When looking for an insurance agency, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind to make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of and that you have insurance agents you can trust. Aside from finding the type of insurance you need, and there is insurance out there for everything, you want to make sure that the agency has a quality rating, provides sufficient coverage, and cost-effective in the long run. Finding a reliable and financially sound insurance agency will require some research on your part, but choosing the right one means less headaches in the future when things might go wrong.
Health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, and auto insurance are the more common types of insurance that are available, but there are also more specific kinds designed especially for traveling, your pets, your small business, or a special event. Depending on your needs, which route you will take to find the one that’s right for you, and possibly your family, may change. The following blog will cover a general approach of what to look for when looking for a great insurance company.
How Is Your Insurance Company Rated?
Thankfully there are several services that provide ratings for companies based on their overall financial strength and stability. Some of these services are A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s. Getting in touch with one of these services over the phone or online should be your first step in considering an insurance agency and understanding how they compare to different agencies and ratings services. Please note that some of these services may provide the information for free or charge a small fee, and that ratings systems are different amongst all the services so it’s good to take a look at a few for comparison.
Other good things to take a look at and compare are the products and prices that they offer for your needs, as well as how long the insurance company has been established. Having a decent history can indicate a depth of experience, while a newer company may be offering lower rates and incentives as they build up their business and customer base.
How Strong is Your Customer Service Experience?
When it comes to choosing an insurance agency, first impressions matter, and how you interact and deal with customer service agents is a direct reflection on the products and professionalism they have to offer. No matter if you are choosing your insurance through a broker or directly through the company, having an excellent customer service experience is a good indication of how you will be treated when you have to make your first claim or any changes to your existing policies.
Part of the customer service experience aspect is your actual experience when having to deal with making a claim. Do they provide a free initial quote? Are their agents available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Do they have an efficient mobile app that allows you to track your claims easily or submit photos and upload supporting documents?
As you search for a more specific type of insurance, it may also be easy to find online consumer reviews from actual customers to get a feel for their experiences with a prospective agency that you’re interested in. Another great source to check out is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which not only sets the U.S. standards and provides regulatory support from all 50 states, but also helps protect the public interests of the consumers while also providing a wealth of information to insurance providers.
Take Your Insurance Seriously for Everything you Take Seriously
Insurance is in place to help you feel more secure for what may happen in the future, whether it’s your loved ones, your home, your valuable belongings, or the family pet. By providing a safety net, insurance proceeds can supplement things like funeral costs, car rental costs while your vehicle is being fixed, or home repairs following a weather-related disaster. It’s important to note that policies do not always cover everything, so if for example your home is particularly at risk for earthquakes or floods, you may need separate insurance for that.
The different types of coverage, definitions, and cost breakdowns of choosing insurance can absolutely be overwhelming, but nothing as important as looking after your family, home, or vehicle should come easy. Just remember that living without insurance would make it more difficult to build back your life after disaster or tragedy strikes, so it’s best to be prepared as much as possible.
That’s why it’s so important to work with an insurance agent that you trust, and that you put in the time and effort into researching their reputation before you put your first payment down. It’s not likely that there is one insurance agency that will all have positive reviews, so consider them wisely, and look for other factors that might suit your needs such as cost, financial strength and ratings, how long their agency has been in business, and even the agency’s values and corporate overview.
Decide what factors are the most important to you when choosing a great insurance agency, and remember that investing in a sound insurance plan is an important investment in securing the risks you and your loved ones may face in the future.