How do I Choose from the Best Auto Insurance Agencies?
At first thought, choosing between the various auto insurance agencies may seem to be an easy decision, but your choice of insurance agency can be very important. Of course you want to find an agency that is going to give you a good value, a policy with lots of perks for a decent premium, but did you know there are a lot of other important considerations when choosing an insurance agency?
You Need an Agent You Can Trust
Your insurance agency is the place you are going to be dealing with at some of the most stressful times in your life. Auto accidents, a death, a new baby, or a health crisis, a new home: whether happy or sad, a major event results in a great deal of stress. During those times, you may be thinking more emotionally than logically, so you want to have an insurance agency that you know and can trust to take care of the details for you at these life changing times.
Consider an Agent’s Attitude
One of the most important things you should consider when choosing your auto insurance agency is their customer service attitudes. Did the agent treat you well or did you feel like premium number 9858? In some circumstances, you can easily tolerate a less-than friendly customer service representative because you only need to deal with them occasionally. When it comes to your car insurance, however, remember that your interaction is likely to take place at a time when you are emotional over a crisis. This is the time when you will appreciate having an agent who knows your name and can readily help you find a solution to your problem.
Types of Agents
There are two different types of auto insurance agents: an independent agent and a captive agent. An independent agent offers insurance policies from a variety of different companies which gives him a wider variety of options to offer you. An independent agent is self-employed and is paid solely on commission. A captive agent works for a specific company. If you know the specific insurance company you want to work with, then a captive agent can be an excellent choice. They will be knowledgeable about specific details regarding their company. A captive agent is often a salaried employee or he may work solely on commissions as well. Insurance companies that hire captive agents are also known as direct writers.
What about customer service?
A good source of information about a company’s customer service history is your state department of insurance. Every state has one and you can often access “consumer complaint ratios” for the insurance companies that are licensed to operate in your state. These numbers wills show how many complaints a company received per 1,000 claims filed. If your state department of insurance does not provide these figures, you can compare the ratios for states that surround yours. If you find that a particular company has a high amount of complaints in other states, consider that carefully before you make a decision. It is possible for a company to have good customer service in one area and not another; but if you see a general trend of complaints about the same company you will want to take that into consideration when choosing the company to handle your auto insurance.
Make sure your agent will be available when you need him.
Perhaps the most important quality to find in an agent is their availability. When you have an accident, will your agent be able to respond quickly and provide you with the assistance you need? If your vehicle is disabled in an accident, you want to be assured that your needs will be met and your problems will be solved. Often, a large insurance company that uses captive agents will have a number of agents who can help you in case of emergency.
Overall, when you are choosing an auto insurance agency, you want to find an agency that can provide you with a policy you can trust at a premium you can afford. For further information about auto insurance agencies, all you need to do is type your zip code into the quote box at the top of this page or on our home page.
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November 5, 2012November 5, 2012 0 Comments