Avoiding Disaster: Choosing the Right Auto Insurance Company

A great deal is at stake when choosing an auto insurance
carrier. In addition to the financial considerations,
there are issues such as reliability, quality of service,
and integrity. Luckily, there are certain steps you can
Follow to ensure that you select an auto insurance company
that will meet your needs.

When choosing an insurance carrier, reputation carries a
great deal of weight. For instance, Allstate, Nationwide,
and State Farm are well-known companies that have managed
to hold onto some clients for years. For additional
guidance, you can consult your state's department of
insurance website. The website may offer consumer
complaint ratios which indicate exactly how many complaints
an auto insurance company has received for every 1,000
claims filed. This information can help you to better
evaluate companies so that you have some idea how their
customer service rates. You can then compare the list of
Companies with low complaint ratios with the list of
companies with low premiums and see if you can come up with
any matches. Those companies that combine stellar customer
service with low rates offer you the best deal for your

If for some reason you can not locate complaint ratios for
your state, try looking at the complaint ratios for other
states. While an insurance company's operations may vary
from state to state, if a company posts a high complaint
ratio in a number of states, you should consider that to be
a warning sign. It is best to simply cross off your list
any insurance company with consistently high complaint

Another technique you can use when evaluating insurance
carriers is to determine which insurers body shops in your
area recommend. Because body shop managers must deal with
a number of insurance adjusters, they can provide you with
an inside look at insurance companies. The managers will
know, for instance, which companies offer the most
convenient claims procedures. They'll also know which
companies are particularly slow in processing claims.

Another important source of information is JD Power and
Associates, which rates insurance companies in terms of
variety of coverage, rates, claims processes, and customer
service. In recent years, Amica and Erie have posted the
best rankings with JD Power. These two companies have
earned raves for finding ways to cover claims, when at all
possible. You might also want to consider an insurer's
financial strength by checking out ratings from AM Best
and Standard and Poor's. These ratings determine an
insurance company's ability to pay claims. Still, you
should be aware of the fact that most well-known carriers
are considered to be financially sound.

Finally, you may choose your insurance company based upon
the professionalism of an individual agent. Since you will
have to work closely with your agent, it is important to
find one that you can trust. You may consider consulting
a relative or friend to find out the names of some
particularly efficient agents.

In the end, you may not find out just how responsive your
insurance company is – until you are faced with an accident.
However, if you conduct extensive research before selecting
an insurance company and agent … if you pay close attention
to complain ratios … and you ask plenty of questions,
chances are good you will find insurance coverage you will
be happy with.

Source by Andy McWilliams

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