Are you in the market for insurance? Chances are, you’re shopping around but don’t know what to look for.
You’re not alone. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t know what to look for. They settle for the popular choice or the one with the pushiest salesperson.
There are a ton of factors that make an insurance company reliable. Price, financial security, and customer service all matter. You shouldn’t settle for the first one you see.
Learn what to look for when choosing an insurance provider. Keep reading for 8 factors to help you find reliable insurance companies.
1. Are They Licensed?
Each state has an insurance department. They can assist you if you run into trouble with your insurance company. They also expect a high level of service and ethics from the companies they license.
It’s crucial that you choose one that has a license from the state insurance department. This way you have a reliable way of getting help if need be.
Many insurance companies aren’t licensed with the state. This is something you need to verify as you search.
2. Are They Financially Secure?
If you’re considering choosing a smaller insurance company, verify their financial standing. With big companies, this is less important.
Insurance companies promise to give X amount of money depending on the situation. Do they have the funds to carry through on that promise? You can check through independent rating agency websites.
These rating agencies use their own unique rating systems and scales. It’s best to choose one rating agency to use for every insurance company you look into.
3. Are They Established?
The length of time the company has been around matters. Companies that have existed for eight decades have more experience than one that’s only 10 years old.
If a company can withstand the test of time, it means they’ve been through ups and downs. They’ve survived falls in the economy and dips in the market. If they’re still around, it’s because they’re a stable and secure business.
That’s not to say some newer insurance companies aren’t good. But, if you’re looking for proven experience and reliability, choose one that’s been around longer.
Try to learn more about the company’s history and experience. This will give you better sense of their knowledge and abilities.
4. What’s the Price?
The cost of insurance varies from company to company. They may tell you that you’re getting a great deal but if you don’t shop around you won’t know.
From your research, gather the quotes from three insurance companies. Compare the price, what’s offered, and read the fine print.
Insurance costs in one state can be very different from those in another. Make sure you’re comparing prices for companies only in your state.
5. How’s the Customer Service?
In your shopping, you should reach out by phone and email to the companies. Notice how the customer service agent responds. What’s their level of knowledge, confidence, and how is their tone?
It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Poor customer service is a result of bad management higher up. Reliable and responsible companies understand the importance of great service.
You’ll notice quite fast if the person you’re speaking to likes their job. Don’t be afraid to ask if they do. Their inside opinion can tell you a lot about the company.
Notice how long it took to get an email response. How long were you put on hold before someone could help you? The representative should be happy to help you and know what they’re talking about.
6. Consider Hiring a Broker
If you’d prefer to skip all this legwork, consider hiring an insurance broker. Independent insurance brokers can help you narrow down your needs. And, find a company that fulfills them.
They will do the research and present you with the results. There might be a few different options they’ve narrowed down to. But, the final decision making is still on you.
Make sure you choose a broker who works independently from insurance companies.
Insurance companies have brokers, but they only recommend the company they work for. Independent brokers don’t have allegiance to any one company. You’ll get a fair and honest opinion.
7. Read the Reviews
The internet has done wonders for the insurance-picking game. You don’t have to take the sales agent’s word for it. You can verify with past customers that the company is worth buying from.
Always read reviews online. It’ll surprise you how many issues come up that never get publicized.
Know that almost every company will have some negative reviews. What matters is how the company fixed the problem. Lean towards companies that have mostly positive reviews.
It’s also important to ask around in your peer group. Ask people you trust who they buy insurance from. Learn from their experiences with bad companies.
8. Do You Feel Comfortable?
The number one thing to check off your list is your comfortability. You must feel safe and secure with the insurance company you choose. If you’re going to be paying them each month or year, you need to trust them.
Do you feel comfortable calling the company with questions or concerns? Are you sure that they have the funds to pay you out when the time comes?
Feeling comfortable depends on you doing research. You need to ask all the important questions and bring up all your concerns. The only person that can make the right decision for you, is you.
If you’re looking for insurance in Ohio, consider learning more about some exceptional companies in this state.
Want More Tips for Choosing Reliable Insurance Companies?
Choosing an insurance company isn’t a quick process. You need to do your due diligence to make sure your money and life are in good hands.
If you’re not going to hire a broker, make sure you ask all the right questions. Inquire about prices, the age of the company, and read the reviews. Test out their customer service via phone and email.
There are lots of reliable insurance companies in America, you just need to find them. For more information on finding the right business for your needs, check out the consumer blog.