Just turning on the TV and taking in the many commercials focusing on car insurance will present a myriad of options – whether it’s Flo at Progressive with her animated antics or the Allstate spokesman doing voiceovers for the youngsters speaking to their parents, auto insurance advertising has gotten more creative than ever. But with literally hundreds of insurance providers offering coverage in 51 insurance districts in America, the task of finding the best agency for one’s particular needs becomes a difficult one.
The key to discerning which company offers the right combination of services, price, and approach on an individual basis has to do with cutting through all of the “noise” and understanding some basic fundamentals – and that’s exactly what this article is going to focus on.
Ultimately, it is going to come down to researching policy benefits and perks, filed complaints, financial strength ratings, customer reviews/feedback and offered discounts in order to help land the right insurer for a particular situation.
Analyzing Online Customer Reviews of Agencies
When it comes to determining whether or not a particular car insurance agency is right for a shopper, it is logical to find out what customers think of them – even though ratings of insurance and financial analysts are important. Researching specific information, such as length of time for claim settlements, ease of filing claims and the process of reaching an agent or customer service rep, is a beneficial step to take because, ultimately, customer service is a prime measure for determining the best car insurance company.
Insurance Rate Comparisons
In general, it is not wise to choose the first auto insurance agency that’s found post-research; comparing rates from at least three to four agencies prior to making a final decision is the way to go while taking the time to review stats of both larger and smaller insurers. In the interest of time savings, there are online portals which allow the comparison of multiple car insurance quotes from some of the best brands instantly. In this case, information is entered only once and quotes can be compared side-by-side to determine the best price.
Financial Rating Confirmation
This is a step often overlooked by auto insurance shoppers, mainly because the phrase “financial rating” conjures up difficult-to-understand rhetoric, but in reality, car insurance providers are actually financial institutions themselves – so it is vital to be aware of their rating to understand how secure the agency is. Additionally, it is important to determine if the agency is overextending its operations or otherwise insuring more than it can afford to pay out.
To this end, two of the top financial rating groups include:
- A.M. Best (A particularly well-regarded institution, as it specifically rates insurance companies)
- Standard and Poor’s (Commonly referred to as “S and P”)
Insurance Department Website Check by State
Each U.S. state boasts an insurance department responsible for regulating auto insurers within that state, and their websites can be a valuable resource for information – information including complaint filings and licensing data. What’s more, many state insurance department websites make car insurance agencies’ insurance rate filings public; this means that visitors can see how often each insurance provider requests to raise its rates, as well as how often such requests are granted.
By taking the aforementioned steps – in no particular order – to find the best car insurance representative for a particular situation, it is possible to know exactly what to expect while experiencing contentment with regard to service.