Read these 12 Car Insurance Company Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Car Insurance tips and hundreds of other topics.
Your automobile insurance company should, at minimum, offer the following customer service features:
*A toll-free number where you can reach customer service and claims specialist. This number should preferably be available 24 hours a day.
*A clear description of payment policies. For example, you should know in advance what will happen if you are late in making a payment.
*An offer to discount your automobile insurance rate after a certain amount of time with the company.
Also, look for a company that offers online payments or direct withdrawal payments to make paying your automobile insurance convenient for you. These features will go a long way in your appreciation of the automobile insurance company.
The Progressive Car Insurance Company offers personal automobile insurance, as well as other specialty insurance, to residents in the United States. The company was co-founded in 1937 by Jack Green and Joseph Lewis. Progressive is known in the car insurance industry for online and in-person customer service. It is the third largest car insurance company in the nation. Progressive offers two types of service: Drive Insurance (agent-assisted car insurance) and Progressive Direct. Progressive Direct allows customers to buy policies online and compare rates with other companies. Customers who opt for Drive Insurance coverage from Progressive are offered personal service by local independent agents.
In most, if not all cases, you should be able to cancel service with your car insurance company at any time during the policy term. To do so, send written notice of the date and time at which you'd like the coverage to end. Your car insurance company may have a standard form that they need you to fill out to cancel your coverage. Do not assume that your policy will be cancelled automatically if you fail to pay your next monthly premium. It is better to give formal notice of the cancellation. Going through official channels to cancel the policy will help you avoid negative repercussions, such as being labeled a “high-risk” applicant by your insurance company.
When you do an Internet search for a particular car insurance company, you will generally receive pages from that company's website, however, that site will be promotional to that company. You can use a third party site to help you find the best car insurance company for your needs. Search for “car insurance reviews” to find feedback that other customers have had on a particular company. Reading the reviews will help you evaluate the professionalism and customer service of the car insurance company that you are considering. Keep in mind though that these review websites may be un-moderated, so compare your findings there will other evaluation techniques.
GEICO auto insurance company is a private insurance firm that deals directly with consumers. They do not use auto insurance brokers or agents to develop policies. Instead, customers who use GEICO deal with the company directly through the telephone and Internet. Since there are no insurance agents to pay, GEICO can offer low auto insurance rates that many full-service insurance companies cannot. GEICO was founded in 1936 in Washington, D.C. to insure government employees and their families. In fact, GEICO is an anagram from Government Employees Insurance Company. In the 1970s, GEICO began marketing their services to the general public after computers made it possible to access driving records across country.
Before you sign any car insurance policy, make sure to read through it completely and understand how your policy will work. Verify that you are receiving the coverage that you are expecting. There is a very important clause you need to look for in your car insurance contract. You need to make sure that your policy allows you to retain your right to sue the car insurance company if need be. If your car insurance policy includes a clause that waives your right to sue, ask if that line can be removed. If the car insurance company won't agree to removing the clause, you may want to reconsider buying a policy from them.
Your car insurance company may drop your policy for a variety of reasons. You could be dropped for becoming a high-risk client or coverage may end if insurers in your state are suffering business losses. If the insurance company has rising costs, they may become highly selective in choice of clients. When you are dropped from a car insurance company, you are still eligible for insurance but your options for coverage may be limited. Each state has created options for high-risk applicants in the form of a special market. These groups are sometimes called “assigned risk plans” or “residual markets.” Call your state's board of insurance for more information on your state's special market of car insurance options. Act immediately to obtain new insurance and do not drive your vehicle unless you have obtained new coverage.
Every state has a department of insurance that make the public aware of the quality of automobile insurance companies. These departments evaluate the complaints filed against companies and publish their findings in the form of “consumer complaint ratios.” The ratio shows how many complaints against a particular automobile insurance company were received per 1,000 claims. Most state departments of insurance have websites that allow you to review the consumer complaint ratio from your home computer. You can see how customers of an automobile insurance company were treated and take the ratio into consideration when making your decision. Keep in mind that the ratio of a particular automobile insurance company will change from state to state.
Your car insurance company does not arbitrarily set its own rates in 49 states, Illinois being the exception. The company must petition to charge appropriate rates from your state's board of insurance. The Board regulates the car insurance rates in your state, and legally approves the car insurance company's rates. Your state board of insurance is designed to monitor all activity of insurance companies on the behalf of private citizens and businesses. They allow issue (and sometimes revoke) licenses to insurance companies and agents based on their meeting of certain state requirements. All agents and companies must be able to meet standards for conduct and auto insurance knowledge.
There are many insurance companies that offer “one stop shopping” for all of your insurance needs. These companies offer policies for auto insurance, life insurance and homeowner's insurance. It can be convenient to get all of your insurance needs covered by one company. However, when you choose auto insurance specialists instead of going with a multi-purpose insurance company you can often get a lower rate. Shopping for auto insurance separate from your other insurance leads will allow you to compare and find the best rate. If you are considering buying auto insurance from your life insurance or homeowner's insurance vendor, do some comparison shopping first. Evaluate the rates of auto insurance specialists to make sure you are getting the best deal.
When you get in an accident and need replacement parts for your car, your car insurance company determines what type of parts will be used. The company will specify in the policy what they will pay for in terms of parts quality. Generally, a car insurance company will pay for “new factory,” “like kind and quality” or “aftermarket” parts to replace damaged car parts. It is highly recommended, especially if you have a newer car, that you find a policy that insists upon new factory parts. Avoid “aftermarket” parts requirements, because these parts are of lower quality. Many states do not allow car insurance companies to insist upon “aftermarket” parts without customer approval. Minnesota is the only state in the nation that completely bans the requirement of “aftermarket” parts.
State Farm Insurance Company has been in business for over 80 years and now offers a wide variety of insurance and financial services. The initial concept for State Farm was to offer car insurance exclusively to farmers. The founder, George Mecherle, believed that since farmers drove less and had fewer losses than city drivers, they should be able to have lower-costing auto insurance policies. Today, State Farm Car Insurance Company insures one out of every five automobiles driving on the road. Since State Farm offers many insurance and financial services, they will often offer discounts on service if you participate in two or more of their programs.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|