For many Americans—black or white—car insurance is typically a big expense in any budget. A recent survey released by Consumer Reports revealed that only one in four car insurance policyholders searched for a better deal in the previous year. The survey also showed that service outweighed cost when policyholders were asked to offer views on what they looked for the most from their insurer.
Insure.com, an independent consumer insurance website, recently ranked the best auto insurance companies across the country, with USAA, American Family, and Allstate respectively seizing the top three spots. The website’s findings were based on a survey of 3,160 current customers.
In assessing their car insurance company, a preponderance of consumers talked about how the business treated them and how reactive the insurer was in answering questions on coverage or claims. Consumers also commented on various aspects of coverage, including discounts, apps or roadside service. Price was cited, but it wasn’t the main factor for why drivers favored or did not favor their insurer.
Insure.com also reported insurers with the most market share nationally were ranked based on ratings from the policyholders evaluated in multiple categories. Those categories included the value for the price, customer service, claims satisfaction, usefulness, and how easy it is to use the insurer’s website and mobile apps. Another bracket was if consumers would recommend the insurer to a friend. The website does a yearly analysis to compile the ranking, which includes details on how companies ranked overall and other information.
Additionally, motorists should do their homework before choosing an auto insurance company. There are several options beyond the price that drivers should consider than just finding the best bargain.
How To Choose The Best Car Insurance
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when shopping around for car insurance, based on a report published by Black Enterprise in 2015.
- Before you begin comparison shopping, find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements and make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets.
- Keep premiums low by choosing collision coverage with a high deductible and plan to pay routine repair costs out-of-pocket.
- Be sure to comparison shop. Visit insurancepanda and Insurance.com to complete an application form for comparison quotes from several insurance companies.
- There are three kinds of insurers: Direct sellers such as GEICO and Progressive that sell coverage directly to you, large national brands such as Allstate and State Farm, and independent insurance agents that offer various insurance options from many different companies. Direct sellers favor drivers with impeccable driving records so you may have trouble qualifying for coverage if you have a history of accidents or moving violations. National brands are helpful for drivers with spotty records and their rates are usually competitive. Independent agents have great inroads to help get you better coverage at better rates than what you’d find on your own.
- Ask about all available discounts. There is almost always a way to save money. You may get a discount if your car has antilock brakes, if you don’t drive your car often, or if you take a defensive driving class. Request a list of all possible discounts to see if you qualify.
- Skip towing insurance. It’s better to take that extra money and join an auto club such as AAA instead. In addition to towing, you’ll have roadside assistance when you need it.
- Bundle if you can. More insurance companies are offering substantial savings—up to 20%—when you protect all your property with one insurer. Multiple-policy discounts can apply to combinations of home, auto, life, and even motorcycle insurance.