The trick to choosing the most suitable auto insurer is to be open-minded about your options. Otherwise, you could just go for a name you recognize and ignore the rest. You need to keep in mind that each of them, small or large, has their strengths and weaknesses. What really matters is your opinion at the end. You need to gather sufficient information to form an opinion and below tips on how to choose the best car insurance company will help you assess the choices.
- Shop Around
You can find out a lot by searching a little online. However, there are too many of them to go through and therefore, you could bring the number to manageable few by shopping around for prices first. You need to make sure that the choices will be within budget. No good finding the perfect insurer and realizing that it is too expensive for you.
You can get instant quotes using comparison websites like this one. Once you have the quotes you can afford and the coverage you are happy with you have a list of companies to look deeper. This approach works pretty well for people who want the cheapest and most reliable automobile insurance carrier. If you have no money concerns you will have a few more choices.
- Ask Around
Nothing is better that real experience people had with a particular one. It is a good sign if friends, extended family members and colleagues can vouch for theirs. Nonetheless, you should ask them why they think it is any good. Sometimes, people may feel comfortable because they have been with them for a long time. But they may not actually have a real experience in which it came through for them and paid up.
- Check for Online Reviews
There are many online communities and websites that offer reviews about almost anything today. You could search for reviews on the ones you are considering quickly. Mind that there may be one or two bad reviews about every one on earth. Someone somewhere wouldn’t like them. You need to look at the ratio of glowing reviews to bad ones.
- Read through J.D. Power Consumer Satisfaction Ratings
J.D. Power and Associates publishes customer satisfaction studies every year. You can read the 2014 US Vehicle Ins. Industry Study. Here are the best vehicle insurance carriers based on customer satisfaction and listed according to 11 regions in the US. This and similar other studies carried out by independent experts and websites can be very helpful to read. They rank them according to data they receive from policyholders and come up with an easy to understand index.
- Try to Find Reviews from Professionals like Lawyers
They should know because they always deal with companies that are not willing to pay unless they are forced to do so. The last thing you want following a claim is to go to war with them. That is why reviews like this one can be a real help to determine at least who to avoid. Alternatively, you can check for news stories that are covering the court battles.
- Ask an Independent Broker
If you have a broker already you should ask his/her opinion. They should know who is the best for financial strength, claim payments and customer service. If you are confused after doing some searches you can always talk to a broker. But make sure that you are talking to a licensed and independent one rather than an agent who is tied to one name.
- Check the State’s Department of Ins. Website
These websites are great and reliable source of information. They readily publish the complaint ratios for each licensed provider. They publish the ratio that tells you how many complaints each has received for 1,000 claims made. This is a more reliable data as you are looking at how well they have done across the state. Don’t forget to check attorney general’s website for any regulatory actions taken against a particular one.
- Check Financial Stability
Every state runs an Insurance Safety Net program that collects funds to pay for the claims in case of bankruptcies. However, it would be hugely stressful if they went bankrupt just as you submitted a big claim. Even though this is a low chance you can confirm their stability online. Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best are the two firms which evaluate the financial health and publish their findings. They try to estimate the ability of each meeting their obligations. Here are the top car insurance carriers based on one of J.D. Power and Associates study. You should keep in mind that they may not assess smaller ones as they only look at the ones above certain size. You can read further on comparison based on size by following the link.
- Ask Auto Body Shops
You see that many auto body shops are complaining about how little they are paid for repairs and how difficult it is to do a good job with those prices. You can actually ask them if they are having a problem with a particular company asking them to carry out the repairs as cheaply as possible. You want to avoid the ones that will care less about how good the automobile is repaired but care more about their bottom line. They cannot be the most suitable auto insurer for you.
10. Judge them by their Cover
Finally, you need to make sure that the policy you arrange has good coverage. Considerate and confident companies try to squeeze as much into their policy packages that they will shine in a good comparison with alternative options. On the other hand, some may have too many conditions you need to be aware. Those may be cheaper but only good if you know what you are buying and can meet all the conditions.
Also, you should make sure that you have every protection you need. If you need help in choosing find out how does coverage work? A comprehensive policy is likely to include almost everything you can think of and some more. And some basic ones may require you to buy several additional extras that increase the base premium. When you total them up you may realize a policy that was cheaper earlier is much more expensive now.
It is time to test if any of these tips on how to choose an ideal automobile insurance provider will help you. Start with getting a few quotes and take it from there. Sometimes, the process can be very quick, especially if the earlier quotes are reasonably priced and come from some of the most trusted names in the industry.