Like most people, I have often wondered if I had the right auto insurance company on my side. For the most part, I never make a claim and I drive relatively safe. I haven’t gotten a ticket for years and because of my age, I’d like to think I am considered a high risk driver. All this leads me to thinking about how will my insurance company react if something does happen. Will they pay without a lot of hassles or am I going to have to work to get them to pony up?
I have compiled a list of 10 things you can do to help offset some of the anxiety of ‘hiring’ an auto insurance company.
- Check online reviews. While some companies might be able to influence some review websites, they can’t cover them all. By reading through the reviews you can get a better idea of what people really think about their insurance company.
- Check with the insurance commissioner’s office. Yes, eve insurance companies have a big brother watching over them. The commissioner’s office will be able to tell you if any complaints have been filed and what the outcome of those complaints were.
- See how they handle claims. You can tell a lot about an insurance company by how they manage claims. Take State Farm for instance; they earned a bad reputation after hurricane Katrina because they were very slow in settling claims for hurricane victims.
- Call their customer service department. Once again, you can tell a lot about an insurance company by how they treat you on the phone. Were they polite and helpful, more than willing to answer your questions, or were they bullies? If they seem like they are ina hurry to get off the phone, you may want to do business elsewhere.
- Give them enough rope to hang themselves. You may not be familiar with a company and their practices, but you should keep an open mind. If you give them a chance to earn your trust and they blow it, then you have your answer.
- Are they overly eager to please? Although having an insurance agent that’s willing to go the extra mile for you isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you might want to learn why they are so eager. If they are in a hurry to get your money, there might be a lot more going on than meets the eye.
- Are they responsive to you in person? If you walk into an insurance company’s office and no one seem to notice you, then you can be sure that the rest of their customer service will be the same way. You shouldn’t feel like you just walked into the DMV.
- Do they listen? If you get the feeling that they are just going through the motions and pretty much ignoring everything you say, then you probably won’t end up with the coverage you really want. A good insurance agent actually listens to what you have to say, and takes notes.
- Small talk. If you auto insurance agent engages you in small talk while they are doing something on the computer, it’s a really good sign. This means that they are concerned with you, and not just dollar signs. On top of that, it’s just a very polite way of doing business.
- Honor. A really good auto insurance company will honor the policy they issued you. You shouldn’t have to fight for what you have been paying for all along.