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How to Review a Car Insurance Agency

Check our guide for reviewing a car insurance agency. Read it and find out how to get reliable and cheap car insurance.

new car_insurance_couple_moneyFirst, visit your state’s department of insurance Web site. Although you may not be familiar with it, your state, and every state, has a department of insurance. Most departments have Web sites, and many publish “consumer complaint ratios” for all of the insurance companies that sell policies in their state. This ratio tells you how many complaints a car insurance company received per 1,000 claims filed.

You should already have a list of car insurance companies with the lowest premium quotes. Now you just have to find the companies with the lowest (or best) complaint ratios. Then, compare your two lists — the companies that rank best on both lists deserve your strongest consideration.

If you can’t find complaint ratios for your state, examine the complaint ratios published by other states. Keep in mind that a single insurance company’s practices can vary significantly from state to state — a subpar ratio in one state doesn’t automatically mean the situation is the same in your state. But you should lookout for general tendencies. If an insurer is getting a lot of complaints in several other states, you probably don’t want to get involved with this company.

Also note that insurance department Web sites often provide basic rate comparison surveys. These can give you a rough idea of which insurers might interest you on a financial basis without the hassle of typing in all your personal information.

Another ways to identify reliable insurers is to contact local body shops and ask for their recommendations. Body shop managers have a unique perspective to offer, since they regularly interact with insurance adjusters. They know which companies have the smoothest claim processes, which affects how quickly the work can be completed on a damaged vehicle. And they know which companies are pushing aftermarket parts, instead of genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, to reduce expenses.

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