If you’re considering buying insurance or switching insurers, you’re making financial security a priority. Insurance companies come in different shapes and sizes to meet the needs of different individuals. Read on for guidance on how to go about picking a company that’s the right fit for you.
There are indices and comparison tools at your disposal to help you compare the rates of the various companies, but they should not be the deciding factor. Ask for quotes from multiple companies.
If a company is offering really low rates they might be new to the market. Or maybe the low rate will get you exactly what you pay for, not much coverage. Remember that there is almost always an excess amount to pay over and above what insurance pays.
So lower premiums often mean higher deductibles, those disconcerting additional expenses, and vice versa. You need to find a happy medium that works for you.
- Customer Service
Ideally, you’re looking for a person to be assigned to you that you can build a rapport with. If that’s not possible, the company should provide an easily accessible all-hours helpline with a human at the other end, not an automated voice.
Great customer service with quick turnaround times, efficient claims resolution and less hassle when sorting out affairs can convince many people to part with a few more greenbacks.
Is your insurance company going to exacerbate a bad situation or provide reassurance in the midst of it? If a company has a reputation for taking ages to pay out, you might want to take ages to get back to them.
- Better Fees for Multiple Policies
If you’re thinking about insuring your vehicle, your home, and your business with the same company, then that company should provide some sort of incentive for doing so, a discount or additional benefit.
Don’t be complacent if you’ve been with a company for a long time. Look around and you might be able to make your money go further.
Companies with top ratings from ratings agencies tend to be government accredited and well-established with high reserves. If a company doesn’t have the best rating but has a decent one with a high Claim Settlement Ratio, they deserve to be considered, especially insofar as they could provide you with a niche service.
Research the company’s history and check out consumer review sites online. Bear in mind that people are more likely to publicly complain than they are to publicly compliment any company (unless they’re being paid to).
And if you’re a cynic, you might think that good reviews on the internet are the result of astroturfing or that bad reviews originate from the competition. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an insurer with only good reviews.
Speak to friends and family and enquire about the car insurance companies that have been there for them after accidents or the home insurers that satisfactorily assisted after recent fires. Can you trust that a company will be there for you in your time of need with the services that are important to you? Ask about service quality once a potential client becomes an actual client and the sweet-talking stage is over.
- Terms and Conditions
A company that can’t provide full disclosure of its clauses is probably one that you should avoid. The consumer should have access to information about what causes the denials and rejections of claims so the necessary steps can be taken to avoid those outcomes. The same goes for rules that lower or increase premiums.
- Bricks and Clicks
The internet provides many conveniences. You can pay your bills online and report claims online too. Just make sure that the insurer you choose has a physical presence that’s relatively easy to access. This way, you can feel secure that you have somewhere to go where someone has to address your problem.
If the prospect of doing a lot of research makes you wary, employ a reputable professional who will cater to your specific situation. Ultimately you have your best interests at heart, so you should scope things out and reach out to your broker for advice rather than wholly outsourcing the task. Set some time aside, make your pros and cons list and a front-runner will emerge.