How to Choose the Best Car Insurance Company
It can be hard to find the right place from which to get your car insurance. But with this guide, you’ll learn how you can choose the best provider. It will take you through the steps so the process is a lot easier for you.
Locate the Best Coverage
You want to make sure that you’re gathering information about and getting quotes for car insurance from a lot of insurers so that you can know what you’re looking for. You want to start out by figuring out the kind of coverage you’ll need so you can compare it with different carriers.
The main automobile insurance types of coverage include personal injury, collision and comprehensive, liability, uninsured/underinsured, and medical payments. It’s important for you to understand what each term means so that you don’t leave off an important item when shopping.
It’s also very important that you understand the minimum coverage amount that you’ll need according to your home state. This information can be found online.
After you know the minimums required by your state and the kind of coverage that will meet your needs, you want to research the kinds of insurers that can give you the coverage that you need.
Choose the Best Provider
There’s three main insurer types; brokers, direct providers, and captive agents. A broker will represent more than one insurance company and direct providers sell the insurance directly by phone or online. Captive agents represent a single insurance company exclusively. There are advantages to each kind of provider.
There are people who would rather work with a broker since they don’t have any biased interest in one company over another. They will be able to pinpoint the best policy and insurer based on individual needs. They also are able to work as consultants and they’ll help you with choosing a carrier and switching if there is a problem.
There’s a lot of direct providers available today. They work through the Internet, over the phone or even by mail. A huge advantage of a direct provider is they’re usually less expensive since the middleman is cut out, like a broker or an agent. There are direct providers who have price quotes that are convenient, customer service 24/7, versatile options for payment, well-rounded policies, and affordable rates. You should learn a lot about a direct provider since they’re all different.
There are people who would rather work with captive agents. These are people who will know your personal information and can recommend certain policies based on your needs. These are people who want to make sure you’re satisfied, not just because of their company they’re representing, but also because of the service that they are providing to you.
Now that you know the three types of providers that you can choose from, below are some more tips to help you find the right one.
Any provider has to be licensed by their state. To give you added assurance, make sure that you’re purchasing from someone who is licensed by checking the insurance department in your state by phone or online.
Check for Financial Stability
Discovering the company’s financial stability is very important and will help you know if they’re going to be able to pay you if you have an accident or have to make any type of claim. That’s why it’s so important to research the ratings of the financial strength of a provider at websites of those companies like Fitch, Moody’s, or A.M. Best. Even though the majority of the main companies are going to be safe bets, you want to research the companies that aren’t as well known or smaller.
Check Ratios of Consumer Complaints
This is another thing that the insurance department in your state can help with. A lot of websites will publish the ratios of consumer complaints when it comes to state insurance providers. The ratio will tell you the amount of complaints the provider has received per 1,000 claims that were filed by the policy holders. You should also look at the complaint ratio in the other states too. To give yourself extra protection, look for the companies that have low complaint ratios in more than one state.
Compare Rates for Auto Insurance
Now is when you want to compare the rates. Start by getting quotes for insurance online. This can be done by submitting the information on websites which publish prices for a few providers or you can just use your top 3-5 companies and then request a quote from their websites. Remember that there are some companies that offer instant quotes while other companies will get back to you with a quote. There are others who are going to connect you with an agent who’s going to give you the rate.
Once you have the prices, call the companies that you haven’t heard from yet. Make sure that you ask them for written proof of the quote they give you over the phone. There are some companies that can charge you more based on where you live, your credit score and other factors, so keep that in mind as well.
It’s good to go to the state’s insurance department website since a lot of them will publish the information for pricing for the major carriers. Another thing that can affect the price is the vehicle you are driving.
Lastly, remember that even if a company is offering a huge discount, they may not be a good choice when it comes to insurance since they may take forever to pay or have bad customer service. When you’re looking for car insurance, think about the final cost once the discounts were calculated. Don’t just think that you should choose the one that has the lowest rates. You may regret it in the end when you have to make a claim and no one returns your call.
FREE INSURANCE REVIEW
WhitCo Insurance agents provide this free service just for you. Meet with our agents in person or connect online to review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs. If you would like us to explain your insurance policies in plain English, give us a call at 866-298-7608.
We hope you will benefit from our web site and can take advantage of our insurance experience in Punta Gorda and North Port, Florida.