Someone asked me who the best insurance company is. My answer is quite simple: I don’t know.
Yes, I admit it. I don’t know. Why? Because the best insurance company depends on a variety of factors. Here are things you should consider:
- Membership in groups
- AM Best rating
- Availability of an agent
- Claims handling
- Department of Insurance complaints
Let me explain each one. Price is pretty easy. You may want the cheapest, if price is important. But make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Service is a bit more complex. Service includes underwriting, customer service to change your policy, etc…. The only way to find out about this is to ask around.
Membership in groups is another easy one. Are you military? USAA might be best. Are you a teacher? California Casualty takes care of teachers. If you are in a group or association, see if there might be a special insurance policy. It can make a big difference in how you are treated, even if it cost a few dollars more.
AM Best, as I have said before, rates the company’s ability to pay claims. A or better is what you are looking for. Simple enough?
Agent availability is important to me. Some people do not care. However, when I have a problem, I want to be able to call someone who has a financial interest in making sure I am happy. The only way that happens is with an agent.
Claims handling is very important, but very hard to measure. I want a company that has a good reputation for resolving claims. And not just its insureds claims, but if I injure someone, I want that company to pay the claim so I don’t get sued. How do you measure this? Search the internet, or better yet, call around and ask personal injury attorneys in your area. They will have the pulse on this.
Department of Insurance complaints can be checked at the website. Look at verified complaints and not just total complaints. Anyone can complain, but it is when the Department of Insurance considers it something with merit that you need to consider it.
When you have all of this information, rank it and figure out what is important to you. Then you can pick the best insurance company for you. Of course, feel free to listen to my podcast about buying insurance and ask me, if you still have questions.