When you're shopping around for a new car insurance policy, there's a good chance that you've got one all-important goal in mind: you want to find the best possible rate. While a getting a good car insurance rate and pay as little as possible is certainly an important part of snagging a good policy, it doesn't count for everything. The consumers that don’t recognize this usually come to an unfortunate realization after several months into a new policy that their car insurance plan isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Luckily, there are easy steps that consumers can take to avoid bad policies (and bad insurers).
First of all, looking at the history and financial stability of a prospective car insurance company is very important. When an auto insurance company has to pay out on a claim, they've got to draw on capital, and if the capital's not there, the company quite obviously won't be able to pay. Fly by night car insurers that advertise super-low car insurance rates might sound great on paper, but if they're unable to pay on a claim, there's no point in buying a policy from them in the first place. Generally speaking, the longer a car insurance company has been around (or the longer its parent company has been around), the better its financial stability and the higher your likelihood of receiving payment on a legitimate claim. You can also check a company's stock for further evidence of their financial status.
You should also be sure that your new policy provides enough coverage, and doesn't skimp in critical areas. Most car insurance companies won't sell a policy that provides less than the minimum coverage required by your state, but remember that the bare minimum coverage is rarely sufficient if you get into an accident. Auto insurance isn't very useful if the coverage minimums are set too low. When comparing several policies online or in person, check all of the terms of the contract to ensure that they're both offering the same types and amounts of coverage — and those amounts are adequate for your needs.
Checking into your prospective insurer's customer service record isn't a bad idea, either. Reviews of an insurer can be easily found using a search engine, and you'll quickly be able to determine whether you're dealing with a reputable insurer. It may seem like a minor point, but when you're making a claim, you'll want that claim dealt with ASAP, and a good customer service center is absolutely essential.
Take a few moments to research these elements of your policy — not just the cost — before making a purchase, and you'll end up with a much more dependable car insurance policy.