Exploring the Small Print on Your Auto Insurance Policy

Auto Insurance Fine Print

For the most part, auto insurance policies seemare straightforward. At least that seems to be the case when youre searching for auto/car insurance quotes because the Q&A process is so simple. However, there is a lot that actually goes into an auto insurance policy and how its calculated.

There are the obvious aspects (types of coverage, costs and riders) and then there are some hidden aspects as well. So lets take a look at some of the small (yet significant) print to look for on your auto insurance policy either for verification purposes or first-time discovery.

Named Drivers

You want to check the named drivers on your auto policy to make sure that the appropriate people are being covered.

If someone is missing from your policy and gets pulled over, this could spell trouble for both you and them.

Effective Date

You also want to make sure to check the effective date on your policy to ensure it is correct. For instance, if you obtain a six-month policy on November 12, it should last until May 12. If something is off in this section, its good to contact the insurance company to get it straightened out right away.

Notice of Information Practices

While auto insurance companies dont exactly tell us how they determine rates, the notice of information practices in your policy could give you a general idea of what is being looked at when deciding how much to charge for your auto/car insurance quotes.

For instance, the company may explain that it uses a credit-based insurance score based on your credit report to help determine your rates. Or it may say that your driving record and prior claims were considered. Its important to find a similar section in your policy to know how you might be charged in the future.

Additional Charges

Sometimes, if you thumb through your policy long enough, you can find that in addition to your auto/car insurance rates, you may have some other charges to consider. For instance, your insurer may not in the small print that your billing amount could change if you renew your policy or make an adjustment to your plan.

Also, it may be noted that you will have a returned payment fee if your payment doesnt go through or pay a late fee if your payment isnt made on time. Its good to make note of these and other possible additional charges so that youre not blind sighted if you see adjustments to your policy.

Its always good to review everything on your auto insurance policy to make sure there were no mistakes and theres no information that you dont agree to. That way, if youre not happy, you can always contact your company for adjustments or, if absolutely necessary, shop around for new auto insurance coverage.