14 September 2009

6 Important Things to Look for in an Auto Insurance Company

In order to find the best auto insurance company, you need to look for an auto insurance company that has the best price for your desired coverage; find one that offers discounts; search for a company whose coverage fits your needs; look for one that has good customer service; seek out an auto insurance company that is financially stable; and find one that is licensed to operate in your area.

With the competing auto insurance companies in the market today, you find it difficult to look for a company that will suit your needs best.  Whether you have a new or an old vehicle, here are the most important things to look for in an auto insurance company.

Look for an auto insurance company that has the best price for your desired coverage

The main concern of every customer is always to find the most affordable auto insurance rates.  Ask for price quotations from as many auto insurance companies as possible to widen your options. You may also contact your state insurance department for auto insurance rates in your area.  When asking for quotations, give all the information you have as to your driving records, the make of your vehicle, and other very important information that affect insurance prices.

Find one that offers discounts

With the heavy competition in the industry, many auto insurance companies offer discounts along with certain conditions.  Find a company that gives you special discounts for less  risky driving conditions.  Examples include lower rates for those vehicles with anti-theft devices, for those drivers who never had a ticket, and those drivers who have not been involved in an accident for many years of driving.

Search for a company whose coverage fits your needs

Look for a company that offers you the most important auto insurance coverage.  These are the comprehensive auto insurance which are responsible for paying for loss or damages incurred from theft and other incidents aside from collision-related accidents. Collision insurance, on the other hand,  is responsible for vehicular damages caused by collision. Another one could be a limited medical insurance that pays for the medical expenses incurred by the insured driver and passenger/s who are hurt during the accident.

Moreover, you may decide to drop certain coverage or add, depending on your needs and most especially your budget.   If your car is quite outdated, you may consider dropping collision insurance, which can be very expensive in your case.

In examining collision or comprehensive coverage, make sure your insurance company replaces your parts that are from original equipment manufacturers or OEMs to make sure that your vehicle will be in better condition than using third-party parts.  There may also be instances when your car needs to be repaired for a week or more, so you need to make sure that your insurance company pays for your car rental or a similar amount, while your car is being repaired.

Look for one that has good customer service

An auto insurance company may be less expensive and has impressive insurance coverage, but is their service good enough when you need them?  Are they responsive to your needs?  Make sure that the insurance company is readily available and responsible when you need them.  They must be fair and consistent with their services, at the same time, they must be able to handle your claims as quickly as possible, without much hassle.  In other words, your auto insurance company must be reliable.  One way to find out about this is to search the Internet for customer feedback and reviews.  You can also inquire from your state’s Department of Insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Better yet, ask other drivers about their insurance companies.

Seek out an auto insurance company that is financially stable

What good is an insurance company if it cannot provide you with the claims that you need?  It is therefore a very important part of your search to look for an auto insurance company that is financially sound.  Always check for credit ratings before entering into a policy with a certain company.  Check out A.M. Best Company, as well as Fitch Ratings for helpful credit ratings.

Find one that is licensed to operate in your area

Finally, you need to make sure that your chosen insurance company is allowed to operate in your area.  Especially when researching over the Internet, you need to make sure of this license, so as to avoid hassles in claims and in other services, such as towing.  There are actually some auto insurance companies whose operations are limited to a certain state or a few neighboring states only.

An auto insurance company need not necessarily be difficult to find.  As long as you faithfully do your research, you are sure to find the company that will serve your needs best without leaving a big hole in your pocket.

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