So you want to buy insurance. Great. Maybe you need it. Maybe you want to protect yourself. Maybe it is a combination. What do you consider when buying insurance?
Here are some basic things to consider when determining who to call:
- You need to call agents and brokers to make sure you obtain as many options as possible
- Check with both mutual insurance companies and stock insurance companies
- Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations
- Contact any organizations you are a member of to see if you get discounts
After you call around, you will have a list of 10 or 15 different prices. That is a good thing. But, do you just take the lowest one? No!! Once you have prices, here are other things to consider:
- What is the company rated by AM Best? There are other rating companies to look at, but Best is, well, the best.
- What is the company’s track record? The California Department of Insurance has a consumer complaint report. You should check this every year.
- What do other people say about the insurance company? A quick Google search will tell you what is being said about a company.
- Is the company in litigation? If a company is being sued 100 times, you may want to think twice.
- Are there other factors that you should consider? For example, if you were a General in the military, USAA will treat you VERY well. This is something to look into, even if it costs a bit more.
- What are the coverages that are being provided? Each insurance company’s coverages are going to be a little different.
You cannot shop by price alone. Price is important, but remember that, unlike other things you buy, you will never see what you get – until you have a claim! Be a smart consumer.