It isn’t really hard to pick an insurance policy, what with all the help available on the internet, but what about choosing the right company? How can one ascertain that the company is reliable and legitimate? How will you know the way the insurance company treats its customers and handles claims? Read on to know what to keep in mind while going about choosing your auto insurance company.
Visit the website of the department of insurance of your particular state:
All states have their own individual department of insurance, even though many may not know about it. A ‘consumer complaint ratio’ is marked for each and every insurance company operating in the state, and this information is published on the website. Through this ratio, you will come to know every 1000 claims filed, how many complaints were received by the insurance company.
These complaint ratios must be compared thoroughly in order to filter prospective insurers. Big names don’t necessarily mean that the company is good, or that you’ll receive fantastic service.
But the first step, before visiting the website is to do your homework- get a list of the lowest quotes for premiums as well as the companies offering them. Keep in mind that the same coverage plan must be chosen while taking down all the quotes. Then, on the same list, write down the complaint ratios for each and every company that is listed. Now compare. The company having the lowest premium quote along with the lowest complaint ratio is the one you should go with.
Ask a body shop:
Ask trustworthy body shops situated in your locality about which insurer they would recommend. The reason to approach them is that they frequently come into contact with insurance adjusters, and so have good knowledge about the companies that process claims with the least hassle. They would also know which insurance companies push for aftermarket parts instead of genuine parts in order to cut costs.
Look at the financial strength rating of the insurer:
There are companies that publish ratings pertaining to financial strength for all insurance providers. These ratings will tell you just how capable a company is of paying a claim that it receives. Generally customers choose to go with big brand names when it comes to auto insurance, and this research may seem a thoughtless process. If you’re consulting an independent agent, then they too would very rarely recommend an auto insurance provider who isn’t well known. If you however have decided to choose a lesser known name in the insurance business, this research will be very fruitful for you.
Working with an auto insurance agent:
Earlier, every insurance policy that was purchased was bought via an insurance agent. However these days it is possible to buy an auto insurance policy directly on the internet or even over the phone. However, many companies still choose to keep representatives or agents. Contact one if you feel particularly confused, or you just don’t have the time to go through the entire procedure of screening companies. There are two types of agents- Captive and Independent. The former is a representative of one particular company and will try to sell you a policy from that company itself. The latter represents many different countries, and is also called a broker. He doesn’t really have vested interests when it comes to choosing a company. Work in tandem with the agent, and you will be able to come up with quick solutions.