Finding the best car insurance for families can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The good news is there are more resources than ever to help you ensure that you’re getting the best coverage for your individual needs.
Every state has different coverage requirements. It’s important to know what is required by your state as a minimum level of coverage. Once you’ve determined the base level of coverage required, you must think about your own financial situation. You may need to increase your coverage from the minimum requirement in order to protect your financial assets. Lastly, take into account your personal driving history. Do you have tickets or points on your license? Any kind of blemish on your driving record may drastically impact the rates of your insurance.
It’s important to know that your insurance will cover all of the drivers in your family. If you have student drivers who are learning to drive and not yet licensed, will they be protected? Will your policy cover any family members that drive your vehicles or only those listed on the policy?
If you have several drivers in you your family, especially young drivers, it’s important to understand exactly what kind of protection your coverage provides.
Your insurance coverage is most important when you need it, so ask about the claims process and how it’s handled. Does your carrier have a 24-hour claims service available? Is there a claims officer near you? What is the normal length of time when paying on a claim?
While you can purchase directly from an insurance company online, you can also purchase through a local agent if you prefer to have an additional contact close by who may be able to help you with any claims or issues as they arise. It’s important to have an understanding of each company’s claim process before you make your decision.
Every insurance company has a different way of assessing risk and formulating rates. This leads to a wide array of pricing for the same coverage. That's why it’s essential to shop around and compare pricing to ensure that you’re not overpaying for your coverage. Luckily, there are lots of websites that allow you to compare insurance rates like Compare.com, NetQuote, 4freequotes and InsureMe.
To accurately compare insurance companies, you have to make sure you are looking at the same coverages and deductibles. Once you have received initial quotes, ask for any and all applicable discounts. While most companies offer discounts for good driving records, good students, and members of groups like teachers or military, they don’t always advertise them, so it’s important to ask! Discounts may also be offered to customers if you choose to bundle your car insurance with your homeowners or renters insurance.
"Auto insurance is a highly competitive business and one of the most effective ways to reduce insurance costs is simply to shop around," according to Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. "Drivers should look for an insurance company that will provide a good price along with excellent service."
Price should not be the only factor when choosing an insurance company. You want to make sure that the company you choose has a good track record with claims and is adequately funded. You can visit your state’s insurance department website to see how companies rate. You can also look to the Better Business Bureau, American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) or J.D. Power & Associates for unbiased ratings on customer service.
Insurance companies are rated based on their financial stability. According to The Balance, “Generally, an 'A' rated insurance company is considered one that performs at the top of its industry in creditworthiness (the ability to repay creditors and pay any claims presented) as well as how it performs financially when compared to its peers. Of the major rating organizations, many give ratings ranging from “A” or above to “C” or below (a "C" rating is considered very weak.)” Insurance rating organizations like Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, and Weiss Ratings can help you make a sound choice.
Choosing the right auto insurance is an important financial decision. The right insurance company should be able to provide you with fair rates, a good customer service track record and peace of mind. There are copious resources to help you determine what’s right for you and your family.
3. U.S. News and World Report
5. The Balance