How To Choose Auto Insurance Agents

Auto insurance agents are competing for your business. They're ready and willing to help you, and they're not hard to find. Drivers must be careful in their selection process, however, and choose the best, most reliable insurance company that fits their needs. Before you begin the research process, learn more about the do's and don'ts of choosing auto insurance agents.

Finding the Best Deal

The cost of auto insurance depends on several factors, including:
  • the type of coverage you choose
  • your deductible
  • the payment limit;
  • your previous driving history
  • where you live
Everyone wants to save money, so most of us are drawn to auto insurance agents offering the cheapest coverage. There is much more to consider though, so refrain from signing up with the first agent you speak with. Instead, research and contact several companies, get price quotes from each agent, and get an idea how they deal with their customers.

Customer Service

Ideally, a driver purchases auto insurance but never has to submit a claim. Realistically, though, a majority of drivers must submit an auto insurance claim at some point in their life. Therefore, it's important to select a trustworthy auto insurance company with top-rated customer service. They should handle claims quickly and justly, and should pay the full amount on time.

Discovering customer service ratings is as simple as googling your insurance choices and reading customer service complaints or comments. You can also visit your state's Department of Insurance website to view a company's customer complaint information. Don't forget to ask your friends or family which auto insurance agents they use and how they've dealt with claims in the past.

Licensing and Reputation

When weeding through possible auto insurance agents, be sure to find one that is licensed to operate in your state. Some companies, for example, are licensed to operate in one state but not in another.

Finding a reputable company is top priority. Check Standard&Poor's ratings on the financial strength of your possible choices. This shows a company's ability to pay a claim. You should also sign with an auto insurance company that is well-established in the market and offers other types of insurance such as homeowners or renters insurance. That way, you know they have a solid customer base and, likely, a solid reputation. You can also expect to receive greater discounts if you find a popular, reputable agent.

Visit Your Local Body Shop

When all else fails, talk to the people who deal with auto insurance agents virtually every day. Visit your local body shop and speak with the manager. He or she can give you an idea of which insurance company is best at handling and processing claims, which company quickly gives the "OK" to repair damaged vehicles, and which companies cut costs by pushing aftermarket parts instead of original manufacturer parts.

 
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