UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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In most cities, there are more choices for your automotive insurance needs than you might realize. And the only way to make sure you are choosing the right company is to compare auto insurance quotes from several insurers before you make a final decision. Big brand names might get all the attention, but did you know that there are hundreds of smaller, local insurance companies too?
Every driver on the road today has unique insurance needs, and your provider needs to be able to cater to those needs accordingly. After all, someone driving an older, used sedan isn't going to need the same coverage as someone with a brand new Porsche. And shopping around online is the quickest and most reliable way to find the insurance company that you and your vehicle need.
So you've done some comparison shopping (hopefully here with us at AutoInsuranceEZ.com!) and you've found two or more insurance companies with similar quotes. So how do you know which company to choose?
In order to make the best decision, you have to look beyond price and choose your provider based on other factors. And these top five car insurance comparison factors which will help you in your search:
- Financial Strength You want your vehicle insurance to be there for you when the worst happens. But what if your insurance company isn't financially solvent? What will happen to you if they go under? A good place to look is A.M. Best Company, a third-party which can tell you if your vehicle insurance provider is rated Excellent or Superior. Anything less, and you might have trouble collecting on a claim.
- Customer Service Is your insurance company easy to deal with? How easy is the claims process? Are their customers happy with this provider's service? It's important to find a company who appreciates their customers and treats them with respect.
- Coverage and Payment Options Do you have the option to choose between a full-coverage insurance plan, or a liability only policy? Do you need special coverage due to a DUI or a poor credit score? Will your provider be flexible if you need some extra time to make your payment? What about extras, like phone aps and electronic Proof of Insurance (As opposed to printing it out every 6 months)? These are all factors to consider while you shop.
- Personal References If you're torn between a few different companies, ask for word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. If you are younger and/or tech-savvy, you might also want to check their social media presence on Facebook or Twitter. You can never get too much feedback on what real people are saying about the company you're looking at.
- Other Customer Reviews Independent websites such as ConsumerReports.org, JDPower.com, and FreeAdvice.com host customer satisfaction reviews about various car insurance companies. These can give you valuable insight. If the insurer you're looking into is local, try your state department or even the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They'll have data on consumer complaints filed against those specific insurance companies, if any complaints exist. Compare auto insurance rates and see how much you can save.
One reason to compare quotes among companies is if you are unhappy with your current provider. Whether you had a bad experience with them, or your insurance needs have changed in a way that your current insurer cannot meet, it never hurts to see what else might be available. And since not all insurance companies are big enough to operate in every state, you'll definitely want to look at the advantages that smaller, local companies can provide.
But be careful not to switch providers too frequently. For starters, this could lead to gaps in coverage which will dramatically raise your rates (or prevent you from getting coverage with certain companies in the first place). Secondly, insurance companies want to get your business and keep it. So if you have a history of switching providers often, they might consider you too risky and refuse your business if they doubt you'll stick around for very long.
If the problems with your provider aren't that severe, consider staying with them and reaping the benefits of customer loyalty. After enough time, you may be eligible for certain discounts.