How to Choose Auto Insurance

By Compuquotes Team on August 10th, 2009
Auto Insurance

Choosing auto insurance can be quite a daunting task, especially when consumers are subjected to almost hundreds of different companies claiming that they offer the best coverage, at the best rates. Although the task itself may be confusing and difficult for some consumers, it is an essential one, as the risk and costs are too high to go without auto insurance. Furthermore, it is even illegal to drive a car without coverage. The one and only way to choose auto insurance is to be an informed consumer, which means doing a little homework before signing up to any auto insurance plan.

The first thing you should do when shopping around for auto insurance is to visit your state's Department of Insurance website. This website will have all the rules and regulations regarding all types of insurance in your state. If you are looking into auto insurance, be sure to click the section of their website pertaining specifically to car insurance. On the Department of Insurance's website, you will be able to find insurance company rankings as well as consumer complaint ratios, which can be crucial to making the decision to go with one car insurer over another.

Another thing you should do when choosing auto insurance is to visit your local body shop or mechanic and see what insurance company they would recommend. This practice is not done by many people, most likely because they simply do not think of it. However, this can actually be one of the best and most efficient ways to identify the most reliable insurers in your area. The body shops and mechanics will have relevant recommendations since they deal with the insurance adjusters and companies on a regular basis, perhaps more than any other field. They will know which companies have the smoothest procedures and are easiest to work with.

Before signing up with any auto insurance company, it is a very wise move to check the company's ratings. The most reliable source for consumers to check an auto insurance company's ratings is J.D. Power and Associates, which collects data from policyholders and rates the companies according to price, claims handling, coverage options, satisfaction with the company representatives, and the overall experience. In addition to consumer ratings, the financial strength ratings of any auto insurance company should also be checked. If a company is in financial duress, they may not be able to pay your claims, should you need to make any once you become a policyholder.

If you have done all your research but still having trouble choosing an auto insurance company, your best bet may be to actually speak with an insurance agent. Many companies allow consumers to purchase their policies directly, which has allowed many people to bypass the use of an agent. However, an agent is especially useful if you still have questions and concerns based on which auto insurance company to go with. For this purpose, you may want to seek out the help of an independent agent, who does not have a particular interest vested in one particular company.

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