Shopping For INSURANCE
When shopping for car insurance, consumers typically look at a number of factors. Too often, they simply focus on price when many other factors can have an impact on your car insurance rates, and your relationship with your insurance company and/or agent as time goes by. We are going to focus on the primary factors when shopping for insurance and will explain which should matter most to you.
Most insurance buyers are looking to find an insurance agent near them; however, that mind set began to shift after the year 2000 as buying insurance on the Internet really took off. The technology offerings make it easier for a consumer to shop, and service, their own policy from their own PC or mobile device. If they can combine an offering from a company that offers the technological advantages along with the ability to meet face to face with a local agent, that company is typically the one earning the business from a consumer.
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The reputation of an insurance company can affect your buying decision. If a company has rates that are significantly lower than the competition, this factor does not come into play as much. When a consumer is shopping and multiple companies return insurance rates that are similar, reputation of the company becomes one of the decision making factors. The insurance company's reputation can have a few prongs.
- Customer Service: The service can be at the local level, call center level, and online.
- Claims Handling: What good is an insurance policy if the company is notoriously tight (or unfair) when it comes to paying claims?
- Local Agent Reputation: Some local insurance agents can tarnish the reputation of an insurance company in a market. If the agent is large enough, that can have an impact in a particular City or Town.
Some insurance buyers will only search for the cheapest insurance coverage available. They won't bother shopping for the best coverage, or the highest rated company. Others will consider price as a factor, but not the deciding one. It is usually an issue that can indicate the level of sophistication that a particular consumer has. If they are financially savvy, or have assets to protect, they will understand the need for the proper coverage.
Some companies will offer coverage that might make a big difference to one shopper and won't matter in the least to another. A few examples are as follows:
- Personal effects coverage.
- Electronic equipment coverage.
- Gap Coverage. This can cover the gap between a car's value and the remaining loan balance.
- Repair Cost Option.
- Water back up coverage. Consider the both the coverage availability and the water back-up limit.
- Higher limits for special items such as jewelry, antiques, or cash.
- Replacement cost option vs. replacement guarantee.
In the end, you need to consider the factors that matter to your situation. Think about the insurance buying factors when purchasing insurance. This will ultimately help you to make a sound buying decision.