First auto insurance policy was sold in 1897 in the United States of America. Since then, a few companies have grown to be insurance conglomerates. It is fair to say that there is no shortage of risk underwriters wherever you are in the country. Most people would know quite a few of these firms as they provide various types of policies for businesses, homes, motorcycles, life and health and regularly advertise on prime time TV. Here are several different types of auto insurance companies;
1. Typical Car Insurance Companies vs. Specialist Insurers
Most of these carriers would provide cheap full coverage car insurance policies to satisfy the needs of vast number of motorists as well as offering liability only auto insurance. If you are looking for a typical coverage and you are an average driver you will have no problem finding several affordable car insurance quotes. When things about drivers, circumstances, the automobile and claims history gets complicated you may need to look for specialist firms. You may need to look a little bit longer but you can get almost any types of risks under custom policies. For example, there are several specialist classic or performance car insurers as well as a few specialist high risk driver insurers.
2. Insurers with Large Agency Networks vs. Direct Insurers
Auto insurance companies use various networks to sell their products. Few of them may like to see their applicants coming direct, but most of them use number of channels. Some may have extensive network of tied agents all around the country while one or two may prefer dealing with applicants directly. Almost all of them have their own websites to offer quotes. In addition, there are number of good vehicle insurance comparison sites. They may offer several advantages like finding most of the carriers in your area in one place. Besides, some comparison websites like this one facilitates direct auto insurance quotes.
3. Online Only Auto Insurance Carriers vs. Agency Based Insurers
There are a few car insurance companies in the US that uses their own agency network. And a few insurers use widespread network of independent insurance brokers. Some small insurers can sell policies to large numbers of people thanks to their good relations with independent brokers. Also, there are several auto insurance companies that operate mainly online. They are usually cheaper than traditional insurers due to their low overheads.
4. Nationwide Vehicle Insurance Companies vs. Regional Insurers
The insurance laws, regulations and participants change in every state. Companies need to be licensed in every state separately to accept risks. A few top car insurance companies operate nationally while some small local insurers do pretty well too, like regional farm bureaus. Naturally, local insurers would understand their clientele better and they may even have several offices in the area to deal with them face to face.
Still, at least one hundred firms operate in your zip code. This provides sufficient competition in the market and plenty choices to go to. Every state runs a safety net to protect policyholders from bankrupt insurers. Every one of them contributes to the funds in order to qualify for the licence. This safety nets offer a degree of confidence in the market and its operators.
5. Why Are Car Insurance Quotes So Different between Companies?
Naturally every one of them will have a unique method of premium calculation. They will have proprietary risk criteria to judge every applicant with. In a way, you will need to find a company that is favoring a driver similar to you so that you can get the best deals. Hence, you should not take the first offer you find. You should explore your options thoroughly before making a decision. Here, you can quickly learn how to shop for car insurance online.
Two top car insurers can offer completely different quotations for various reasons. So, consumers should not assume the rates to be similar across companies. Some companies can offer great premiums because they are enjoying efficiencies of modern technology like online quotes, policy issuance and claim handling. And they may like to pass the savings onto their customers while other firms are trailing behind with the innovations.
If not at each renewal at least every few years you should get alternative quotes from other providers even though you may be happy with the current firm. A lot changes in the market over the years. A new firm may start operating in your region and aggressively seeking for new customers. Or a top insurer may be enjoying success and going for market dominance with great prices and packages. It is always worth checking it out.