Monday, January 28, 2008

How to Choose an Auto Insurance Company

Look through the things you should think over while choosing an auto insurance company.

The right choice of auto insurance company is very important. You will deal with it if you have any accidents or damages of your car; and coverage levels are essential as well as its services. There are a lot of things you should bear in mind, when selecting an insurance company:

1. Before you purchase your auto insurance, consider whether you want to buy through a "direct" insurer, an agent, a broker, or a group plan.
Agents and direct insurers represent one insurance company and offer only the products of that company. A broker deals with a limited number of insurance companies and can offer their products. A group plan may be serviced either by an agent or a broker system. Group plans may be offered through work, alumni, or other group affiliations.

2. Provided services
It is not advisable to do business with an insurance company or its agents who can’t answer your questions or handle your claims not efficiently and quickly enough. You can check a national claims database and your state insurance department to see what complaint information on a company exists. You should compare complaints with the number of sold policies. You can also talk to other customers who have used this insurance company. Make sure that your auto insurance company will be easy to get to if you have a question.

3. License availability
Each state has its own laws and licensing conditions. And not every insurance company meets its requirements. You should deal with a company licensed to operate in your state. Only under such circumstances your state insurance department will be able to help you if there are any problems. The state insurance department can give you the list of licensed auto insurance companies.

4. Available coverage levels
Make sure that the chosen insurance company is able to meet your requirements and offer necessary coverages.

5. Rates
Auto insurance rates vary from company to company. It will be worthwhile to get at least three quotes on identical levels of coverage and service from different types of insurance companies and agents. Usually state insurance departments also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers.

6. Financial responsibility
You need an auto insurance company to protect yourself against material losses when you have an accident. And your material well-being depends on your insurer’s financial solidity. That’s why choose a company that is active for many years. You may check insurer’s financial responsibility through independent rating companies and by consulting consumer magazines.