This Is the Most Important Thing to Look at When Comparing Car Insurance Companies
by Christy Bieber | Published on Aug. 6, 2021
You could end up with regrets if you don't make this a top priority.
Shopping for insurance is essential for anyone who wants to make sure they have the right protections in place.
When it comes to auto insurance, price is the primary focus for many motorists. But while it does make sense to compare premiums and choose an affordable insurance provider, there may also be an even more important feature to look for. And it involves the reputation of the car insurance company.
Drivers need a car insurance provider in their corner
When shopping for auto insurance coverage, the single most important feature that drivers should look at is the insurance company's reputation for handling claims.
After all, it's not enough to just look for cheap car insurance. Drivers need insurance to share the risk of loss and to make sure that when an accident or car theft happens, there's an insurance company there to cover the financial costs.
Accidents or the theft of a vehicle can be really stressful, and it is often very important for motorists to get back on their feet as soon as possible when a collision happens. It's also essential for drivers to be fully protected by their insurer and to get fair compensation for losses.
An insurer with a solid reputation for claims handling will make the post-accident process easier. The insurer will respond in a timely manner to make sure that the motorist is compensated for losses quickly and can purchase a new car or repair their old one without undue delay. An insurer whose past customers have praised its claims handling are also likely not to lowball their policyholders when it comes to providing compensation for damages.
The last thing any driver wants after something goes wrong with their vehicle is to have to spend endless hours on the phone with an insurer fighting to get an adjuster to come out to assess their vehicle or struggling to get repairs made. And the reality is that accidents can happen to anyone at any time, so every driver on the road could potentially end up needing to deal with their insurer's claims department at some point.
How can drivers compare claims handling?
It can be a little more difficult for motorists to compare how well insurers handle auto claims, rather than just deciding on an insurer based on price alone. After all, it's easy to get multiple car insurance quotes and check on premiums but a lot harder to get an accurate picture of how an insurer will respond in the hypothetical event that a covered loss occurs.
Still, there are plenty of resources that motorists can turn to. J.D. Power & Associates ranks each insurer based on claims handling. And motorists can also read past reviews on trusted websites such as the Better Business Bureau. It's also possible to check whether an insurance company has been subject to many complaints by referencing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners database.
By researching potential insurers using these sources, motorists can make the best choice about what company to choose for their car insurance coverage based on both price as well as the likelihood the insurer will be there for them in their time of need.
Our best car insurance companies for 2022
Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we've researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.
About the Author
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.