Shopping for the best car insurance? Sure, price is certainly an
important factor to consider. But what else should you keep in mind as
you shop? Take a moment to review three small steps that will insure
you are getting both the cheapest and the best car insurance.
1. Start by shopping for multiple car insurance quotes. While this
step used to involve hours on the phone while you shopped local agents,
you can now use an internet-based quote provider to supply fast
multiple insurance quotes from major national insurance companies. (One
such company is mentioned at the end of this article.)
2. Once you have your car insurance quotes in hand, it is time to
research the business reputation of the companies you are considering.
The best way to do this is by visiting the website for the department
of insurance in your state. Most departments have websites and many
will publish the consumer complaint ratios for all of the insurance
companies that sell insurance in your state. This ratio tells you how
many complaints have been received by a car insurance company for each
1,000 claims filed.
If your state doesn’t publish a complaint ratio, try checking
nearby states to see if they publish this information. While an
insurance company may have varying practices in different states,
checking its reputation in neighboring states will give you a feel for
the general reputation of the company. If they are getting a lot of
complaints in other states, there is a good chance you can expect the
same customer service in your own state.
3. You aren’t finished yet -- now it is time to consider the
financial strength of the insurance companies you are considering. As
recent economic events have shown, even the largest companies may have
weak financial fundamentals. The best way to research the financial
strength of a company is to check its ratings at A.M. Best and Standard
& Poor. These two companies publish financial ratings for all of
the insurance companies. Why is this important to you? Because the
financial strength of the insurance company will determine its ability
to pay out claims. Which is the only reason you buy car insurance in
the first place!
A.M. Best will rate each company with a letter grade from A++ (the
highest) to E. An F means the company is in liquidation and S means it
has been suspended. You are only interested in companies with at least
a B+ rating.
Standard & Poor rates companies from AAA (the highest) to CC.
Avoid any company with a rating of R (under regulatory supervision) or
NR (not rated). Consider only those companies with at least a BBB
Yes, it is a little extra time and effort to research the customer
service and financial ratings of the car insurance companies you are
considering. But all of the research can be done on your computer in
less than an hour. In the end, you can relax, knowing that you found
not only the cheapest car insurance, but truly the best car insurance.
For more tips on finding the best car insurance, please visit the website recommended below.
About The Author
Barb Dearing is a writer specializing in
topics that help consumers save money. She recommends the following
website for free car insurance quotes.