INSURANCE CENTER: Basics

Where else can I get information about insurance?

Insurance Basics
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Consumers Union is the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. Although the bulk of the magazine content is available only to paid subscribers, anyone can get to relevant press releases covering topical news of interest to insurance consumers. Also, from time to time, relevant insurance articles from the magazine are made available for free.

The Better Business Bureau site is a good place to check for complaints about specific local agencies.

If anybody really wants to get in the hole on auto and homeowners insurance, The Center for Economic Justice provides an excellent training document for budding consumer advocates. A word of warning, though: This detailed text is appropriate only for the few and the proud who find insurance a fascinating topic.

Insurance Industry Sites:

A.M. Best is the industry standard for rating the financial health of insurance companies. There is a charge for some of the more-detailed site content, but basic company ratings are free.

In many ways, Insure.com has the feel of an industry site, with a slant toward cash value life insurance and a quote finder that delivers as many insurance agency contacts as it does quotes. But, when it comes to pitting one insurance company against another, it is an unmatched source of unbiased information. Insure.com's Insurance Company Guide lists all companies selling insurance in your state, by type of insurance, and provides detailed information on each one, including Standard & Poor's financial ratings. The Complaint Finder allows you to search a few state insurance department complaint databases by insurance company and type of insurance.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners coordinates the activities of state insurance regulators. Its site provides a clickable map index of state websites.

Insurance Company Websites, etc.
Many insurance companies have excellent websites, not only for finding agents and making a purchase, but also for insurance education. For obvious reasons, we can't mention any here, but if you have some favorite insurance providers, check out their sites.