5 Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Insurance Company
5 Secrets to Choosing the right auto insurance carrier for you and your family.
One of the worst decisions that you can make is choosing the wrong car insurance company. It could be the difference between a $500 deductible and finding out that there is not any coverage due to the policy not covering permissive use (coverage for drivers not listed on the policy). There are many factors to consider when choosing an insurance company.
Check out these tips below to help you navigate that insurance space and find the best fit for you and your family.
Tip #1 - Check the ratings of the company with A.M. Best and/or J.D. Power
Financial strength, reputation, and reliability are key components when choosing an insurance company. If a company is not financially strong, there can be concerns if a catastrophic event occurs and they do not have enough financial backing to indemnify their policyholders. A.M. Best and J.D. Power are reputable unbiased sources that track and display the financial strength as well as reputation of insurance companies.
Tip #2 - Check the Coverage offerings
Each company specializes and offers different coverage offerings in the form of endorsements that can be added to your policy. While the foundational pieces can be similar with regards to liability limits, physical damage deductible options and uninsured motorist offerings, the endorsements that a company offers is where the focus needs to be. Do you have young drivers in your home? If so, you may want to look at a company that has teen safe driver options that allows you to monitor and help train children to be better defensive drivers. Another great one is accident forgiveness. If you are worried about rates increasing due to an accident, you may want to select a company that offers accident forgiveness where you are allowed one accident and/or violation to be forgiven.
"Comparison shopping websites are really just lead generation services...you have to shop individually with different insurers [by] calling them all." – Clark Howard
Tip #3 - Consider your most recent claims experience
The main reason for purchasing auto insurance should be to mitigate financial loss and/or criminal charges in the event of an accident. Consider your most recent claims experience. What did you like...what did you wish was different? Were there any coverages that you found out that you did not have while the adjuster was managing the claim? In hindsight, would you have been glad to pay for that coverage had you been aware that it existed? Emergency road service and rental car reimbursements are great examples of these. If your claims experience was not ideal, it may be beneficial to look at some other options so that you are prepared if/when your next claim occurs.
Tip #4 - How accessible is the customer service of the company
Different people handle their business in different ways. Some people are very hands off while others like to know what is going on and plan for what's to come. As Insuretech companies make their way into the industry and automation takes over, how you like to handle your business is important to identify. Some companies will call, text, and email when there is an issue. Other companies will send an email and/or postal mail. Are you okay with calling a 1-800 number or do you prefer an agent/broker office that you are familiar with. It is all about preference.
Tip #5 - Consider the options the company offers when rates change
All insurance companies have different offerings that they can utilize at renewal to help alleviate the burden of a rate change. Exploration of discounts and coverage adjustments are some of the most common items when it comes to an insurance review. Some companies do look at insurance score pricing as well. Some companies can rerun your insurance score which can help with better rates. Additionally, the length of time that violations and accidents appear on your report vary from company to company. Some companies review history for the last 3 years while some account for the last 5 years. This can mean higher rates for an additional 2 years depending on the company that you choose.
While shopping for auto insurance might seem intimidating, the good news is that there are a lot of companies and they are all special in their own way. Additionally, in the state of Georgia, all insurance companies and any licensed agents are regulated by the Insurance Commissioner. This helps to keep a standard of offerings and fairness in pricing and eligibility. Having a licensed broker in your corner can be the answer to not becoming overwhelmed with the shopping process. If you would like the help of a licensed broker, click HERE for a quote or contact our office at 770-755-1775. Feel free to also leave a comment on our post. We would love to hear from you!