Cutting Through the Red Tape of Insurance Rates
Insurance rates can easily overwhelm people who have tight budgets. Still, despite any anxiety one may feel, there are a few important matters to taken care of when dealing with insurance companies. Here are some tips that can help you when purchasing a insurance.
State Regulatory Agencies
First of all, you should research your state’s insurance department. State regulatory agencies and insurance departments normally offer good information regarding specific companies and sometimes even rates. This way, you can get objective, unbiased information regarding insurance companies in your area.
Look everywhere for the best deal possible. There are many sites that provide a multitude of quotes that are easy to browse. You can always consult with an independent insurance agent to acquire the best insurance rates.
You need to ensure that your insurance company is licensed and that the state’s guaranty fund covers the company. The guaranty fund is responsible for paying any claims in case an insurance company defaults. Again, you’ll have to check with your state insurance agency to find out this information.
Do Consumer Research
You need to be sure that you only purchase insurance from a company that is financially stable and sound. You can take a look at Moody’s Investor Services, Standard and Poor’s, and A.M. Best. All of these companies provide comprehensive information regarding insurance companies. They also provide specific rankings for insurance companies. These companies’ ratings are available at most public libraries and online.
Check on each company’s complaint rating. Your state insurance department will have information pertaining to each company’s complaint rating. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also has a full database that takes down all complaints that are filed by customers to state regulatory agencies.
Check with other people regarding each company’s customer service. You should ask friends and family if they have any experience with a particular insurance company. You find out a lot just by talking to people. Insurance customers can give ratings to companies on J.D. Power and Associates web site.
Document Your Policy
Be sure that you get a written policy after you have paid the first premium. This will mean that the agent you are consulting with has forwarded the premium to the company. You need to contact the insurance company if you don’t receive this within 60 days of obtaining your premium.
Insurance companies are required to abide by certain regulations so that insured parties are sure to receive funds in the case of a claim. Taking care of these small details will also help you immensely if you ever need to dispute a claim. Unfortunately, the incidence of disputed claims is on the rise. In this tough economy, consumers need to protect themselves in any way they can.