This article will tell you how to find out about insurance companies: their financial stability and how many consumer complaints they receive, how to ask for a quote so you can compare apples to apples, and results of online quotes from eight known auto insurance companies.
How to find out the stability of an insurance company
The financial stability of a company is rated by A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. These companies provide an independent opinion of an insurance companies ability to meet its ongoing policy and contract obligations. The A.M. Best rating is expressed as a letter grade from A++ (the highest) to D. It is recommended that you do not work with companies rating B or lower. The Standard & Poor's Ratings range from triple A (the highest) to CC. It is recommended that you do not work with companies rating lower than BBB.
How to find out individual policy holder satisfaction with an insurance company
Annually J.D. Power and Associates gathers data from policy holders nationwide regarding policy options, pricing, automated phone service and overall satisfaction, with the insurance company providing their insurance. The best rating is 5.
How to Find Out the Number of Consumer Complaints
The Department of Insurance for each state provides the general public with consumer complaint ratios. This ratio helps the consumer to identify the number of complaints per number of claims filed. A maximum of forty companies are compared. If more than forty insurance companies have complaints, only the forty companies with the most complaints will be compared. It is recommended that the complaint ratio be checked in three or more states to identify specific insurance company trends. A ratio of less than one hundred is better than average.
How to ask for a quote so you can compare apples to apples
A response to the following information must be decided before asking for an auto insurance quote:
- Car make, model, year, current mileage
- Deductible amount for collision, comprehension and liability
- Coverage for medical
- Purpose for using the car
- Miles driven per year
- Number of designated drivers
- Drivers ages
What is the result of performing the above steps?
The Auto Insurance companies used for this Auto Insurance Quote Review are 21st Century, Allstate, Esurance, Geico, Nationwide, Safeco, The Hartford. These companies were selected based on longevity in the business and their familiarity to consumers throughout the United States. The stability, consumer overall satisfaction (Sat.), policy options (Opt.), price (of premium) and automated phone service rated as follows.
J.D. Power and Associates
Insurance Co. AMBest S&P Sat. Opt. Price Phone
21st Century A A 3 3 4 2
Allstate A+ AA- 3 3 3 3
Esurance A- n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Geico A++ 3As 3 4 4 3
Nationwide A+ A+ 3 3 2 3
Safeco A A- 3 2 2 3
The Hartford A AA- 3 3 4 3
The number of consumer complaints for these auto insurance companies rated as follows in the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Kentucky.
The Complaint Ratio for Five States
Insurance Co. IL MN MO TX KY
21st Century n/a n/a n/a 199 n/a
Allstate 55 130 130 165 19
Esurance n/a 212 212 455 0
Geico 33 149 128 132 116
Nationwide n/a 76 76 131 0
Safeco 29 117 117 71 25
The Hartford 29 n/a 454 200 54
The Auto Insurance Quote Sample
The following information was used for all quotes:
- 2006 Toyota Camry 4dr v6 engine LE
- 50,000 miles
- Driven under 9000 miles per year
- Used for pleasure
- $100 Deductible for comprehensive and collision
- $250,000/$500,000 Liability & collision
- $10,000 medical
- One car and two drivers
Auto Insurance Quotes
The following six month policy quotes were received from each of the companies listed below:
21st Century $237.68
The Hartford $375.00
Ways To Lower The Premium
Most insurance companies will offer discounts for the following events:
- Save driving record for 3 - 5 years
- No minor infractions for 3 years
- Anti lock devices installed in your vehicle
- No DUI for the last 3 - 5 years
- License not suspended for the past 3 years
- Good credit rating
- Car owned rather than leased or financed
- A second vehicle is also insured
- Other types of insurance is also purchased from them
High risk drivers can expect to have a higher premium. Not all insurance companies will insure them. In addition when a high risk driver has an accident, the insured can expect difficulty when attempting to get the vehicle repaired using car manufactured parts. Generally auto insurance companies will pay only for the cheapest parts available.
Some insurance companies offer a lower premium for the first year as an enticement to encourage you to get your auto insurance coverage through them. So always ask about the second year premium price.
When an automobile is used for business activity, it needs particular insurance policy, called commercial auto insurance for business. If you haul a commercial trailer with a private auto, you might also be required to get commercial business policy. If you tow something that does not belong to your business, you might call for hired or non-owned auto coverage. These conditions are different in every state so consult your state's insurance department for a comprehensive list of principles.
Commercial auto insurance policies mainly include similar fixed coverages and offer similar possible coverage as the general auto insurance policy. The main and most common fixed and optional commercial auto insurance coverages, which might be included in your business auto insurance police, are:
Accident profits coverage - is offered by most insurance companies. It generally provides reimbursement for medical and therapy treatments, funeral costs, loss of earnings because of disability and death.
Intermediary Liability coverage - offers coverage, if while driving your business auto, the driver is held officially for injuring someone else, or damaging another's property. If your driver is arrested for more than the coverage, than your company might be responsible for it.
Uninsured, Underinsured and Unidentified Motorist coverage - this is widespread type of coverage. Though the name may differ in different states and in different companies, the main principles are the same. This coverage provides compensation if the driver of your commercial auto is wounded or killed because of the fault of an uninsured or underinsured driver, or by an unidentified auto.
Direct Reimbursement - Property Damage - this coverage provides reimbursement for damage to your automobile and any possdssions in it, if your commercial auto's driver is not guilty in an accident.
Family Protection coverage - it offers coverage for the auto's driver from the actions of a guilty, uninsured or underinsured person driving the vehicle. If possible, family protection guarantees coverage up to your commercial car insurance policy's limits apart from the other person's coverage points.