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Who are the best car insurance companies? This is one of the most common questions drivers have when shopping for car insurance but the answer is equivalent to asking what the best type of shoes are. Every driver has their own preferences for choosing a car insurance company including price, customer service options, company reputation and more. The good news is there are over 100 licensed car insurance companies in most states leaving you with a very healthy and competitive market to select a provider from.
Choosing a car insurance company is also about trust. For many good drivers the actual cost of car insurance doesn’t vary a whole lot between providers but the value of having a provider who is known to be there in the event of an accident is priceless. This is one of the main reasons car insurance companies compete fiercely for your business as many drivers often spend 10 years or more with the same company.
What should I look for in a car insurance company?
Although cost is certainly an important factor in choosing a car insurance company the actual price of your policy premiums should be your very last consideration. Many companies advertise cheap car insurance quotes which seem very attractive on the service but these policies often come with the bare minimum coverage and as a responsible driver you really need a full coverage car insurance policy for the strongest financial protection – not just enough coverage to avoid a fine. What you should look for in a car insurance company entails a number of things outside of the cost of car insurance including:
- Company Reputation
- Industry Ratings
- Personal Recommendations
- Customer Service Hours
- Account Management Options
- Claims Handling Process
You also need to learn about car insurance and choose a policy that represents the coverage you need at a price within your budget. This means understanding the different types of insurance, how deductibles work and what your policy coverage limits are.
Do all car insurance companies have the same customer service?
No. Absolutely Not. Many smaller car insurance companies are only open from 9 to 5 while even some bigger ones have limited hours on the weekend. Others have no local agents and prefer to do all their business exclusively online. You need to balance how important customer service is to you when selecting a provider and make sure that the insurance company you choose is available when you need them most. Car accidents happen more frequently on weeknights and weekends so choosing a car insurance company that’s only open from 9 to 5 can cause serious frustration in the event of an accident.
Ask around for personal recommendations about car insurance companies and try to find people who have filed a claim since the claims handling division is often entirely separate from the customer support team. Also browse online forums and look at customer service polls taken by independent companies (like JD Powers and Associates) which rate car insurance company customer service departments.
Should I choose the car insurance company with the highest financial ratings?
There is a lot of discussion about this and for most people financial ratings have no impact on your life. These ratings have the most effect on investors and institutions who provide financing and invest in insurance companies. The insurance industry is heavily regulated and unless the financial ratings of a particular insurance company are very poor these ratings really have little impact on most drivers. However if an insurance company has poor ratings it’s probably a wise decision to choose another provider who has decent ratings. Companies like A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s provide financial ratings and are a great source of measuring a car insurance company’s financial strength.
What else should I consider?
Finding the best car insurance company involves a basic understanding of car insurance, choosing a policy within your budget and selecting a provider you can trust. Other than that it really comes down to a gut decision you have to make on which car insurance company to choose. There many quality car insurance providers but you only need one so take your time, compare car insurance quotes and ultimately choose a provider who you feel comfortable with.
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