Trying to find a new insurance company can feel overwhelming. It’s often difficult to make a decision when you’re faced with dozens of options. But you definitely need to make a decision. The last thing you want is to need insurance and not have it. To make your search easier, here are 6 ways to find the best insurance company for your needs.
1. Referrals from friends, family, and co-workers are possibly the best place to start.
Insurance companies are good at marketing. You hear advertisements on the radio, watch commercials on television, and see ads in magazines.
Marketing is intended to influence your decision, and it might cloud your judgment. You want to choose the best overall insurer, not the one with the best marketing department.
Friends, family, and co-workers can give you an honest opinion. Ask about the experiences with various insurance companies. Is there one company that several people recommend? Is there a company that several people suggest you avoid? Listen to what they say, and consider the information as you’re doing further research.
2. Research a company to learn about its reputation and history.
Referrals are a good place to start, but additional research is required. But this isn’t as tedious as it sounds. If the insurance company has a website, can check there first.
You’ll want to answer several questions for each company you research. Some questions to ask include:
– How long has the company been in business? You might want an insurance company that has a long and reputable reputation. Or you might prefer to take a chance on a newer company that’s just getting started.
– Is the company financially stable? Businesses go bankrupt all the time. And the same thing can happen to an insurance company. Get financial information on any insurance company by checking its financial ratings.
AM Best offers information on the financial stability of various insurers. The company currently has ratings on 3,500 insurance companies in 90 different countries. The ratings provided by AM Best can help you research an insurer’s financial strength, ability to pay claims, and creditworthiness.
– What do current and former policyholders say about the insurer? You can search online to learn what people have to say about a specific insurer. People share their opinions and experiences via blogs, videos, forums, and other forms of social media. If you read more bad than good about an insurer, then you might want to strike them off your list.
3. Check for the coverage you need.
Not all insurance companies offer the same policies. For example, one insurer might sell earthquake insurance to pay for damages sustained during an earthquake. But another insurer in the same state might not offer earthquake coverage. You’ll have to find an insurer that offers policies that fit your business or personal needs.
4. Consider your budget.
You obviously want insurance coverage that you can afford. But price alone isn’t the best way to judge an insurance company. You’ll discover several different price points across various insurers. The lowest price isn’t necessarily a good deal.
If a price is surprisingly low, ask yourself why. The lower cost might mean you’ll receive less coverage than what you need. So if you use the insurance, you’ll end up paying a higher out of pocket cost. A low price could also mean the insurer is new and hasn’t built a solid reputation.
5. See if the insurer has several methods of contact.
When you need to file a claim, you want to contact your insurer with no problem. The same is true for asking questions about your policy and paying premiums. Ideally, an insurer should have several ways to interact with policyholders.
Online bill pay, online claim reporting, and 24/7 customer service make it easier to connect with your insurer. You can also check to see if the insurer is active on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
6. Inquire about discounts.
Some insurers offer discounts for safe driving, bundling home and auto, and other perks. That doesn’t necessarily mean the company is right for you, but it’s something to consider.
Choose the Best Insurance Company for You
There’s isn’t an insurance company that’s the best for everyone. What’s best for you might not suit someone else. But if you use the tips mentioned here, you’ll have a good chance of finding the best insurer for your situation.