A: When you apply for an insurance policy, you will be asked a number of questions. For example, the agent might ask you your name, age, gender, address, etc. In addition, you will be asked a number of other questions which will be used to determine an appropriate policy type and premium. Insurers will want to know about your driving history, what type of vehicles you own, and how much and how often you usually drive. When applying for a homeowners policy you will be asked about the age of the home, updates you have made, and features that may pose an increased risk such as a pool, trampoline, or business on the premises.
A: By using an agent to purchase insurance, the policyholder receives more personal service. An agent with whom there is direct contact can be vital when purchasing a product and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. A local, independent agent is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and local personalized service.
A: Nearly all insurers use data commonly referred to as an “Insurance Score” to help them accurately price their policies. Research has shown a very reliable correlation between certain elements found in an applicant’s credit history and the likelihood of experiencing claims. An Insurance Score is generated by accessing publicly available information on a consumer’s credit history such as late payments, bankruptcy, and collection notices. These reports are accessed as a “soft” credit hit, much in the same manner as credit card companies do when deciding whether to send you mailings and other offers for credit, and do not negatively impact your credit score.
An Insurance Score is not a FICO® score and is not an exact equivalent to a Credit Score. Most insurers have their own proprietary manner in which they evaluate Insurance Scores but in general, paying bills on time and avoiding collections and defaults will result in a better insurance score and a discounted rate while having a history of late payments and judgments will result in a more negative score and potentially higher rate. Each insurer we work with has their own disclosure process whereby applicants can receive a copy of the data that was accessed by the insurer in order to verify its accuracy.
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