10 Things Your Agent Knows That You May Not

10 Things Your Agent Knows That You May Not

Car insurance is more complicated than many people seem to realize, and when someone asks for cheap car insurance quotes, many factors influence the outcome.

Amanda Shore, an operations analyst for Insurance.com, sums it up eloquently by saying, “A lot of consumers think they have an idea of how car insurance works and think they are informed, but they aren’t. They understand a new Hyundai is cheaper to insure than a new Mercedes and that their driving record is pulled, but many aren’t aware that where they live is such a big deal and that many other reports and rating factors are looked at.”

Here’s a list of 10 things that your auto insurance agent knows about you that you may not be aware of.

1.) They know more than you think they do.
Applying for an affordable car insurance policy involves exchanging plenty of information, and while the agent working with you does ask their fair share of questions, they don’t just take your word for everything. An agent knows what information the carrier is pulling, and that may include reports on your mileage, homeowner status, undisclosed drivers living with you, vehicle registration, and who your current carrier is. This information is used to calculate your FICO insurance score – a score that you don’t have access to.

2.) They have their own language and rating system.
The ISO rating system consists of 75 symbols attributed to vehicles, depending on make, model, safety ratings, and more. These symbols are used to help calculate how risky it would be to insure you. The higher the rating, the higher the risk, and that translates into higher premiums.

3.) They know if a ticket will raise your rates.
Not all traffic tickets come with the same repercussions, and an agent knows which ones impact your insurance rates and which ones don’t. It’s their job to know your insurance company’s surcharge schedule, the blueprint for how your rates may raise. You can request a copy of this from your agent, but you may need their help to figure it all out.

4.) They know when tickets stop affecting your driving record.
You may not remember the last time you received a ticket, but your insurance agent does. They also know exactly when these infractions will drop off your record and stop impacting your premiums, and you can request this information from your agent.

5.) They know how a claim will impact your rates.
You’re unlikely to know how a claim will impact your rates until after you’ve already made it, but it is possible to predict, to some degree. You’ll need the surcharge schedule and a little help from your agent to decipher the complex formula used to calculate it.

6.) They know if your crashed vehicle is a total loss.
If you’re in an accident and a mechanic tells you they can’t fix your car, it may be considered a total loss by your insurance company. The determining factors that an insurance company uses to decide if your car is a total loss vary from company to company; your insurance agent knows how much damage can be inflicted before your car is considered a total loss.

7.) They know if your policy can be renewed or not.
Having a few accidents within a several-year span may not seem like a big deal to you, but it may make you ineligible for a policy renewal. Your agent knows where you stand, and they can help you repair your situation if possible. The guidelines vary, so ask your agent, and know the difference between cancellation and non-renewal.

8.) They know if the insurance company is on your side.
While the insurance company isn’t out to get you, it still needs to maintain the bottom line. It’s a business, after all, and the contract you signed is one that you and the insurance company both have a stake in upholding. Your agent can tell you where you stand.

9.) They know what claims will be rejected.
Agents are not claim adjusters, but they know all about your policy, so don’t be afraid to ask which claims may be rejected. You may be surprised at which claims will be rejected, so it’s better to save yourself the time and frustration by knowing ahead of time.

10.) They know how to lower your premiums.
Agents should be your primary source of information about your policy, but you may be surprised to know that they will actually help you pay less for it. By alerting you to discounts, special policies, or other ways to save, simply asking, “How can I save on my premium?” may be one of the most important things you ever do.

Has this list helped to open your eyes? Are you planning on making a visit to your insurance agent soon, or have you already done some of the things mentioned in this list? Let us know in the comments section!