RealCarTips Logo

How to Choose a Reliable Car Insurance Company

The best way to save money on car insurance is to comparison shop the rates. You will find wildly varying rates for the same exact coverage.

But don't make the mistake of automatically buying the cheapest policy.

You need to make sure the insurance company is going to be reliable if you actually get into an accident and need to file a claim.

There's nothing more frustrating than having to deal with an insurance company that refuses to pay for your damages.

It's much better to spend some time researching up front rather than trying to fight the company after a claim is made.

Here are two things to look for when choosing a reliable insurance company:

1. Check Their Consumer Complaint Ratios

Each state has a department of insurance (Directory of Each State's Department of Insurance) and many of them publish "consumer complaint ratios" for all insurance companies that do business in their state.

The ratio reveals how many complaints an insurance company received per 1,000 claims.

This may be the most important thing to check before buying a policy. Here's an example taken from the California Department of Insurance:

Car Insurance Complaint Ratios

2. Check J.D. Power Ratings of Auto Insurance Providers

Each year, J.D. Power releases an auto insurance satisfaction ranking.

Their Auto Insurance Provider Ratings is a great resource to see which companies provide the best satisfaction to consumers.

Each insurance company is rated in:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Policy Offerings
  • Pricing
  • Billing and Payment
  • Contacting the Insurer
It's a good idea to check this list and make sure the insurance company you go with is rated well.

Taking the time to check these two resources will help minimize frustrations down the road and it's well worth your time.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

Got a Question About This Article?
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
Enter Your Email Below

(Absolutely NO SPAM, easy to unsubscribe)
×