Selecting An Auto Insurance Company: Important Things you need to know
Shopping for auto insurance is a lot easier in the present day and age, thanks to the power of the internet and the convenience it offers when researching auto insurance companies. The law mandates that you retain adequate insurance coverage on any vehicle that you operate. With a wide assortment of providers that you can choose from, you will want to spend some time conducting ample due diligence before choosing the one that will cover you. Make sure you utilize the suggestions offered here to know that you are going with a quality auto insurance company that you can rely on well into the future.
Visit the Department of Insurance for Your State Online
Each state has different laws that are in place that insurance companies must adhere to. Each state will have a Department of Insurance that you can review registered companies and agents on. This is a great place to begin the investigation process. Using a simple online search, you will be able to quickly find the website for the Department of Insurance in your state.
Make sure you visit this website to review any insurance agent or company that you plan on dealing with before you actually deal with them. This is an important first step in the research process because the Department of Insurance will verify that the company or agent you are interested in using is properly licensed, verified and in good standing with the state.
Review Auto Insurance Company Ratings from J.D. Power and Associates
Another fabulous and free online tool that you can use is the J.D. Power and Associates Insurance Studies. This online portal connects you to in-depth guides, consumer studies, consumer reviews (called Power Circle Rankings) and more. This lets you know what other consumers thought, and what the actual J.D. Power and Associates ranking is for any auto insurance company that you are considering. It’s an easy way to find out more about a provider, and to learn what experience you can expect before you contract them for coverage.
Research the Financial Strength of Auto Insurance Companies You Like
You will want to know what the financial strength of the auto insurance company is before you get into a contract with them. This is important because you don’t want to have to worry about the company going out of business or denying claims due to lack of financial clout.
Make sure you research the financial rating and strength outside of the insurer’s website where they will tell you their ratings happily, but where they are likely to spotlight the highest rating they have been given in order to appear more appealing.
Three good tools here include: Moody’s, Fitch and S&P. Be sure to research how these companies issue their ratings so that you are not confused. For example, the A+ rating from S&P and Fitch actually is just their fifth highest rating, not their best. Entities like Moody’s do not even use an A+ rating.
Compare Recommendations of Auto Insurance Companies from Body Shops
Another way to go about reviewing an auto insurance company is to contact several body shops in your area and find out who they recommend. This step will tell you what you can expect should your vehicle ever have to be repaired following a collision. Since auto body shops primarily deal with insurance claims, they will be happy to let you know which company is the easiest to deal with. Knowing this can help you better decide what company you want covering you.
Auto Insurance Shopping Tips
Before you start shopping for auto insurance, make sure you also utilize a few of the parting tips offered here:
1. Understand your coverage limits, and make sure you get adequate coverage for your vehicle. Minimum state coverage will not go very far, but adequate comprehensive and collision will cost you a bit more for the added peace of mind.
2. Compare premiums being offered with several insurance companies using online tools that let you request and compare quotes for free.
3. Consider adding vehicle gap coverage to your premium which will cover the difference in price between what your car is worth and what you owe, should it ever be totaled.
4. Check your medical insurance annual deduction and apply medical payments to your premium that covers this, should you ever have to be admitted to the hospital following an accident.
5. Ensure that you have adequate property damage coverage in place to cover any potential damage that could result in property from an accident.
6. Double check any potential discounts that could apply to you and compare them between all providers that you are considering.
7. Look into bundling insurance between vehicles and your home for added discounts.