A common prerequisite for buying insurance is always to compare insurance quotes. But how many of us follow this advice?
Choosing an insurance company can be challenging, complex, and filled with coverage that's difficult to understand. The reality is that "winging it" when buying insurance for your car, home, wherever seems like the best option when you don't know where to begin.
But that's the wrong step to take; insurance varies from person to person. While premiums play a role and you'll learn more from experience, it can be helpful to compare insurance companies for quotes, premiums, coverage, and more.
So, how do you compare insurance companies?
With so many great insurance companies out there, we thought it would be great to showcase some of the top ones to help you pick what’s best for you.
Here are 3 of factors to look at when comparing insurance companies.
How to Compare Insurance Companies
All sorts of factors are used to determine the cost of insurance premiums. For example, car insurance is calculated based on zip code, type of car, its safety rating, your driving record, and more.
Here is a look at car insurance comparisons for someone living in San Diego with a 2017 Honda Accord:
|Century National||$30 per month||
|California Capital||$39 per month||
|Mercury Insurance||$43 per month||
One insurance company might look at the safety rating of the car more heavily while another insurance company is going to depend more heavily on your driving record. This is why so many people have different insurance rates. And, why it's a good idea to review your insurance policy on an annual basis so you can be sure you're getting the best possible deal.
Here's a look at car insurance comparisons for someone living in San Diego with a 2017 Honda Accord that had a speeding violation in the last 5 years:
|Insurance Company||Cost||Cost Difference|
|$35 per month||+$5.00 per month|
|California Capital||$47 per month||+$8.00 per month|
|Mercury Insurance||$54 per month||+$11.00 per month|
While price is typically the number one deciding factor, you also want to consider the financial stability of an insurance company. Some companies are more stable than others. If you choose to go with a group that is not as stable, you could experience higher rates because they are trying to make up for their instability.
A.M. Best, Fitch, and other sites can be used to determine the financial strength of an insurance company. Those known to be unstable have longer claim times. They are also more likely to reject claims that other insurance companies would accept. They reject the claims to avoid paying, thus helping with their overall stability.
Knowing about the overall finances and price factors will help you determine whether you want to go with one company over another.
Not all insurance companies have the same level of customer service, the same training programs, or even the same vision statement. As such, the reviews from past customers are going to speak volumes as to what you can expect from an insurance company. It would be great if they all have five stars from their customers, showing that they are an absolute delight. However, this is not the case.
Here is a look at reviews from the insurance companies we mentioned above:
|Century National||1.5 stars||NR|
|California Capital||2.5 stars||A+|
|Mercury Insurance||1.5 stars||A+|
As you get quotes from multiple insurance companies, it's beneficial to look through the reviews to see what past customers have to say. If everyone raves about the company and has positive things to say about customer service, claim acceptance times, and more, you can anticipate a similar experience.
If, though, you read a lot of negative comments, you can anticipate poor customer service and problems with the claims process. When you take the time to do your research, you can avoid such things. It's one of the ways insurance companies are not alike.
Not all insurance companies are going to give you a fantastic experience, so it's best to turn to the reviews so you can protect yourself before signing up for a policy.
What the insurance company offers customers will vary, too. Many companies are going to have a USP or unique selling point. Their USP might be an app, a dedicated customer service agent, free products or services, or something else that sets them apart from the competition.
You need to know what insurance companies offer so you can pick and choose from amongst them. When you're shopping for car insurance, for example, you might be able to file claims online and even obtain roadside assistance. However, this is not going to be available for all insurance companies.
There will always be instances when you need insurance. Quotes are obtainable from every company out there. You don't want to choose the cheapest quote and be done with it. You might not have the level of coverage you truly need to be protected. You might also be unhappy with the overall experience that you get with the insurance company.
Choose the Best Insurance Company for You
In the end, the insurance companies vary quite a bit. It's why getting quotes from multiple companies is critical. As opposed to choosing the most affordable company, do the research. Often, it's better to pay a little more knowing you're getting a financially stable company with a wide array of offerings. It will lead to a better overall experience with insurance.