Most people focus on rates when shopping for car insurance. Rate comparison makes sense since no one wants to overpay for coverage, but you should also consider the company selling the coverage. Below are some factors you can use to differentiate car insurance companies.
You can only deal with car insurance companies available to you. Consider carrier availability in three main ways.
Geographical availability defines the geographical areas within which an insurance company operates. While some insurance companies operate nearly countrywide, others operate only within specific regions. Wide availability may be a concern for you if you move a lot and prefer to stay with the same carrier wherever you go.
The basic auto insurance forms include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. However, many insurance companies provide additional coverage forms, such as:
- Gap insurance
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
- All perils coverage
- Classic car insurance
- Roadside assistance coverage
Some of these coverage forms are widely available, but not every insurance company offers them. Thus, you must choose your carrier carefully if you want other forms of coverage in addition to standard coverage.
Insurance companies usually use agents to sell policies, market their products, and deal with customer queries. Some agents work exclusively with their specific companies, while others work with multiple insurance companies.
Some insurance companies seem to have agents all over the place, while others have few agents. The difference in agency availability is significant since it determines how knowledgeable each agent is with the local market. Agency availability also determines how likely you are to locate an agent when you need one.
The car insurance industry has dozens of discounts for drivers. Some discounts are common while others are a bit rare. For example, many companies offer:
- Multiple car discounts
- Low-mileage discounts
- Claim free discounts
A few companies also offer:
- Green discounts for hybrid or electric cars
- Discounts to those who switch carriers before their current policies expire
- Discounts to engaged couples
Therefore, you can differentiate the insurance companies based on the variations of discounts they avail to their clients.
The insurance industry has greatly embraced technology. For example, some insurance companies:
- Allow drivers to make paperless claims
- Have mobile applications (apps) and online portals for fast and efficient services, including coverage purchases
- Use telematics to collect driving data and gauge driving risks
Still, technology adoption varies greatly by company. Some companies seem to adopt emerging trends and inventions faster than others.
Hopefully, the analysis will help you get the best coverage from the best company. Talk to a car insurance agent for further help on insurance shopping.