With so many different insurance options out there, how can you find the best rated auto and home insurance companies? Although it sometimes applies, costlier doesn't always mean better in the insurance game. It's important to read the fine print, ask questions, and read reviews of the insurance company you are considering for your carrier.
How to Find the Best Rated Auto and Home Insurance Companies
Every state has a department of insurance where you can find consumer complaints and the ratios of complaints vs. the number of people insured with a particular company. This can be very telling if an insurance company is not doing what it should do. The best rated auto and home insurance companies will have few complaints and marks against them. You can find your state department of insurance by visiting the I-Can Website.
The Inside Scoop
You may also want to phone local body shops and ask them for the insurance carriers they've been most impressed with. They usually have the inside scoop on which insurance companies have a claim process that goes smoothly. J.D. Power and Associates offers ratings of insurance carriers along with statistical data about different policies.
Insurance Ratings on the Web
Standard and Poor's ratings of insurance companies can offer additional input on about 4,000 different companies and their financial strength to help you find the best rated auto and home insurance companies based on statistics overall. You can select by region or even search overseas companies. It might not be a good idea to take out insurance with a company that is in financial trouble as it may be hard to get them to pay out on an insurance claim. Fitch Ratings is another international service that ranks the standing of various companies, including insurance.
The Internet has made it easier to find the best rated auto and home insurance companies. Many of the sites that offer information on insurance allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of various policy features. You may pay a little more for the assurance of reliability and the peace of mind knowing that if you ever need to make a claim it will be paid promptly and in full.
Many companies claim to be the best, but the proof is in the ratings at the sites listed above. You may also want to visit sites such as Epinions.com for customer reviews.
Some of the most trusted insurance companies, according to Forbes.com, include:
- 21st Century Insurance
- Mercury General Corporation
- The Midland Company
- Crawford & Company
- Donegal Group Inc.
There are a number of ways to save even if you go with a top-notch insurance company. Here area few ideas:
- Raise your deductible. If you have $500 or more in savings, you could raise your deductible and save on your insurance a little.
- Take out the home and auto policies from the same insurer. Many companies will offer a discount if you take out both policies. You can sometimes save as much as 20%
- Stay with the same company. Some companies offer a discount if you keep your insurance with the same company for more than a year.
- Ask what discounts are available. Many companies give discounts to non-smokers, for fire hydrants close to the house, extra fire alarms, and more.
- Keep a good credit rating or clean up your report. If a credit report shows someone with a very poor bill paying history, that person can pay up to 40% more on their policy than someone with a good history of paying bills.
You can often get additional discounts on auto insurance by taking defensive driving courses, getting good grades in school if you are a student, and for not having an accident for a number of years (safe driver or sometimes called accident free). You can find more savings on home insurance by installing deadbolts and burglar alarms.
For even more information, check out LovetoKnow's Top 10 information on auto insurance and home owner's insurance.