Purchasing auto insurance can seem like a simple task to many people. While basic policies are fairly standard, the real test is at claims time. Consumers can face several unexpected problems and inconveniences when they do not research the services of their insurance company and policy before making a purchase.

Car slammed into a telephone booth


Here are several important things to consider before buying your policy:

* It certainly pays to shop around and compare policies in terms of coverage, as the range of coverage, deductible amounts and coverage limits may differ from company to company.
It is wise to ask what is offered in terms of services, particularly when it comes to filing a claim. For example, RBC Insurance offers its clients a valet service in larger cities.

* Ask the insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover. Situations that are not covered are called “exclusions” and every policy has them listed. Ask the provider to explain the exclusions before you buy the policy.

* Be aware of what the law requires you to purchase in terms of coverage. There are normally minimums. You may also want to ask about the company’s non-renewal practices if you were to have an at-fault claim or under what circumstances your insurance would not be renewed.

* Make sure the insurance company, broker, or agent will be easy to reach for enquiries or to file a claim. Claims services at many companies, such as RBC Insurance, are available 24/7.

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For more information about purchasing auto insurance, one place to visit is www.rbcinsurance.com/online or call 1-800-Royal-26. — Credits to www.newscanada.com.

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