How to Compare Car Insurance Companies

by eHow Cars Editor

When it comes to shopping for an auto insurance provider, it becomes apparent that not all of the policies are created equal. Some insurance companies will approve your claims with great speed and efficiency, whereas some may get on your nerves with a series of questions and paperwork before getting your claims processed. It's important to compare car insurance companies to get an overall idea of their market reputation, credibility and accountability.

Compare ratings between different companies to get an overall view of their reputation. Organizations such as A.M. Best provide ratings and analysis of insurance providers. These ratings are comprehensive and provide up to date information on each company's track record including strengths and weaknesses, coverage options and claims handling. You can also visit Standards & Poor's or Fitch ratings for more information. (See Resources, below.)

Compare the reviews of customers and policy holders. J.D. Power and Associates is one of the oldest names in customer views and reviews. Search for the company from which you wish to buy your policy. Then, go through the reviews posted by policyholders and customers to determine whether or not they are satisfied overall with the insurance company and its services. Similarly, search for other providers you might consider and compare the reviews.

Discuss insurance with your friends, family members, colleagues and business associates to get their opinion on various car insurance companies. They might have had a favorable or unpleasant experience dealing with a particular company and would be able to provide personal insights on companies.

Compare customer service options for each insurance company you are considering. Those with a large network of offices, claim centers, agents and 24/7 support over telephone as well as email will ensure that you get treated properly as a customer.

Ask the car insurance companies you are comparing for quotes with or without any claims bonus protection.

Find out if it is cheaper to pay on a monthly basis to the insurance company through personal checks or to pay it off with a credit card. Numerous insurance companies have direct or indirect alliances with various financial institutions (banks or credit card companies) which may make your insurance significantly cheaper.

Tips

  • check Companies such as Progressive, Geico, Liberty Mutial, AIG, GMAC and All State are some of the most popular, reputable and highly rated auto insurance companies.
  • check Review financial strength ratings very carefully as they can reveal a wide variety of risks that could affect an insurance company's long-term viability. In the past, insurance companies have failed or ceased to operate due to inadequate financial strength, competitive forces or changing market conditions.

Warning

  • close Remember that bigger is not always better! Be thorough and prudent when you compare different auto insurance companies.