How to Make a Smart Choice of Auto Insurance

by SCarney on ‎02-03-2016 10:13 AM - last edited on ‎03-02-2016 05:00 PM by Lithium Technologies (4,643 Views)

What should you look for when deciding what car insurance to buy?

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When it comes to car insurance, if you’re like most drivers, price matters. Forty-four percent of consumers said price is the most important thing they consider when shopping for policies, in a recent survey of industry trends.* While it’s tempting to simply pick the cheapest policy you can find, there are good reasons to consider other key factors. So as you’re comparing rates, also consider these attributes to find the best fit:

 

Financial Stability

The possibility of your insurance company going bankrupt is frightening, but it happens. Independent rating companies—including A.M. Best Co., Moody’s Investor Service Inc. and Standard & Poor’s—have websites that show insurers’ financial stability ratings. They use a scale that’s similar to the letter grades you got in school, ranging from A++ or AAA at the top down to F at the bottom. The closer an insurer is to the top of the scale, the more financially secure you can assume they are.

 

Quality of Service

Ask questions that relate to your specific insurance needs. The answers can indicate the level of insurance expertise and professionalism, both important traits of the company you’ll be relying on to protect your interests. If you’re working with an agent, it should be someone you feel comfortable with and who will make sure you’re getting the most from your insurance. He or she should conduct a thorough needs analysis, and let you know if you qualify for discounts—such as for multiple policies or the time you’ve gone without an accident.

 

Claims Process

Filing a claim is never enjoyable—but some companies make it easier than others. Go online to find customer-claims satisfaction scores for the companies you’re considering. Scores are compiled by leading, independent consumer reports organizations after surveying customers who have recently filed claims. Or, visit your state department of insurance website to find useful information like complaints ratios for different insurance companies.

 

*Source: comScore 2014 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report

 

For a review of your current auto insurance policy, stop by your AAA office or visit AAA.com/Insurance.

 

A version of this story appears in the March/April 2016 issue of AAA Living magazine.

 

Image credit/source: Blend Images/Alamy

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