5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Auto Insurance

Whether you’re a new driver or someone who has been behind the wheel for years, it’s always important to have adequate auto insurance. However, with so many different policies available, knowing which one is right for you can be challenging. Here are five questions to ask before buying auto insurance.

1. What Am I Required to Have?

Every state has different requirements for auto insurance, so you’ll need to find out what yours are. Typically, you’ll need liability insurance at a minimum, but that does not cover everything. You may also want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage, especially if you have a newer car.

2. What Is My Budget?

Once you know what coverages you need, you’ll need to set a budget. How much can you afford to pay each month? How much can you afford to pay out of pocket if you have an accident? Remember that the cheapest policy may not always be the best.

3. What Are Add-ons, and Do I Need Them?

Auto insurance policies typically come with various add-ons, or options, that you can purchase. Some of these may be required in your state, while others are additional coverage that can provide extra protection. You’ll need to decide which ones you need and which you can live without.

4. What’s the Claims Process Like?

If you have an accident, you’ll want to know what the claims process is like. How easy is it to file a claim? How long does it usually take to get reimbursed? Make sure you understand the process before you purchase a policy.

5. Am I Getting the Best Rate?

Finally, you’ll want to ensure you get the best rate possible. Get quotes from several different companies and compare them. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, though. Some policies may have different coverages than others, so read the fine print before deciding.

Get Auto Insurance in Kingwood, WV

Now that you know what to look for in an auto insurance policy, it’s time to start shopping around. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia offers a variety of different options to choose from. Call us today for a free quote.

3 Common Reasons Auto Collisions Occur

Were you aware that the bulk majority of human error-caused auto accidents can be completely avoided? While it is true that all accidents don’t occur as a result of human error, there are numerous precautions that can be taken to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident in Kingwood, WV. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia shares a few of the most common reasons car accidents occur.

Speeding

Speeding can result in a very dangerous auto collision that causes damage to vehicles and injuries to drivers and passengers. Speeding is the cause for more than one-quarter of traffic fatalities.

While you may think it is cool or fun to drive above the speed limit, those speed limits are posted to keep you and everyone else on the road safe.

Texting

Each year, there are over one million auto accidents that involve a driver texting, talking, or otherwise using their cell phone. It only takes three seconds to become fully distracted by a text or phone call. When you take your eyes off the road for only a moment, anything can happen, such as the driver in front of you slamming on their breaks. It is best to put your phone to the side while driving and check it when you stop. One text or call isn’t worth your life or someone else’s.

Weather

Weather-related factors play a role in many car collisions each year. Slippery road surfaces due to rain, ice, and snow can reduce your visibility and increase your stopping distance.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself while on the road is to invest in proper auto insurance. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia can help Kingwood, WV drivers ensure they have the proper coverage.

Conduct an Annual Review of Your Auto Insurance Policy

Once an insurance policy is purchased, some continue making premium payments and never look back at their policy. However, things change in life, and it is essential to conduct an annual review of any auto insurance policy in Kingwood, WV. Those with questions or need to update their auto insurance policy should reach out to Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia for assistance. 

The annual review of an insurance policy is something every car owner should put on their calendar. The review should include updates to any life changes which may affect your auto insurance coverage and rate. 

Children

Having new teen drivers in the home makes a huge difference in the bottom line of an insurance policy. During the review, speak with the insurance agency to add new drivers to the policy and ensure proper coverage. Other items to discuss are your teen driver leaving for college in another state or purchasing their vehicle. 

Work

A change in jobs often means a change in income and commute times, affecting how much your insurance premiums cost. Let your insurance agent know about your new job and anything else, such as a shorter commute and where you are parking your vehicle. If you have recently retired, let your agent know because this can also affect how much you drive. 

Residence

Your insurance policy must be updated when you move to a new location. Where you live affects your policy because where you park your car at night affects premium rates. Additionally, where you moved could impact your commute time, which also affects premium rates. 

Every year take a moment to review your auto insurance policy and speak with your insurance agent about any changes. Those in Kingwood, WV may experience premium increases or decreases based on the changes. Speak with an agent at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia to conduct an annual review of your auto insurance policy. 

Coverage Options for Your Auto in West Virginia

If you are a driver in West Virginia, you will want to obtain the correct auto insurance policy to protect you, your vehicle, and even your freedom. The state requires you to have at least a liability insurance policy that will cover any injuries or property damage that you can cause if you are involved in an accident. If you are pulled over, you must show proof of your auto insurance policy or you can be fined at least $200, can lose your driver’s license for a period of time, and could even end up serving time in jail. To avoid all of this, you can obtain a liability auto insurance policy through a trusted auto insurance agent. The agents at the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia, located in Kingwood, WV, are ready to assist you. You can further protect yourself and your vehicle through other auto coverage options also.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

A comprehensive auto insurance policy will cover your vehicle if it becomes damaged due to a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hail storm, or even a fire or vandalism.

Collision Insurance

This type of insurance will cover your vehicle and the vehicles of others that you may become involved in an accident with, along with objects. For example, if you back into someone’s lawnmower and destroy it, your collision auto insurance policy will cover the other person’s lawnmower.

Underinsured and Uninsured Auto Insurance

Even though West Virginia law requires every driver to have auto insurance, sometimes people cannot afford a policy or simply do not bother to obtain one. If they cause an accident that you are involved with, law enforcement will take care of the legal side of things but who will pay for the damages to your vehicle or injuries to you or your passengers? That is what underinsured and uninsured insurance is for, to protect you and your vehicle.

Contact the auto insurance agents at the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV to obtain a quote and start your policy today!

Does Auto Insurance Cover Hail?

If you carry full coverage in Kingwood, WV, your auto insurance should cover hail damage. The confusion seems to arise from the fact that not everybody carries full coverage.

Basic "full coverage" breaks down into three categories:

  • Liability – This is the insurance that you are required by law to carry. Liability helps to pay the costs if you are held responsible for someone else’s injuries or property damages. But, liability does not cover you or your car. That’s what comprehensive and collision are for.
  • Collision – This will help to pay for your damages if you are in an accident and the other party’s insurance does not pay for it. But it doesn’t cover anything besides a collision. That means that vandalism, a tree falling on your car, and of course, hail, are not included here.
  • Comprehensive – This is the coverage you want if you want to make sure that you are covered against hail and other damages where you can’t say that anyone is at fault.

These three policies together make up "full coverage," but not total coverage. Total coverage means that you’re protected essentially no matter what, and that’s going to include gap insurance so that your insurer can pay the rest of your payments off for you, and replacement or better replacement insurance, so that you can get behind the wheel of a new car right away.

If you’re looking to get covered in Kingwood, WV, call Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia, email us, or visit us at the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia offices to see what we can do for you.

Do You Need Comprehensive Coverage If You Have Collision Insurance?

Many auto insurance companies have options when it comes to collision and comprehensive coverage. However, these options may not work for certain individuals. If you are financing a vehicle, you have to have both types of coverage in place, but if you own a vehicle, do you need both types?

Collision vs Comprehensive

Collision insurance protects the vehicle owner from expenses related to collisions. Comprehensive insurance covers all other types of damage and incidents such as theft, storm damage, and vandalism. It is recommended that you carry both types of insurance if you have a vehicle newer than 10 years of age, or have an older classic vehicle having substantial worth. In order to make the right choice, you should get assistance from one of the professional agents at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. We proudly serve the drivers of Kingwood, WV and throughout the state, and can answer your questions and more. 

Getting The Right Coverage

Finding and obtaining the right level of insurance protection is tricky without the help of an insurance agent. You should reach out for assistance to ensure you get the right level of auto insurance protection to avoid gaps and other unfortunate issues related to inadequate coverage. Your insurance agent is a great tool to help you have peace of mind, no matter where you travel or where you park your vehicle. 

If you are looking for quality auto insurance, check out Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia and allow them to assist you with the selection process. We look forward to helping the residents of Kingwood, WV find solutions that offer protection.

How to Pick Auto Insurance Around Kingwood, WV

Driving a car on a daily basis is a necessity for many people in the Kingwood, WV area. If you own a car in this area, there are many important responsibilities that you need to be aware of. One of the most important responsibilities that you will have is to carry auto insurance. There are several factors to take into consideration when you are looking for your next auto insurance policy.

Liability Requirements

When you are looking for your next auto insurance policy, one important factor that you need to consider is whether you have compliance with the state liability requirements. In this state, you will be required to carry a minimum level of property damage and bodily injury liability coverage at all times. If you do not have this level of coverage, you could be cited by law enforcement and possibly lose your driving privileges.

Additional Coverage 

While it is not necessarily required by law, most drivers would also benefit by getting additional collision and comprehensive coverage. The basic liability insurance requirements will not provide you with any coverage for your vehicle. The additional collision and comprehensive insurance that you can receive could provide you with this coverage if your vehicle is damaged, stolen, are you suffer another type of loss to your car.

Whenever you are looking for a new auto insurance policy in the Kingwood, WV area, it would be a good idea to reach out to Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia to start the process. The professionals at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia are very knowledgeable when it comes to auto insurance and the needs of its customers. They can help you get into a great policy that will give you proper coverage and peace of mind.