Choosing an insurance company is not an easy task and it is something really important since your assets or even your health could be at stake.
When selecting which insurance company you will trust your security and that of your family members, it is important to consider aspects beyond whether the company is licensed in your state or not.
Why? Well, to begin with there are hundreds of companies out there and the market makes choosing one is somewhat complicated because of the extreme variety of existing offers -this without counting those that are fraud- for this reason, we wrote this blog to guide you step by step In the process of choosing the ideal insurance company for you, for your assets and your family.
Step 1 – Local Search
The first step to start is to make a list of the insurance companies that exist in your area.
To do this you have two options, you can go directly to your local directory and look for the companies under the label “insurers” or search for the companies through local directories such as the yellow pages, Yelp, or Yahoo! Local. -Additionally, we will be adding reviews and round-ups of insurance companies on our website, so do not hesitate to follow us to stay up-to-date.
Once this is done you will have the companies closest to you that are the ones that can respond better in case of emergencies.
Next, you will create a second list in which you will add to the national insurance companies, which you can find using search engines such as Google or even comparative sites like ours on the internet.
Note – to perform this search you only have to add the keywords to your search engine either car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, or Health Insurance based on the type of policy that you are looking for.
Step 2 – Filter
The second step we have in the list is to discard all those companies that do not have a web page or non-traditional systems for contact since you cannot find information easily nor can you fill out forms to request fees and policy calculations without going personally to their offices.
About this, most companies allow you to fill out a form on their website so that you receive this information quickly and safely to your mail.
Step 3 – Look at the Costs
The third step is to compare the rates and fees of each of the companies that we added to our list above.
At this point it is important that you make sure you pay attention to some basic characteristics of this type of company:
It is important that you know exactly what each of the companies covers according to their terms and conditions.
For example, some car insurance companies do not cover fire accidents, which could be a problem if the engine overheats and catches fire.
Another important aspect to take into account is the additional services offered by insurers.
Some property insurance packages include not only protection in case of disasters and deterioration but also the option of credits for remodeling or real estate change.
Also, some vehicle insurance companies offer additional services, be it crane service, pet insurance, or even travel insurance when you leave your zip code.
It is also important that you take into account the limits of insurance coverage in numbers.
The lower the coverage limit, the lower the policies to be paid, but you should not look too far below the line because, for example, a very low policy can mean an insufficient amount to pay a new vehicle with the money they give you for a total loss.
It is important that you review the public information about the insurer in which you are thinking about investing since based on their certificates and history it may or may not be as reliable.
Deductibles are important
Another important factor that you should consider is the deductibles. These are the amount of money that you must pay at the time you request money from the insurance.
In most cases, the lower the deductibles the higher your insurance policy fees are, so it is important that you consider keeping deductibles at a partially high percentage in order to reduce monthly expenses if you do not need them.
Note – For this to work, it is important that you have saved a backup that easily covers the deductible in case of an eventuality.
Step 4 – Narrowing Down
Once you have compared all the companies that you had on the list, we recommend that you choose at least 3, the 3 that is best based on the offer they make and their history as a company.
After this, it is time to go back to the internet but this time we are going to look for the complaints and queries that exist about the companies that you have already chosen as possible options.
For this point we offer you 3 important tips:
- You can look up information in the database of the Better Businesses Bureau, which has the files on registration, licenses, and history of public and private insurers.
- You can also search for this information by sending an email to the division of the insurance department of your locality, they will give you information about the insurer’s license and possibly a database where you can observe the complaints of the clients.
- In addition, some pages such as investopedia.com and insurancecomplaint.com offer you relatively reliable databases in which you can verify the complaints of other users.
Step 5 – Deep Research the Remains
Of the three companies you had previously chosen, it is possible that one or two have left the list – although the ideal is that all 3 are reliable enough to remain an option.
For this fifth step, you will contact each of these companies looking for more accurate information about the insurance policies they offer to their clients.
In addition to the information you have previously searched for, it is important that you consider asking the following questions:
Can I receive discounts for the policy if I have different active insurance policies?
Having several active insurance policies with the same company can usually mean a considerably high discount.
If for example, you have your travel and active vehicle and health insurance in the same company, you may receive a discount in monthly or annual fees of up to 20% of the total depending on the company.
Do you have an office near me?
A determining factor when choosing an insurance company is how close the offices are to you in case of emergencies, especially if it is health insurance.
This may not seem so important, but you may have problems if you do not manage to communicate for one reason or another when you need the money and there is no office near where you live.
Note – Ideally, the office should be at least 10 miles from your area.
What is the process to register a complaint?
One factor that can be decisive in choosing an insurance company is how difficult it could be to make a claim in case this is necessary.
It is also important that you know if your insurance company has enough capital or financial strength to make liquid payments quickly if you have an emergency.
To obtain this information it is important that you review the size of the company although this is not always a determining factor, there are also services such as Standard and Poor’s and A.M. Best that give you an idea about the financial health of the company.
At this point, you should already have a clear idea that you should consider when choosing an insurance company, but let’s summarize the most important points:
- The first thing is to know if the company has enough strength to make the payments so when necessary
- In addition, you must confirm if the company has a valid license to work in your state of residence
- It is also important to know how many reports and complaints the insurance company has received, and what their offers are regarding the policies, terms, and conditions.
If after following these steps you still feel a little insecure we recommend you to take advantage of what an independent insurance agent can tell you since they have contact with different insurance companies throughout the country and inside knowledge of how they work.
When talking with an agent you can get more security about the options you have with respect to the insurance companies without leaving aside the previous investigation that you have done regarding their reputation.