What are the questions that I should be asking while purchasing an auto insurance policy from a broker?


First of all you must find out if the broker or agent is a licensed person and get all the details if possible such as the license number and expiration date etc.  If the license has expired do not enter into any kind of transaction with that person as he will no longer be part of the company.

–          The name and address of the broker or agent must be mentioned (as it is on the license) on the temporary ID card on the new policy.

–          All charges that are non-premium related must be paid separately and you must insist on that.  Never pay the premium amount in cash and only pay through checks etc and always ensure that you get a breakdown of all the payments that you have made to the agent and ensure that it is duly signed by the agent and acknowledged.

  • Mention the purpose of the payment on the check always.
  • The application must be filled out very honestly.
  • An incomplete application must never be signed.
  • Never sign an application/document without reading it thoroughly.
  • Insist on getting a copy of the application or any other document that you would have signed.

Always remember that agents always collect their service fees.  The insured person must agree to give the service fee in writing and agree to the amount.  With NYAIP the agent’s fee is around $50.00 per annum and other actual costs such as electronic submission procedure, certified mail, express mail, DMV reports etc.

If you feel that the service fee is high or if it is unacceptable then go for another agent whose service fee sounds reasonable to you.  Go through all the fees thoroughly.  There might be some producers or agents who would offer towing as well as other services through motor clubs.  However most of these clubs provide their services at a higher cost and you could avail the services of the auto clubs at a lesser cost.  If you are already availing these services from another source, you might not require these services for the purpose of insurance alone.

If I have a complaint against the agent or the insurance company, what should I do?

A complaint can be filed through the online consumer complaint form.  Please note that the copy of the complaint will be sent to the person against whom you have complained.