Opting for one of the most affordable car insurance companies may seem like an easy way to save money. However, you might regret not considering other crucial aspects, such as their claim payment track record. Although companies may appear similar, they possess distinct operational strengths, financial stability, customer ratings, claim handling satisfaction, size, service levels, reach, discounts, and rates. Moreover, each driver has a unique combination of driving history, claim record, budget, vehicle, listed drivers, and zip code, which directly influence insurance prices. Consequently, it’s essential to identify an insurer that evaluates your specific circumstances favorably and provides the desired level of comfort.
Additionally, individuals react differently to the same information, often making independent policy decisions influenced by personal and political views, background, education, and various other factors. Nevertheless, there are common factors to consider when selecting a vehicle insurance company that suits your requirements:
- Assess your risk profile: Knowing how risky your profile is allows you to set realistic expectations. This can help you find a company, which is best suited for your type of an applicant. For instance, if you have a newly licensed teenage driver and another one on the way, you anticipate facing higher rates due to teen drivers in your household for the next few years. Hence, your priority would be finding an automobile insurance company offering the best rates for families with young drivers. Understand your risk profile and strengths to identify the insurer that can best serve you.
- Conduct thorough comparison shopping: At this stage, focus solely on obtaining several car insurance quotes. Use comparison websites, directly approach insurers, or contact local agents. Cast a wide net and gather quotes from even the companies you may not initially favor.
- Compare coverage and other options: Have a quick look at the quotes to make sure one isn’t inferior than others and eliminate it if it is. Also, this is your chance to check if each company is offering a particular discount or payment method you are after.
- Create a shortlist: Based on your findings, establish a shortlist. Include companies that fall within your budget, and exclude those that exceed it, regardless of personal preference. Aim to have at least three companies remaining on your shortlist to enhance the likelihood of finding the best value car insurance company for your specific circumstances.
- Consider last-minute savings opportunities: There may be additional discounts available based on how you purchase and pay for your policy, which can significantly impact your decision-making process. Therefore, inquire with each company on your shortlist regarding any last-minute savings opportunities, such as paying in full, early purchase, online transactions, switching policies, or opting for paperless communication.
- Consider communication preferences: If you prefer managing your automobile insurance policy through apps on your phone and enjoy a tech-savvy approach, you might seek a company that offers 24/7 policy access via their website or app. Conversely, if you enjoy exploring options but ultimately prefer purchasing from a local agent, you should consider companies with a robust agency network.
- Check financial stability: Investigate the financial stability of each insurance company in your final selection. Independent rating agencies like A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, or Moody’s can provide insights into their financial strength and ability to meet claim obligations.
- Assess customer service: Research the customer service reputation of each insurance provider. Look for reviews or feedback from existing customers to gauge their responsiveness, ease of communication, and overall satisfaction.
- Check their reputation for claim handling: Not every vehicle insurance company is equal when it comes to treating their customers and dealing with their claims. Utilize online resources, customer reviews, and ratings to gather information. Look to identify a company in your list that is known and reported to have easier claim processes and quicker settlements.
- Make a decision: The more car insurers made this far the better. That means you have several great companies to choose from. It’s even better if you already have a clear favorite based on your assessments.
Making a shortlist of companies after checking their prices reduces the amount of research and checking you need. If you start the research first, you get bogged down quickly because there are at least 100 auto insurance companies in most states.