A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Auto insurance may offer the same types of coverage in each state, but the carriers that offer the coverage aren’t the same
  • Since auto insurance is a service and the company is the service provider, it’s very important to choose a reputable insurer that has experienced agents and helpful claims adjusters
  • One of the first things to consider whenever you’re choosing a new auto insurance company is financial stability. Each company’s financial records are public information and there are third-party rating agencies that grade each company’s financial status for consumers
  • It’s important to review a company’s complaint record through the state or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This helps you determine if the company has a good reputation with customers
  • Some consumer review companies will rank companies based on their customer satisfaction ratings and their claims settlement tactics. Compare these reviews to cross sub-par companies off of your list

All auto insurance companies are required by law to offer certain coverage options and limits to their clients.

Since the coverage that’s afforded under a policy is typically the same, it’s easy to assume that all insurance companies are the same as well. What you might not know is that not all companies are created equal.

Since auto insurance is one of those products that’s not tangible, it’s all about the service that you receive. Since some companies have a reputation of offering better service than others, it’s your job as a consumer to compare carriers before you even compare premiums.

Enter your zip code above and find the best car insurance rates for your budget!

If you’re not familiar with the steps that you need to take to differentiate one carrier from the next, here’s a guide to help:

Insurance Companies Set Their Own Rates

Insurance companies are free to set their own rates as long as the company files these rates for approval through the Department of Insurance.

For the department to approve a rate filing, the rate that’s being charged must be fair and reasonable. If there’s any sign that the rates are discriminatory, the filing will be denied.

Since insurance companies are in charge of doing research to set their rates and set aside money for operations, there are carriers that have competitive rates and others that are priced high in the marketplace.

The key to finding the best rates in the marketplace is to identify which carriers have low rates for consumers who fall into the same class as you.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Check a Company’s Financial Status Before Getting a Quote

There are a few steps that you need to take before you go about getting quotes for through any personal auto insurance carrier. While price is important, it’s not the most important thing when you’re buying an umbrella that will safeguard you from the storm that can come after a loss.

The first step to take is to compare the financial ratings of each carrier that’s made your list.

Financial ratings help you determine how stable a company is and how able they are to pay claims presented. It’s best to get the grades that are issued by third-party agencies like Moody’s and A.M. Best so that you know the data that you’re referencing is unbiased.

Why is financial stability so important?

One of the main reasons that financial stability is important is because the grade represents how likely the company is to settle claims quickly. Companies that have a low score on their financial stability grade have tendencies to delay claims or even deny covered claims in an effort to avoid making payouts.

Pricing and financial stability are closely related, but not in a way that you might think.

Companies that charge very low premiums could go bankrupt quickly. This is why you should always see very low premiums from a newer carrier as a red flag. After all, companies need to collect more than they pay out each year to stay in business.

Review a Company’s Complaint Record

Once you have a list of financially stable companies, the next step is to cross the secure companies off of the list by determining which companies have bad complaint records.

When an official complaint is filed through the state, this will be public record. You can access the records through the Department of Insurance website or through the compliant database with the NAIC.

It’s in your best interest to look through the records to see if old clients have reported the same types of complaints through a specific carrier in your state.

If you see that many of the issues have gone unresolved, you can save some time and a lot of stress by moving on to a company that doesn’t have the same red flags.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

See What Makes the Company Different

All carriers offer liability coverage, physical damage coverage, and other first-party benefits that all licensed carriers must include in their standard products. The coverage offerings may be the same, but most of the larger competitors will offer something unique that they can advertise to sell more.

What makes a company different varies from company to company. Some carriers offer new car replacement valuations and others offer a disappearing deductible.

There are also carriers that have special mobile apps or offices that make servicing your policy easier than ever. It’s important to check and see what makes a company special.

Check Consumer Satisfaction Ratings

Not all displeased consumers will file official complaints. Instead, these customers will turn to surveys through companies like J.D. Power and Associates to make sure their voices are heard. If you want to see the big picture, review the survey results.

You can find out how a company is rated in the following categories:

  • Overall purchase experience
  • Policy offerings
  • Pricing
  • Call center representative
  • Insurer website
  • Local agent
  • Claims satisfaction

Other Lines of Insurance

If you’re trying to combine your insurance with the same carrier, you should go about looking for a company that sells multiple lines of insurance. By doing this, you can save money off of each policy with a multi-policy discount and you can make servicing your policy easier.

Not all insurance carriers are the same. In fact, companies in all industries are different. To find a company that’s better than the rest, you should do an insurance quote comparison.

The easiest way to comparison shop is to use an online tool. Enter your personal information, research carriers, and then compare price.

Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance rates from top companies in your area today!