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Car Insurance Companies

Car insurance is offered by dozens of companies in the United States, and each company offers services and choices that are slightly different. Considering all of the options offered by individual auto insurers today, determining which of these top car insurance companies is best for you can be time-consuming and even confusing. The following guidelines can help you evaluate top car insurance companies to determine which company may be the best choice for your needs.

  • Be blind to the brand - Brand loyalty is fine for some consumables, like laundry detergent and toilet paper, but when it comes to the rapidly evolving service industry, it pays to shop around. Companies that were on top last year may be facing serious issues with customer satisfaction this year, and rates can fluctuate substantially over time and between companies, meaning big savings for you if you compare top car insurance companies. A Consumer Reports study revealed that the majority of consumers have remained with their auto insurer for more than 10 years, and that most of those individuals were paying premiums which were more than double premiums offered by other top car insurance companies for the same coverage.
  • Forget the commercials - In a similar vein, don’t be swayed by big commercial campaigns. In a J.D. Power and Associated survey, Amica Mutual Insurance ranked number one, yet remains one of the lesser publicized companies.
  • Customer service is paramount - Price is important, but it’s not the only factor. Many of the big companies with big marketing budgets will proclaim that they have the best rates, but customer service is arguably just as important when you’re selecting an insurer. Look for a company that treats you with courtesy and respect, and that is prompt in responding to claim and payment queries. Also make sure their website and call center autoresponders are easy to navigate, and that you will be able to speak with a live representative when you feel the need to.
  • Consider the range of offerings - Some companies offer additional coverage options that are ignored by other companies, so when shopping for extras, be sure to compare car insurance apples to apples. 
  • Get a range of quotes - Just as in choosing real estate, where the mantra is “Location, location, location,” when it comes to choosing from among top car insurance companies, the best advice is “Compare, compare, compare.” Luckily, with websites offering side-by-side comparison tools, comparing the specific options from multiple auto insurance companies couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve narrowed down the top car insurance companies you want to do business with, it’s time to work the phones to get specific rates, as well as options and their associated fees. Contacting the company on the telephone will also give you a fairly accurate idea of how their customer service compares with other companies.
  • Have a few tie-breakers in mind - When there are two or more topc ar insurance companies that interest you, consider additional options which some companies may offer, and which could serve to push one slightly ahead in the race to earn your business. For insance, some auto insurares may also offer home owners insurance or renter’s insurance, giving customers with multiple policies a break in their premiums. Other companies offer options like roadside service, car rental and towing, which can be a real convenience and cost only a few dollars a year.

According to a 2009 study of top car insurance companies conducted by marketing information giant J.D. Power and Associates, the auto insurance companies which consistently ranked highest among consumers included Amica Mutual Insurance Company, State Farm Insurance, Shelter Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, Erie Insurance Group, and COUNTRY Insurance. Two other top car insurance companies that received the highest marks in the survey, United Services Automobile Association and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, were not included in the overall rankings since their offerings are restricted to members of the military and employees of either the New Jersey Business and Industry Association or the State of New Jersey, respectively.

The survey reflected roughly 23,000 survey responses, evaluating five primary factors including customer interaction, policy offerings, billing and payment, price and claims issues. The J.D. Power and Associates survey also revealed that overall customer satisfaction with top car insurance companies is on the rise.

Selecting the right insurer for your vehicle doesn’t need to be a time-consuming chore. When it’s time to get a car insurance estimate and compare the nation’s top car insurance companies, these guidelines can help make sure you choose the company that’s right for you.

 

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