How to Choose a Car Insurance Company

The way a car insurance company treats you and deals with you when you file a claim determines how reliable it is.

A trustworthy company will not delay in paying the full insurance claim amount when it is due. Here are some steps you can take to find out how reliable a particular insurance company is:

Visit the web site of the state's insurance department. Every state has a department of insurance. The web sites publish a “consumer complaint ratio” for all insurance companies in the state. From that ratio, you can determine the number of complaints a particular company has received for every thousand claims filed.

A lot of consumers use these ratios to narrow down the choice of insurers. A company that has a big name may not necessarily have the smallest ratio. If you are unable to find a consumer complaint ratio in your state, then you can go through the lists of other states. But, keep in mind that a company's practices differ significantly in different states. However, you can look for general trends such as number of complaints filed against the company in other states.

Tips to Help you Select the Right Insurance Company:

1. Contact your local body shop:It is one of the best ways to find out about reliable insurance companies. Since the body shop managers regularly interact with insurance adjusters, they know a lot about the claims process involved with companies. With their unique perspectives, they can make good recommendations.

2. Check the Power Ratings: Some private marketing research firms collect data from policyholders and compile it as per price, coverage options, handling of claims and overall satisfaction of the customer. These firms usually publish a yearly survey of car insurance companies. A visit to such a consumer center can give you a clear idea about the leaders of the insurance market.

3. Find out about the insurers' financial strength ratings: Go through the ratings given by government and private agencies before making a final decision.

4. Work with an agent: If you are still confused about which car insurance company to approach, then you should visit an auto insurance agent. Having an independent agent or broker is advantageous as they work towards keeping you happy.

If you are going to a well known car insurance company then going through the list is just a formality but if you are considering an unfamiliar, smaller firm then going through the above list is a good idea.

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