Car Insurance is a lot like a marriage

Before you commit, know what you’re getting into!  

With more than 3,000 auto insurers in the United States, how do you choose the one that best suits your needs? Here are four questions to help guide you through the decision process. 

Is the company trusted by people I trust?

The best recommendations come from professionals who know their industry and know their products. In the case of auto insurance, you can count on the advice of your local, independent insurance agent or broker. He or she can evaluate your needs and point you to the companies that fit your budget and requirements. 

Agents and brokers can tell you which companies are the best when it comes to:

  • Issuing policies accurately
  • Filing documents 
  • Paying claims fairly and promptly
 

Will the company be there when I need it?

At its heart, an insurance policy is a promise to pay a claim if necessary. The promise, and therefore the policy, is completely worthless if the company is no longer in business when you have a claim. This is why rating agencies and smart insurance buyers pay very close attention to the financial stability of insurance companies. 

A.M. Best is the most well-known rating agency in the United States focused on insurance companies. Companies rated “A” or better by A.M. Best are considered to have “Excellent” financial stability and are likely to stay in good financial shape. These companies will be around when you need them. 

Be sure to ask your insurance agent or broker if the company that you are considering is rated “A” or better by A.M. Best. 

Does the company focus on the kind of insurance I need?

It’s easy for companies to get pulled into selling dozens of different kinds of insurance policies. While some companies provide just auto insurance and some just auto and home insurance or business insurance, others insure everything from cars, motorcycles and boats to mobile homes, houses and businesses. 

Just like heart patients are best served by a heart specialist rather than a general practitioner, insurance consumers are best served by agents and brokers who understand particular types of insurance. Specialty insurance providers can really focus on the needs of their customers and make sure they receive the best possible protection and service. 

Is the company a leader in its field?

Just as it is important to find a company that specializes, it is important to find a company that is a leader. Companies that provide a good value and a good product usually rise to the top in any industry, including insurance. Your insurance agent or broker can tell you if the company you are considering is one of the top five out of the hundreds of carriers that provide the type of insurance you need. 

A top-tier company is most likely to have the best mix of products, price, service and availability to meet your needs. 

Posted 12:29 AM  View Comments

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