Remember when you were a kid you could’t wait to grow up? You could make all your own decisions: eat cookies and ice cream for dinner, stay up all night and watch TV, and you wouldn’t have to wear a geeky hat when your mom was cold. Sounded good then, but the reality is that making your own decisions isn’t always so much fun- real life is actually serious! One of the most important and most confusing decisions we need to make as adults is choosing an insurance company. Knowing that you have the right insurance plan and the right insurance provider can give you a lot of piece of mind, so you’ll want to make this choice smartly. Whether you’re shopping for auto, health, home, life, or any other type of insurance, follow these tips to help you make a smart choice:
1. Know your insurance needs:
Before shopping around, be very clear with yourself on what your needs are. Knowing exactly what you need insurance coverage for will help you search more effectively, and help you get answers to the questions you may have.
2. Check ratings:
Log onto a third party rating company site to check on customer satisfaction with various insurance companies.
3. Check out the financial health of insurance companies:
Before you sign on to a new policy, you want to be sure that the insurance company has the finances to cover you should you need to make a claim.
4. Check for complaints:
You can check with a national claims database or your state insurance commission to see if any complaints have been filed against an insurance company.
5. Make sure an insurance company can serve your needs:
Do the research so that you can be comfortable knowing your insurance company can take care of you.
6. Look into pricing:
Keep in mind that often you get what you pay for; an insurance plan with lower premiums can mean less coverage, while spending a little more can give you better coverage. Again, make sure you know your needs so you don’t have to pay for unnecessary coverage.
7. Check out accessibility and ease of communication:
Things you might want to know about are how likely it is to speak to a person, who to email, response rate.
8. Look for discounts:
Many insurance companies offer discounts under certain circumstances. Being a good driver, buying a family plan, or bundling (buying more than one type of insurance from the same company) are often ways to get a discount on your insurance premiums.
9. Know a particular insurer’s specialty:
If you’re shopping for health insurance, a company that specializes in car insurance won’t be your best pick. And if you have a particular situation make sure you choose an insurance company that has the right expertise.
10. Go with a broker:
An insurance broker can work with you to find the best insurance company and policy to fit your needs, as well as negotiate the best pricing and benefits.
Choosing the right insurance is a big, grown-up decision, but once it’s done, you can relax knowing you are well protected!
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