When shopping for an insurance policy, make sure that you are asking the right questions. The wrong time to find out that you do not have the coverages that you thought you had, is after you have had a loss. While price is important, it is not typically the only consideration. Having the right coverages first and then finding an affordable price, is the usually the best approach. Remember that your insurance is supposed to transfer your risk to the insurance company. In other words, instead of you having to rely on your own personal resources, following a covered loss, the insurance company assumes that risk. Some very important questions that you should ask yourself, before shopping for auto insurance are:

1.      If your vehicle was stolen, would it be important to be able to fix  it, if it was found, or help pay for another if it is not recovered? If it is important, you should be carrying comprehensive coverage.

2.      If you were involved in an accident, that may or may not be your fault, would it be important for you to be able to repair or replace your vehicle?  If it is, you should be carrying collision coverage.

3.      What liability limits do you really need?  Do you own anything of value?  Do you have a job?   If so, in the state of Nevada, a lien can be placed against anything of value (your equity position) and if you are employed, up to 25% of your wages can be garnished in order to settle a judgement.  Minimum limits are not appropriate for everyone. The claim or lawsuit is not settled just because your insurance company pays the limits of liability.  You are responsible for everything in excess of the limits that they have paid.

4.      Do you have health insurance?  If not, would it be important to be able to pay at least some of the medical bills that you might incur as a result of injuries sustained in an accident?  Do you frequently transport people in your vehicle?   If it is important, you should consider medical payments coverage.

5.      Are you aware that many drivers do not carry liability insurance or carry just the state mandated minimums?  If you were not at fault in an accident and were injured by someone without insurance, would it be important to be able to have coverages that would address your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and similar claims?  Would it be important to be able to have some of these same issues considered if someone were carrying minimum liability limits and your bills exceeded what their insurance company could pay?  If so, you should consider uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages.

6.      If your vehicle were involved in a covered loss, do you have an alternate means of transportation?  If not, would it be important to you and your family to be able to rent a vehicle while repairs were being completed?  If so, you should consider rental reimbursement or loss of use coverage.

7.      Have you put some money into customizing your vehicle?  Did you know that most policies cover the equipment and accessories that the vehicle rolled off the assembly line with?  Any modifications that would increase the value to replace or cost to repair, require an endorsement for that equipment.  Would it be important to have coverage for these things?  If so, you should consider a customization endorsement.

This list is not exhaustive but these are some things that should be given some thought.

An additional consideration for every consumer should be the insurance agent or broker that they are doing business with.  Not every agency is created equal. Some insurance agencies do business with one or two insurance companies and others partner with twenty. Doesn’t it make sense that the agency that has access to twenty insurance companies is more likely to get a better price than an agency that does business with one or two? Have you ever asked your agent how many companies they do business with and what lines of insurance they sell? Some agents prefer to write only non-standard auto insurance while others write auto insurance, home insurance, commercial or business insurance, life insurance and/or health insurance. This is not only important for the initial purchase of insurance but if a change has to be made, it is a much easier transition if the agent is able to seamlessly move you to a different company without you having to do the legwork and contact multiple brokers. Additionally, if your agent writes more than one type of insurance, you can get all of your insurance needs taken care of in one place.

In summation, be prepared when shopping for insurance. Understand, know and ask questions about the available coverages and find an insurance agent with access to insurance companies that want you as a customer.

Stellar Insurance has been helping people all over the Las Vegas Valley get the best coverage for years, including areas such as Henderson, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Boulder City. If you’re looking for the right insurance coverage in Las Vegas (including areas around the 89104, 89101, and 89107 zip codes), contact Stellar Insurance and see how we can save you a whole lot of money.