blog introduced 5 of the major questions you should ask your agent when you are buying auto insurance, courtesy of www.howstuffworks.com.  Enjoy your wheels and the remaining 5 questions you need to ask your agent:


5) What are the payment options?  Monthly using EFT is by far the easiest method and keeps you from having to worry about missed payments.  Many insurance companies frown on repetitive late payments and you risk having your coverage cancelled and you may not be allowed to get the policy back into effect.  Or, even worse, during the only day your policy was lapsed, you find yourself in a fender-bender --- and there is NO insurance coverage.  Don't be that guy!  Most companies offer discounts for electronic or payment for the full policy term.  Additional fees may be imposed for bills sent by mail.


4) What is the value on my vehicle?  In the event of loss, the "blue book" value is used for claim settlement.  There are online resources you may use to calculate the appropriate value which is typically the mid-point of the trade-in value vs the retail value.  Most companies will also take into consideration recent vehicle enhancements such as new tires or special vehicle features.  Be sure you are able to provide documentation on the enhancements to your adjuster for consideration.  Your adjuster will determine what is allowable under your policy contract, and most carriers provide fair settlements, so don't jump too quickly to an ambulance-chaser attorney, because that will delay the claims processing, and most likely, by the time you split the proceeds with your attorney, you will end up with less money than you would have directly from the carrier.  Let the normal claims process play out and work closely with your adjuster and engage your Trusted Choice agent as an advocate. If the settlement is unsatisfactory, then pursue a legal settlement.


3) How do I get claims service?  Good insurance carriers provide 24/7 claims service.  Many offer online access and claims process status reporting, and also smartphone access.  Your Trusted Choice agent will provide you with a handy checklist to follow to be sure you are protected and all pertinent data is available to settle your claim as quickly as possible.  A good idea is to take pictures of the scene before moving your vehicles.


2) Will Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Parts be used in a repair?  To save costs, many insurers use "generic" parts which are functional replacements for the damaged parts.  If you require the use of OEM parts, you will need to purchase an endorsement on your policy which will add a small amount to the cost of your insurance.  Ask your Trusted Choice agent for a quote so you can decide if you wish to have the coverage added to your policy.


1) Is there a local agent available?  Local Trusted Choice agents will spend the time with you to explain your coverages and provide more options for your consideration, and they will act as an advocate for you during the claims process.


We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com ,  SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Brittany Jones, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Mark Strickland, and Whitney Zimmerman at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: info@southgropugulfcoast.com , phone: 228-466-4498 fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel !

We have 3 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi, 5400 Indian Hill-Diamondhead, and 412 Hwy 90 Suite 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS. We write coverage in 40 different states and can assist you with Mississippi insurance, Louisiana insurance, and Alabama insurance and many other states.

Insurance is stressful, but we make saving easy.  We help you save money on insurance!

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