Shopping for car insurance can be tedious and time consuming, but it can also save you hundreds of dollars if you know what to look for. First of all, no two insurance companies are the same. Some are not reputable or reliable. It is important to check the company’s AM Best rating before purchasing insurance from that company. A rating of “A” or higher will assure you that the company is reputable and financially stable. If not, there is a chance that your claims may not be paid properly, or that you will not be treated well. Also, check with the BBB to find out about the company’s track record. You want to look for a company that has an excellent rating with the BBB. It is also important to check the number of complaints made about that company. If there are more than a handful, that can be a major red flag. Keep an eye out for how the company handles the complaints it receives as well. If the customers were still unsatisfied after the insurance company dealt with their complaint, chances are they are not customer friendly.
When shopping for auto insurance, be sure to compare apples to apples. Decide on the coverage amounts and options you’d like to have, and compare those same options and amounts with the various companies to get an accurate comparison. When deciding on coverage amounts, you may want to speak to an insurance agent who you can trust to tell you what you need, and also what you don’t need in an insurance policy. The amount of liability insurance you need is related to your income and assets, so there is no such thing as one size fits all insurance coverage. It’s important to find out what your needs are so that your insurance policy protects your assets in the event of a liability claim being filed.
Also check the company’s claims process. Find out if they have a 24 hour claims department. Find out if they have a local claims office. If not, repairs will take longer in the event of an accident. Avoid insurance brokers, because they add on a hefty broker fee of anywhere from $75-$200 to your policy. Look for companies that provide a local agent or representative who will personally handle your claim. Check to see if the insurance company will allow repairs to be made at the facility of your choice, or if you will be forced to choose from their approved list of repair centers. Determine if you need to add towing or roadside assistance to your insurance policy, and also if you would need a rental car in the event of a claim. Some companies include these services in the price of the policy, and others charge an extra fee. Be sure that you know what the charges are before selecting a policy.
When it comes to paying your bill, some companies offer a discount for paying the whole term upfront. Some companies may offer discounts for being a good driver, having more than one car, or having another policy such as a homeowner’s policy with the same company. Be sure to find out about all the discounts available to you and which ones you may qualify for to ensure you are getting the best price possible. Discounts may also apply if you are employed by certain companies or have a profession such as a teacher, nurse, or law enforcement officer, so be sure to check with your insurance company for a complete list of discounts.
Once you have gathered quotes from several companies, take some time to compare your results. Carefully review the coverage, charges, claims procedures, company ratings, etc. After you have reviewed all of the information, you can make an educated choice and pick a company that will save you money and also be trustworthy.