Choosing an Automobile Insurance Company

Choosing an automobile insurance company is probably as important a decision as deciding on a make of vehicle to buy, and is anyhow very closely related to that particular choice. For most people, this is not a frequent occurrence. Most people choose an automobile insurance company the first time they purchase a vehicle, sometimes as a teenage driver, and then generally maintain that relationship for a very long time. They remain customers of the same one company for as long as a good relationship continues, claims are handled expeditiously and satisfactorily, or for as long as the rates they pay are acceptable.

Whatever the case, choosing an automobile insurance company can be a daunting process. It is important to find a company that fits specific needs and that offers premiums that are compatible with personal budgets and has a good record providing support for policyholders and handling claims.

How Automobile Insurance Works

Motor vehicle insurance is intended to provide financial protection for a vehicle owner in case an accident occurs and the vehicle is damaged, or a person is injured. There are several different aspects to the coverage available. There is collision coverage that will pay expenses if there is a collision with another vehicle, and there is personal liability coverage that responds to cases of bodily injury to a person. Third party insurance only pays the expenses of the other party to the accident. In third party insurance, the person at fault accepts the responsibility of paying his or her own costs out of pocket.

In the event of an accident, the parties to the accident will notify their respective insurance carriers, which will then conduct investigations involving police reports, if relevant, and make appraisals of the damages, after which they will make a determination about the amount they will pay. This figure will also take into account the deductible that the policy holder will pay.

Deciding How Much To Pay

One of the first things a person should do when trying to find a suitable insurance company or a motor vehicle they own or are intending to purchase is talk to the agent the already has for homeowners insurance, if applicable. If such a relationship already exists, and it is a good one, this will probably the best place to do business.

Failing that, it is always good practice to ask friends and colleagues and get referrals. Ask other people about the carrier or agent they use, and then speak with any that seem a suitable fit. People are generally quite willing to recommend insurance agents or carriers with which they have had successful dealings and, equally importantly, they will speak even more willingly about an agent or a company that is less than careful about the quality of work that they do.

There are companies who study insurance carriers and apply ratings that give a good indication of the quality of the carriers business, and of the likelihood that they have the capacity to respond satisfactorily to any claims made. One of these companies is A. M. Best, and the ratings one should look for are those in the A range. These say that the company is solvent and able to pay claims.

Having completed this portion of the selection process, the prospective customer will want to get motor vehicle insurance quotes from several companies. The next step will be to compare quotes and speak with an agent. Auto insurance quotes can also be obtained online, but it is the live agent who will give the exact figures and provide expert helping in choosing the most suitable auto insurance company.


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