Where to Buy Car Insurance
Buying car insurance can be a major undertaking so you should be prepared with these helpful tips that will help you look in the right places and identify the signs that a company is right for you.
To start your search for an insurance organization, check the website for the insurance department in your state. These websites will have a listing of all insurance companies licensed to do business within a particular state and will often have a complaint rating for each company. This rating will give you a good idea of how often consumers complain when claims are processed. If your state insurance department does not list complaint ratios, check the websites for other states that do. A company that receives a high ratio of complaints in more than one state is probably one to avoid.
People who deal with insurance companies on a regular basis can give you good information about how claims are handled. Collision repair shops and rental car companies do business with insurance companies every day and they will be able to comment on the professionalism and efficiency of claims handling at various insurance companies. Call a few and look for consistent statements from each regarding particular carriers as one shop may have a bad experience with a particular insurance co. while another may have had good experience with the same company.
The financial strength of an insurance company is a good way to car insurance companies as well. You can do this by checking the A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s ratings, which provide financial information, and ratings of car insurance companies. You will obviously be looking for higher rated companies.
A.M. Best’s ratings are expressed as a letter, with A++ being the highest rating and D being the lowest. Ratings of E, F, and S indicate regulatory action, liquidation or suspensions so stay away from any company with those ratings. Ratings of B+ or higher are recommended.
Standard and Poor’s ratings are also expressed as letters, with the highest being A A A and the lowest being CC. An R rating means the company is under regulatory supervision and NR means, “not rated”. Stay away from anything lower than a BBB rating.
Working to find a car insurance company can be made easier by simply finding an insurance agent who can recommend an insurance co. for you. Some agents are called captive agencies. This kind of agency sells insurance for only one insurance company and they are actually employees of that company. An independent agency sells policies for several different companies and can often provide a broader range of choices.
The prospect of shopping for car insurance is not something that most people look forward to, but a little research now may save you headaches in the future. If you have ever had a bad claims experience in the past, you may already know that the time and effort is worthwhile, especially if you are considering an insurance purchase online. The information you gather while following the steps outlined above will help you in your Internet search.
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