How Do I Choose an Auto Insurer?

Everyone that owns and operates a motor vehicle needs coverage. There are so many auto insurance companies out there today and all of them claim to have the best rates and the best service. With so many choices, how do you go about really finding out which company is right for you? A little investigation can go a long way in helping you select the best provider, saving you money and headaches in the future. If you need your auto insurance to work for you and provide coverage in the event of an accident, then choosing an auto insurance company is about more than just finding the cheapest rate. If you are in the market for a policy, it is wise to gather information about the potential insurers you are considering. Some of the information you will want can be obtained easily online, for example, though it is not the only consideration, you are going to want to get some quotes from providers. For most insurers this can be done by filing out a form online. In addition to rate quotes consider the following information:

  • How are they rated by J.D. Power or A.M. Best? Ideally you would like to be insured by a company with a Superior rating.
  • Are there any official complaints to be concerned about? Since auto insurance is a regulated industry, your state government department of insurance will keep information about any consumer complaints filed with them. This information is available on their websites, or perhaps upon request via phone call. Be wary of insurers with numerous complaints.
  • What do online consumer reviews have to say? See what is being said. Reviews are helpful as they often provide a history and status for the insurance company as well as offering information about their services.
  • What do the mechanics say? Head down to your local auto body and repair and ask them about their working relationship with various providers and who they feel is the best. This will give you idea of how smoothly things will go with a company if repairs become necessary after an accident
  • What other services do they offer? If a company offers multiple types of coverage, chances are they offer bundled services with lower rates. Even if they only offer auto insurance be sure to inquire about other discounts, such as safe driver and multiple vehicle discounts.
  • Will they be around to pay your claim? Always examine an insurer's financial situation. You can find this out through multiple sources, sometimes from reviews or the companies own website, otherwise financial news and information websites may provide what you need. In any case, you will want to make sure they are going to be sticking around and can afford to pay their customers claims.