Investigating Car Insurance Ratings Can Mean Big Savings
Taking the time to see how your car insurance company stacks up to the competition can mean a big difference to your wallet!
Many people are not aware that car insurance ratings are available for the public to view on various providers. These ratings illustrate how companies compare on key issues such as price, service, customer service, and more. What many people are also not aware of, is that by taking some time to research this information you may be able to save a good deal of money.
So, how do you find this information, and how do you use it to your advantage? These simple tips can help get you started.
A great place to start tracking down car insurance ratings is to contact your state’s department of insurance.
Learn which insurance companies have the best rates:
Most states have this information online, for easy access any time of the day. Here you can find consumer complaint “ratios” for all of the companies that provide policies in your particular state. This information shows for every one thousand claims filed, how many complaints consumers had.
The state insurance department site typically also provides surveys on rate comparisons that can provide consumers with a basic idea of which insurance companies will offer the lowest rates for the services needed, without having to go through individual quote requests.
Next, you can find car insurance ratings from sources such as J.D. Power and Associates who actually compile data from various policy holders all over the country and sorts it into categories such as price, customer service, general experience, handling of claims, and coverage options. This can provide you with quick access as to how all of the major insurance companies stack up in exactly the same review categories.
You can also take a look at Standard and Poor’s ratings, or A.M. Best ratings. Both of these companies look at the strength of a company from a financial standpoint, which is a great way to measure the company’s ability to pay out a claim. A.M. Best rates the company’s strength by using a grading system ranging from A++ to D, while Standard and Poor uses a AAA to CC rating system.
If after all of this, you are still looking for a way to compare car insurance ratings, you may want to contact an insurance agent for more information. Years ago, insurance agents were the only way car insurance could be purchased, however with the dawn of the internet age, more and more people purchase policies directly from the company, and skip right over the agent. That being said, even if you did purchase a policy online, it is fairly common that you will still be assigned a local field agent. This agent can be an independent agent, also known as a broker, who represents several different companies and does not have a specific loyalty to one company; or a captive agent who only represents one particular insurer.
Agents, especially independent agents, can be a valuable tool to utilize because he or she can get to know you, your coverage needs, you financial situation, and then guide you toward policies that are the most suitable. You can further compare the information you receive from your agent to your own research conducted online to ensure you are truly getting the policy you need, at the most reasonable price.
Be advised, when shopping for insurance, independent agents will sometimes charge fees for their services. You should be advised of this prior to purchasing any policy, and you may be able to negotiate a lower fee, or have the fee waived completely. If you do decide to use an agent to compare car insurance ratings and find a policy, always use a certified agent.
Taking the time to sit down and go through all of this information may seem a bit overwhelming. However, in the long run, you will find that the potential savings you incur are well worth the extra bit of effort.