How to Choose a Reliable Car Insurance Company
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:
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
- Billing and Payment
- Contacting the Insurer
Taking the time to check these two resources will help minimize frustrations down the road and it's well worth your time.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid