How to Choose an Auto Insurance Policy

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Price is a major concern for most people searching for auto insurance
  • Customer service is also an important consideration
  • It’s a good idea to check out independent rating agencies reviews before making a final decision

When choosing an auto insurance company, the goal is to see past the gimmicks to the real information that will help you make this important decision.

By doing a little research, and knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to find a company you can feel confident about.

If you watch any television or surf the Internet, you probably see ads for auto insurance companies every day. Some of them use cute, talking animals or perky sales girls.

Some rely on catchy, rhyming jingles. Still, others try to gain your business through deep-voiced, trustworthy-looking actor

To compare online auto insurance rates based on fact and figures, not just cute mascots, enter your zip code above!

Price

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This is most likely going to be one of your main concerns when purchasing auto insurance.

Depending on the type of vehicle you have, your age, and several other factors insurance companies use to calculate rates, you may end up spending quite a bit on auto coverage.

Even though they use basically the same calculation factors, rates can vary greatly from company to company.

In some states, the Department of Insurance publishes a guide that lists average rates for each part of the state. Use this guide to get an idea of how much auto insurance costs where you live.

Also, check insurance company websites for information. When you have the list of potential insurers narrowed down to three or four, call for detailed quotes specific to you and your situation.

Licensing

It may surprise you to know that not all auto insurance companies are licensed in every state.

Although you may see a television ad for a company, it may be because the ad is broadcast on a cable channel that reaches a wider audience than a local network affiliate.

When researching rates, check the company websites for a list of states where they are licensed to make sure their services are available to you.

You may also be able to get this information from your state’s Department of Insurance.

You can also call the company and ask them whether they’re licensed to issue policies in your state.

Service

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This can be tough to gauge before you actually become a policyholder. You can’t know how your insurance company will perform in the event of an accident before it happens.

There are a couple of ways to determine whether a company provides good customer service.

First, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any of the insurance companies licensed in your state have complaints against them.

It’s not uncommon for any business to have a few complaints.

But if the number is high, and the complaints all seem to be about the same issues, that’s a red flag.

Also, talk to family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Ask them which insurance companies they’re with and whether they’ve been satisfied with the service they’ve received.

Finally, when you do call for an auto insurance quote, take note of whether the customer service representative is polite, helpful, and knowledgeable.

That phone call can be an indication of what kind of service to expect as a policyholder.

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Financial Stability

The reason you buy auto insurance is to be reimbursed for damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, and other potential financial losses that can result from an accident.

No matter how broad the coverage of your policy, it won’t do you any good if the company you choose isn’t solvent. There is no substitute for a little homework in this area.

Check the financial news and use ratings established by independent rating agencies to determine which companies are the most financially stable.

Peace of Mind

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After you’ve gathered all the data, the statistics, and the feedback from raters and people you trust, the final question to ask is, do you feel comfortable with the company you’ve chosen?

If you talked to an agent, either on the phone or in person, did you get a good feeling from them? Were they direct and honest? Did they answer your questions and provide you with the information you needed?

Accidents don’t just happen during business hours. Will the company be there for you anytime you need them?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you’ve found the insurance company that’s right for you. If you haven’t found one yet, keep looking.

Use the FREE rates tool below and your zip code to compare online auto insurance quotes now!

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

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