by: Better business office
Posted: 7/3/2021 / 3:00 PM CDTUpdated: 7/3/2021 / 3:16 PM CDT
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There are thousands of insurance carriers in the United States. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 5,965 insurance companies in the United States (including territories) in 2019 with total net premiums of $ 1.32 trillion, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. With so many options, how can you know which insurance company will work for you and your family?
When looking for the right insurance policy, be it for a commercial business, your personal property, your health or your life, look beyond the price. You should check that the company is reputable to meet your policy claims.
Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to keep the following tips in mind when purchasing insurance.
- What do you need? Insurance needs vary from person to person and from family to family, so you need to find the company and policy that is right for you. The first step is to determine how much coverage you need for the type of insurance you are considering.
- Do your research. Ask friends and family for information about which insurance companies they use. Compare multiple companies to see what they offer and how much it costs. Check your state insurance commission’s insurance regulations to make sure the companies you are considering are properly licensed. To find your State Insurance Commissioner, go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website. On BBB.org you can find the company profiles with complaints and ratings for the companies you are considering. Find out which companies are accredited. There are also insurance valuation services that you can consult to learn more about the company’s history and strength.
- Limit it to a few from your research. Choose three companies and get offers from them. Some websites allow you to compare prices side by side. Remember, the lowest price may not be the best deal. See how different deductibles affect price and decide what is best for you. Make sure that the final costs reflect the chosen coverage and benefits. When making a decision, also consider agency accessibility and the claim filing process.
- Who are you going to buy from? Consumers can purchase insurance directly from an insurance company or work with an agent. Agents can be trapped or independent. Captive agents represent a specific insurance company. They have a thorough knowledge of this company’s products but cannot help you with other companies’ offerings. Independent agents or brokers represent several insurance companies. They may be better able to find the best policy for you from a number of companies, but they may not have as much information on each product.
- Ask about discounts. If you’re looking for more than one type of insurance policy, ask if you can get a package to save money. Even if different types of insurance are sold together, make sure you know all the details for each policy including premiums, deductibles, co-payments and limits. You should also ask about discounts for good driving performance, good health, good grades, or other factors related to the type of insurance you are buying.
- Read carefully. An insurance policy is a legal document. Read it carefully. If something is confusing, have the agent or company explain it until you understand. Make sure there are no more loopholes in the policy and keep copies of all documents for future reference. After you take out insurance, check the policy annually to make sure everything is still correct and the policy continues to provide the necessary coverage.
For reliable information, lists of BBB accredited companies by industry, and BBB annual reports to trust with local businesses and charities, visit BBB.org.
Always look for companies that adhere to BBB accreditation standards and BBB standards for trust.
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