LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- OnlineAutoInsurance.com advises consumers to take more than price into consideration when shopping for auto insurance coverage. Although locating a policy at the most affordable rate is a common goal among motorists, there are several factors that should be considered when choosing a carrier. Consumers may want to make sure that adequate protection is obtained from a reputable company that is financially sound, licensed and has a good customer satisfaction record.
First of all, the consumer looking for the lowest possible premium should consider the issue of coverage levels. Although getting the minimum levels from cheap insurance companies may satisfy a driver's legal obligation for financial responsibility and budget as well, the protection afforded by such a policy may not cover all the damages that result from an accident. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), state-set minimum coverage levels are "generally low," and heightened coverage may be a viable option. What's more, other types of coverage — such as uninsured/underinsured motorist protection — may not be required by law at all but could prove invaluable in certain situations. Increasing the levels of coverage may increase premiums, but, as the NAIC advises in its consumer's guide to auto insurance, "The extra cost of higher coverage tends to be relatively low."
In addition to the quality of the policy itself, consumers need to take into account the quality of the policy's issuer. Shoppers can do this by looking up information on the financial viability of a company and information on the rate of that insurer's consumer complaints.
To get a sense of a company's financial stability, online shoppers can use the website of a public rating agency. Rating agencies such as A.M. Best review the financials of insurers in order to assess their ability to pay out on all obligations to policyholders, and they give those insurers letter grades based on their strength. Basically, an insurance provider with a higher rating may be less likely to become insolvent. Although most states have established guaranty funds to assist policyholders whose insurers do become insolvent, the best option is to stick with a company that looks strong.
Aside from ratings based on financial strength, drivers can utilize a tool made available by state departments called a consumer-complaint index. These state-produced annual reports reflect the number of complaints filed against an insurer with the state department and compares that number with the total number of policies written. With this information, consumers may be able to get a better idea of the quality of customer service and claims handling that can be expected from a coverage provider. Consumers can visit their state insurance department websites to access these reports. Shoppers can use the directory at http://consumeraction.gov/insurance.shtml to find the website of their state's department.
To learn more about finding quality car insurance for less, consumers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/cheap/companies/ where visitors will find informative articles and a free online-quote generator.
SOURCE Online Auto Insurance, LLC