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Finding a Company Offering the Lowest Car Insurance Rates

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Remember that ultimately car insurance companies are in the business to make profit; they may charge you premium rates and not have the greatest customer service
  • Consumer complaints and lawsuits are one way to measure the financial health and consumer satisfaction of an auto insurance company
  • Consult one of the several independent organizations that routinely evaluate insurance companies’ financial health and consumer satisfaction

When you are looking for car insurance, the price is absolutely something you should consider. Ultimately, you want to find the best insurance for the best price.

However, not all auto insurance companies are created equally and price should not be your only consideration when you buy a policy.

In addition to looking at premium rates, there are other factors to investigate, including:

  • Consumer complaints
  • Consumer satisfaction rates
  • Financial stability

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Why You Need to Research Auto Insurance Companies

Car insurance is a reality if you plan on registering your car and driving it legally. In 47 states, you are required by law to purchase car insurance. Three states do not require car insurance.

However, if you get in an accident, your premium rate may have very little to do with the quality of service you receive from your auto insurance company and how quickly and easily they approve and pay your claim.

Insurance is a financial services industry. The whole idea behind insurance is that the company determines how likely it is that you will file a claim.

The higher the risk is for them that you will need their services, the more they charge you in premium rates.

Car insurance companies also use other criteria to calculate car insurance premiums.

Insurance companies are also in business to make profits.

Insurance companies use your premiums to invest and turn profits made through those investments into financial reserves to make their company stronger.

A financially healthy auto insurance company will have a large amount of money held in reserve.

Financial reserves are used to pay claims and are especially important if an event occurs that results in a large number of claims being filed by policy holders within a short period of time. If a company has a reputation for denying claims, delaying payment or not paying claims at all, you need to know this information before you buy a policy from them.

Unfortunately, a number of cut-rate car insurance companies have very bad track records when it comes to how they treat their customers and paying claims.

By researching various avenues regarding potential care insurance companies, you can learn about:

  • Their business practices
  • Customer service
  • Their claims processing practices
  • How their customers feel about them

Additionally, you can also find out if they are financially healthy and have strong financial reserves in place.

Consumer Complaints

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Consumer complaints and lawsuits are one way to measure the financial health and consumer satisfaction of an auto insurance company. In most cases, happy customers do not file complaints against their insurance company.

However, car insurance companies who radially raise premium rates, deny or fail to pay claims or have extremely poor customer service will frequently have complaints filed against them reflecting these practices.

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that operates throughout the United States. They are a consumer organization dedicated to helping consumers resolve problems with businesses. The Better Business Bureau publishes information about consumer complaints filed with them on their website, including efforts made to mediate and resolve the problem.

You can also find out about consumer complaints and lawsuits by visiting the website of your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs. They regulate the insurance industry in every state, including investigating complaints and determining any wrongdoing and disciplinary actions necessary. These are just some of the places where you can submit car insurance company complaints.

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Consumer Satisfaction

Consumer satisfaction surveys will provide you with information regarding:

  • Customer service
  • Customer experiences
  • Customer perceptions of car insurance companies

Insure.com publishes the results of their car insurance customer satisfaction survey on their website. They interview thousands of consumers around the country, asking questions regarding experiences with customer service, claims, and whether they would recommend their current car insurance company to someone else.

JD Powers and Associates conducts an annual survey of consumer satisfaction with auto insurance companies, which is published on their website.

JD Powers evaluates consumer responses to questions regarding:

  • Premium rates
  • Ease of access to their auto insurance company
  • Customer service experiences
  • Overall perceptions of their current insurance provider

Financial Health

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Financial health is measured by evaluating an auto insurance company’s:

  • Financial practices
  • Credit-worthiness
  • Duration of business
  • Financial reserves available

There are several independent organizations that routinely evaluate the financial health of insurance companies and other financial organizations.

You can find published reports and rating grades from Fitch, Standard and Poor’s, and A.M. Best on their corporate websites. Also, many insurance companies will publish their rating grades on their own websites if their grades are “A” or higher, indicating they have been deemed to have excellent or superior financial health.

Comparing Auto Insurance Premium Rates

When you are looking for car insurance rates, you should compare rates from at least three different companies before making a decision. Once you have determined your top few choices, you can then begin digging deeper to find out more information about these prospective insurance companies.

One of the best places to compare auto insurance rates is insurance comparison websites. With a comparison site, you can request rate quotes from multiple companies and receive them quickly. Additionally, many comparison sites also have forums for customers to post comments and questions regarding insurance and insurance companies.

You can also get premium rate quotes from independent insurance brokers. Often, brokers can provide you with several quotes within a matter of minutes. They can also provide you with information regarding specific insurance companies and help you understand your insurance needs.

When buying car insurance, it is important to think about more than just getting the lowest rate possible.

Make sure that you compare rates, but once you find the lowest rates possible, do a little more research about the companies you are considered. This way, armed with as much information as possible, you can not only get the best rates possible for car insurance, but you can get the best service from the possible company too.

Enter your ZIP code in our comparison tool below to receive FREE car insurance quotes that you can compare in order to find the best policy for your needs.

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