While getting the right amount of coverage is really critical, it’s also important that you know that you are doing business with the right carrier.
Check to make sure the company is licensed in the state. While insurance companies have different entity names, do business with companies that are licensed to do business in the state. You can check the state’s insurance licensing website, which will have a list of all the companies. If they are licensed and in good standing, this allows you to get help from the state insurance department if you are having problems.
Check to make sure they are financially healthy. A company that is in poor financial shape may not have enough money to pay your claim…or they might try to negotiate lesser coverage when it comes time to cut a check. Here are several websites you can visit to check on their financial health. It is suggested that you check at two of them.
Check the number of complaints. Again, the state’s insurance department should provide you with the number of justified (keyword: justified) complaints from consumers. The report gives you a “complaint ratio”, meaning it compares the number of justified complaints to the total number of insurance complaints in the state. You can also find that ratio at www.NAIC.org, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. Look for a low complaint ratio.
Check their response time. If you find yourself holding on the phone for a long period of time. If you don’t receive timely call backs. Or if the explanations of coverage are confusing to you, it’s a good indication that you will have similar problems when it’s time to file a claim.
If you are looking to buy insurance or change insurance companies, please contact me because I know many great insurance agents for you to check out.