How to Compare California Car Insurance Companies

Posted on: 15Jan,2016

Without a doubt, one of the most important decisions an individual has to make during their lifetime is the purchase of car insurance. Numerous individuals struggle with this and have a great deal of difficulty when it comes to choosing a California car insurance company. It may be because there are so many to select from. It may be due to the fact that they are unsure of the type of coverage to purchase. One way or the other, these are very valid reasons and worthy of note.

However, as valid as these reasons are, people still insist on signing up with any company that will give them the cheapest price. Using price as the main criteria for choosing an insurance company makes about as much sense as choosing the company with the funniest TV commercial. The interesting thing about that is that the people in those commercials have no clue. If you want to select one of the many California car insurance companies out there, here are some tips that will make your decision easier to make.

Do some research before you do anything else – many individuals fail to realize or overlook the fact that every state has its own government department of insurance, and California is no exception. Additionally, most of the different state departments have their own websites as well.

Visit the state’s website to research the insurance companies on your list of choices and their “complaint ratios.” Complaint ratios tell you the number of complaints per 1,000 claims that have been filed against a company. We recommend that you use these complaint ratios when screening the different insurance companies on your list.

Be sure that you are comparing the exact same coverage – the best way to compare policy pricing is to make sure that you get a quote on the identical coverage regardless of how many companies you compare. That will help you narrow down the companies on your list of choices.

Check out each company’s track record – the complaint ratios mentioned above will help you narrow down your choices. This statistic is more important than any car insurance company’s financial ratings. You can also find out how well these different companies treat their clients based on those complain ratios. After all, if you have a valid claim, you need to be assured that the company is solvent enough to pay you for your damages.

Choose California car insurance companies that offer the most discounts – these can really save you a considerable amount of money in the long run, and there are lots of them that you may be able to qualify for. Be thorough when evaluating the discounts that each company offers as some companies may offer more discounts than others.

Compare the types of optional coverage that are offered – as with discounts, some insurance companies offer more optional coverages than others. Examples of these coverage options include CD/DVD replacement, labor and towing (when your vehicle is being repaired), and rental car coverage. However, you should only pay for these options if you really feel you need them.

Consider J.D. Power Rankings – this company collects individual policyholder’s data on a nationwide basis and then rates each company based on certain factors including:

• claims handling
• coverage options
• overall consumer experience
• premium rates
• satisfaction with company

Don’t over-purchase coverages – despite the different types of insurance products (i.e. auto, healthcare, homeowner’s, life, etc.), there are similar coverages between them. For instance, if you have a good healthcare policy, you won’t need to purchase PIP or personal injury protection coverage on your auto insurance.

Take a look at each insurance company’s financial strength ratings – both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s publish what are known as financial strength ratings of the different insurance companies in the marketplace. These companies do not rank or rate insurance companies by the way they treat their clients. But what they do measure is a company’s financial ability to pay on insurance claims that have been filed.

On a closing note, there is tons of information about different California car insurance companies available online. Furthermore, you might want to consider discussing your needs with the different agents of the companies you are considering and having them answer any questions you may have.