How to choose the right insurance company

Your insurance policy is designed to protect your important assets, including your home and vehicle. While you may be able to determine how much coverage or the type of coverage you need with ease, selecting the right insurance company can be more difficult. The insurance company you choose has to be able to process claims and secure what is most important in your life. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right insurance company.

State licensing
Your search for an insurance company should start with your state’s web site for the department of insurance. You can find requirements for coverage limits to help educate your search. Some states also publish the ratio of complaints against insurance companies per 1,000 filed claims. This ratio can provide a base for starting your search by weeding out companies with high rates of complaints.

Independent agent
Throughout the process of choosing an insurance company, you will have to decide whether to go with an independent agent or not. For some large insurance companies, you can get lost in the crowd without ever knowing who your assigned agent is. If personal service and direct contact are important to you, an independent insurance agent may provide the customer service you are looking for. You can also find independent agents that work in partnership with insurance companies.

The history and reputation of an insurance agency should factor heavily into your decision. You can find a lot of information online, including how long the company has been in business, which states they provide coverage in, and the types of products they sell. The company’s website likely also details their mission and values as well as any community involvement. You can determine which aspects of a company are most important to you, and review those details online.

Financial strength
An insurance without the proper financial strength is unable to pay your claims in the event of a loss or accident. If you purchase an insurance policy, pay your premium, and keep up with policy due dates, you could still be left with considerable out of pocket costs if your insurance company has poor financial standings.

Searching for a financially stable insurance company is crucial to ensuring your claims are paid and your assets are protected. You can research insurance company ratings to determine which companies have the best history of paying claims.

Coverage options
When searching for an insurance company, you will also have to do your research to determine which types of coverage you need. You can easily eliminate some companies if they do not provide the coverage types or limits you need. Adequate insurance coverage is the only way to ensure your assets are protected in case of a loss.

While you should not shop for insurance policies by price alone, it is still a considerable factor. Keep in mind that lower prices can often result in less coverage or coverage from a less reputable insurance company. Your insurance policy has to be within your budget, but cutting corners on price can lead to more out of pocket expenses down the line.

Convenient service
Many insurance companies have introduced services designed to make your experience more convenient. From paying your bill and filing claims online to notification of policy changes and important updates, the ease of doing business with an insurance company can be a deciding factor. Decide which services are most important for you and search for a company that makes life a little easier.

Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can help you save on insurance premiums or rates. Search for discounts that you qualify for, including bundling options, anti-theft devices, clean driving records and more. You may also qualify for discounts if you belong to certain organizations or associations. You can narrow your search to companies that honor these discounts.

Never discount the value of referrals. If your friends or family members sing the praises of their insurance company, they are probably worth a look. You can also ask professionals for their opinion on insurance companies. For example, body shops often provide recommendations for car insurers because they know which companies have the best claims process.

Home warranty or home repair companies may also be able to provide similar recommendations for your homeowners insurance. If you are renting, your apartment complex or landlord can provide a list of preferred insurance companies. These referrals provide a great starting point for finding a solid insurance company.