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5 Tips for Finding Auto Insurance Reviews and Ratings

Tips for Finding Auto Insurance Reviews and RatingsCar insurance is an important topic, though not enough people put in the research that they should when choosing a provider. Utilizing ratings and reviews can help you in your search for coverage, and the following five tips will maximize your efforts.

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Many drivers are only concerned about how much insurance coverage will cost them. Yet price is not the only important factor when choosing an insurance provider. Ratings and reviews will help you to find out about the reputations and current standings of those insurance providers in which you are interested.

Interestingly enough, choosing a reliable provider can actually save you money in the long run. A dependable insurer will pay your claims in a timely fashion without attempts to offer a lower settlement. You will also likely benefit from great customer service during the claims process and at other times, which can be almost priceless.

A cheap, unreliable provider may offer rock-bottom prices, but you run the risk of paying dearly for it during the claims process. An unhelpful, inconsistent, and unsupportive insurer will cost you stress and money.

Using Reviews and Ratings

There are many options for reviews and ratings of insurance companies available, but most people are unsure on how to proceed with the information. The simple for Finding Auto Insurance Reviews and Ratingspart is finding the reviews; the hard part is using them as part of your overall search for an insurance provider.

The best route to follow is to use ratings and reviews to evaluate insurance companies as part of a vetting process. You can get quotes for coverage, and then choose a handful of likely coverage providers from the list of those that supplied rate quotes. Then, use reviews concerning topics such as customer service and the ease of the claims process, along with financial ratings, to find the insurer that has the most to offer.

Once you have your list of potential insurers, look up each one using the following five tips. If an insurance company fails miserably in any one area, then cross that insurer off of your list. Similarly, if a provider has low reviews or ratings in two or more areas, then you should also remove that insurer from the list of prospective providers.

Using this method, you should end up with one or two insurance companies that have a decent price for coverage as well as a host of other positive attributes. You will find an insurance company that offers good customer service, is financially strong, and will be there for you as promised.

Tip #1: Utilize Your State’s Insurance Department

Your first stop should always be your state’s department of insurance website; some states place their insurance information with the financial services department website or the consumer affairs section. Generally, doing a search with your state’s name plus the term “insurance department” will return the needed search results.

Every state allows consumers to look up those insurance companies that are licensed to do business in your state.

It is always best to do business with a provider in your state so that your department of insurance can assist you if you have complaints or issues that you need help resolving.

Most states also offer information about the licensed insurance companies in the state beyond the address of the headquarters and the license number. Many list financial data, any corrective actions taken by the state or federal government, and customer complaint information. For instance, the New York State Department of Financial Services ranks each provider every year based on the number of complaints the department received about the insurer.Finding Auto Insurance Reviews and Ratings

You can use such information to see a company’s time in business, its parent holding companies, and the extent of its annual revenues, as well as which insurance provider seems to generate a large amount of complaints. Generally, you can also view any sanctions or fines imposed by a governing body.

Obviously, you will want to steer clear of any providers that have a high complaint rate or that have many fines or penalties for unlawful activities. You should also be on the lookout for an insurer that has been in business for a number of years, as experience is invaluable in the insurance industry.

Tip #2: Ask the Experts

Another source for information to rate an insurance provider is the Consumer Information Source, or CIS, offered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This search tool allows users to find any licensed insurance company in the U.S. You can then view financial and complaint information.

5 Tips for Finding Auto Insurance Reviews and When starting a search, remember that some insurance companies will be listed under different names or even their parent company’s heading. For instance, you could search for GEICO or Government Employees Insurance Company. Also, auto insurance providers are listed under the property business type.

Your search will return information about licensing; including in which states the insurer is licensed to do business and the amount of premiums written in that state. You can also find financial reports and download other financial data.

Lastly, you can also get reports concerning complaint data organized in a number of different ways. You can create a complaint report by state or by the subject matter of the complaint, and even a report that reveals trends in customer complaints!

This is important information, as you can view where an insurance company is weak.

For instance, if a complaint report show trends concerning settlement payouts taking too long, perhaps you should cross that insurance provider off of your list.

Look for a provider that has a low rate of complaints; there won’t be any companies without any complaints, as the nature of the business will leave some people unsatisfied with the results of a claim.

You also might want to look for an insurer that is licensed in many states, as it gives you options if you want to move, and spreads the risk out among many customers. For instance, a high amount of claims from hurricane damage in Florida can be absorbed thanks to the low claims due to a mild winter in the Northeast.

Tip #3: Use Independent Ratings

5 Tips for Finding Auto Insurance Reviews Your next step in your vetting process is to look at independent ratings. It is important to find ratings that are compiled by reliable sources that have no connection with the industry or a particular provider. Such sources can deliver accurate, unbiased assessments of insurance companies.

Good sources for independent ratings include the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power and Associates, and Consumer Reports. Each ratings company has its own process for generating ratings, and each has been tested by time and opinion.

For instance, the Better Business Bureau bases ratings on several factors, such as the length of time in business and the truthfulness of an insurers’ advertising campaign; they also utilize information regarding customer complaint resolution.

On the other hand, J.D. Power uses customer responses to surveys, and Consumer Reports relies on undercover experiences akin to mystery shoppers.

Using such ratings, you can get an overall picture of an insurance company’s reputation when it comes to customer service, claims, and communication, just to name a few. Any providers that score poorly in these areas should probably be crossed off your list.

Tip #4: Rely on Ratings Organizations

Your next stop is financial ratings organizations. Now that you know that your potential insurance providers have their customers’ interests as the most important consideration, you also need to be assured that the financial aspects of the company are healthy and thriving. Unfortunately, insurance companies go bankrupt all the time, and you do not want your hard-earned dollars going to a provider that is on the brink of collaps5 Tips for Finding Auto Insurance e.

Ratings organizations look at a company’s fiscal data–such as assets, total premiums, and the amount of risk the insurer is assuming–to make an assessment on the economic health of the company.

Ratings organizations such as Standard and Poor’s, A.M. Best, and Fitch Ratings are all designated as reliable sources for such information by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Ratings organizations also rate the banking sector, companies in the business sector, and even the financial standing of governments and countries.

Ratings are generally given as an alphabetical assessment. Each organization has its own detailed ratings within that scope, but “A” is the highest rating, “B” is lower, and so forth. Most ratings organizations consider any company below a “B” rating to be using risky business techniques. For instance, the insurer may be taking on too much risk or not putting enough back into the company coffers.

Stay away from insurance companies with low financial ratings. You pay your insurance premium to ensure that someone will be there for you in the event of an accident or other loss.

The whole purpose of insurance is worthless if your provider can’t pay your claim because they are in liquidation due to bankruptcy.

Tip #5: Do an Internet Search

Now that you have put your possible insurance companies through the ringer, you likely only have two or three companies left from which you will choose. Do one last search online, searching for the insurer’s name, plus ratings or reviews.

Browse your results for a few minutes. Are you getting results such as articles that emphasize the latest community service event hosted by the insurer, or are you getting results of entire Web pages dedicated to defaming the provider? Such a search gives you just a quick snapshot, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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