Did you know that there are literally hundreds of insurance carriers in the United States? Knowing this, how do you possibly know which insurance carrier is the best fit for you and your insurance needs?
While it’s tempting to make your decision based on price alone, there are other things to consider when deciding on your insurance purchase. This becomes even more important the more specific and unique your needs are, whether it’s for your business or personal insurance. Therefore, I put together five items that I believe you should consider when evaluating an insurance company.
I recommend using a rating service, such as A.M. Best or Standard and Poor’s to give you an idea of an insurance company’s industry ratings and financial health. I really like A.M. Best since it is simple to use and is free. I often hear people say that they think “bigger is better” in terms of insurance companies. I don’t agree with this — the purpose of using companies like A.M. Best or Standard and Poor’s is to understand an insurance company’s ability to pay on a claim & financial strength, which is usually categorized by size.
If you reside in Illinois, you can check with the Illinois Department of Insurance to check whether or not a company is licensed.
On top of using your state’s insurance department’s website, you can also check complaints and overall satisfaction with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) or JD Power and Associates. These sites will also help you check a company’s claims payment history and other financial information.
Langlois Insurance Agency also uses a great tool, ValChoice, which Forbes Magazine calls “The CarFax of Insurance.” ValChoice’s mission is to give every consumer in America a free analysis of their insurance company. Consumers have the power of big-data analytics available to see the good, bad and ugly of their insurance company. It shows which companies offer the best price, protection (claims payment history) and service.
This is the biggie. Claims. After all, this is why we all carry insurance — on the unfortunate chance that we have a claim. We want to make certain that the company we have insurance with offers an excellent overall claims process.
On top of checking ValChoice for overall customer satisfaction, don’t hesitate to contact the insurance company directly and ask them how they manage their claims process. Protecting your assets and guarding yourself from liability is a major life purchase to properly protect yourself, your loved ones, and your possessions. This is especially true when you have complex coverage needs.
This is my favorite. Talk to me. Ask me questions. When you talk to a captive agent (an agent who works for only one insurance company), you’ll only get information on one company. Since I offer a wealth of knowledge for many different insurance carriers, I can use my knowledge of many different companies in order to serve your best interests in guiding you through the decision-making process.
I know that it is easy to get caught up on cost and big names. Big insurance brands don’t necessarily mean they are the best for carrying out your claims. The lesson is: do your due diligence and research the reputation of an insurance carrier. And lastly, don’t forget that, as your trusted insurance advisor, I am here to offer you a wealth of advice on different companies.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any of your insurance questions or needs. The entire team at Langlois Insurance Agency can help guide you through this process. I always love to hear from my customers!