Looking for the best car insurance can seem daunting at first, especially with so many providers available, all competing for your attention. While finding insurance that fits your budget is important, you also want to look for other important indications of a quality car insurance provider.
One of the most important things you should look at is the overall customer satisfaction ratings and the reviews of the company in question. If the company has a high customer satisfaction rate, it likely has all the other qualities on this list as well.
To find customer satisfaction ratings, search the company and “review” or “reputation.” Or look at third-party sources that gather industry data, including satisfaction ratings, like JD Powers and Associates and Consumer Reports. You may also want to check the Better Business Bureau for ratings, complaints, and certification.
As you read customer feedback and third-party reviews, pay attention to the other qualities on this list. Importantly, read both positive and negative reviews. If someone had an issue with the insurance company, did the provider resolve it promptly and to the customer’s satisfaction? The occasional error happens, so the crucial thing is how the provider reacts. You should specifically search for the insurer and “complaints” to confirm that there are only minor issues.
When you get auto insurance, you are counting on the company to be there to provide coverage when you need it. This means that your insurance company needs to be financially stable and have a good system in place.
The best way to tell this is to look for companies that have been around for a while. Yes, some newer insurers may be great, but you know you can count on ones that have been around for decades. That is especially true if they have maintained excellent reviews and ratings during that time.
Look at the longevity of a company as a sign that it is likely to be around for years to come. This will save you the hassle of scrambling to get new insurance or dealing with potential delays.
While you don’t want to have to interact with your auto insurance company, you should expect the need to arise at some point. When you get in an accident and need to file a claim or have another issue, you want to make sure you can reach an agent or customer service representative in a timely manner and in the way you prefer.
The best auto insurance providers will offer customer service over the phone and online. It should be available 24/7, as you never know when you will be in an accident or need assistance. For example, maybe your coverage includes roadside assistance, and you need a tow in the middle of the night on a holiday.
While offering customer service via email and online chat are great options, the best companies will also offer phone support. This tends to be the fastest option and the one that works best in an emergency.
Before signing up, chat with the customer service team to confirm that they are friendly and knowledgeable. This is also a good time to confirm that they are willing to answer your questions. For example, you could ask about specific terms or deductibles. If the representatives can’t clearly answer your questions, especially those about policy types, limits, premiums, and deductibles, this may indicate you should choose a different insurer.
Of course, you also want to pay attention to the claims processing of the insurance company. After all, that is the main reason that you are getting auto insurance. The most important factors here are efficiency and accuracy.
Large companies tend to have streamlined claims processing, with the ability to complete most, if not the entire process online. Many even have mobile applications, so you can complete the claim on your smartphone right after the accident.
Quick claims processing is crucial, as it ensures that you can get your car repaired fast without having to worry about it being covered. You also won’t be concerned about waiting around for payment or having to pay for it upfront and be reimbursed.
The bottom line is that faster claims processing puts you back behind the wheel of your new car more quickly.
Make sure that the claims processing is fast and accurate. For example, if reviews report having to resubmit claims frequently inaccurately entering information, take this as a warning sign.
The best auto insurance companies will not just do the minimum to get your car running again. Instead, they will focus on providing you with quality repairs that last and don’t require repeat attention.
For example, quality insurance companies will insist that all approved repair facilities use new parts or OEM parts. They will never use substandard parts.
That dedication to quality repairs should apply no matter where you are. You want to be able to choose from several garages, dealers, and body shops in your area and across the country. After all, you never know if your car will break down when you are on a road trip on the other side of the country.