Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 16, 2019

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When you are looking for the best home and auto insurance company, it is fairly easy to compare the different providers. If you are a home owner and/or drive a car, getting insurance is pretty much a necessity.

The key is to find a company that is trustworthy and experienced and to find a good rate on your policy.

Compare car insurance rates immediately by filling your ZIP code into the FREE quote box!

When you are trying to decide which insurance company to go with for your auto and home needs, there are a number of things you should compare. Price is a big one, but price is not the only thing that is important.

If you find the right company you will hopefully be with them for a long time, which is beneficial in multiple ways.

Comparing Price

The insurance business is a big one. Because of this, companies will gladly compete for your business. This usually brings prices down and widens your range of choice.

Because some types of insurance, such as car insurance, are mandatory, you don’t have the choice of whether to buy it or not. Rather, you can only choose how much to pay for it.

Many drivers will compare quotes from a few different companies before making a choice. In general this is a good move, as you might as well pay as little for your policy as possible. It is important to know that prices are not based on what individual companies charge alone.

Price is largely determined by personal factors for the driver and vehicle being insured.

When you are comparing prices, make sure you are looking at more than just the cost. You should compare other things about the company and policy before you choose the cheapest rate.

Comparing Coverage Types

With both homeowner’s and auto insurance, there are different types of coverage from which you can choose. With car insurance, almost every state has its own requirements in regards to the kind of insurance each driver needs to have.

For most states it includes liability coverage, but you should refer to your state insurance department to find out for sure.

In most cases, you should carry more insurance than what is mandatory.

For leased, financed, and newer cars, you should seriously consider comprehensive and collision coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is also a good idea to help protect you from drivers who have skated by without purchasing any or enough coverage.

Whether you own a home, condominium, townhouse, or mobile home, or you rent, you will want to have some type of insurance to protect your belongings and the structure of the dwelling. The type of coverage that you get will vary according to the type of home you are insuring.

Just because you have insurance for your home or apartment, doesn’t mean that you are protected against everything. This is why you need to speak with an agent and nail down exactly what your policy will cover.

The Insurance Information Institute helps to lay out the different policy types provided by homeowner’s insurance.

With homeowner’s insurance, you will also choose your levels of coverage. Some policies cover the actual cash value of your possessions or home. This does deduct for depreciation. If you do not want a depreciation deduction, you can get replacement cost coverage.

For the highest protection level, you would want to choose extended or guaranteed replacement cost. When comparing different companies, make sure you are being quoted for the same types and level of coverage.

Comparing Customer Service

When comparing and choosing between multiple insurance companies, there are a number of things to compare. One is how the company treats its customers. There are quite a few insurance companies that have local offices and agents that you can easily access in person.

There are also insurance companies that only work online or by phone.

These companies may be able to offer you lower rates on your auto and home policies because they don’t have to pay a middle man. If you don’t mind a more hands-off approach to your insurance issues, such as claims service and policy renewal, saving money this way may be the way to go for you.

Others prefer being able to call their agent at any time and being able to meet with them if necessary. If this is how you are, then you should choose a company that offers this type of customer service.

A smaller insurance company in your town or a big insurance company that has locations all over the country will be the best bet for friendly, easily accessible customer service.

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Comparing Claims Processes

One of the biggest aspects to compare in order for you to get the most out of your premium is how the companies handle claims.

If you are in an accident and have car damage and injuries, or if a fire has destroyed part of your home, you want your insurance provider to respond quickly and efficiently, as well as pay correctly for the necessary issues.

Some insurance companies advertise low rates because they save money when it comes to claims. This means that they may deny coverage, pay out less than you think is right, or pay less for shoddy repairs.

You want to make sure that you choose a company that will treat your claims fairly.

One way to compare how different companies handle claims is by accessing ratings from J.D. Power and Associates. For auto claims, consumers rate how companies perform in different categories.

You can compare how companies stack up in regards to overall satisfaction, service interaction, the first loss notice, the appraisal process, rental car experience, the repair process, and settlements.

This is a great resource to use, whether you have no idea which insurance company to use or if you are deciding among a few.

This service is also available for homeowners. A couple of other good sources to find out about complaints against any of the companies you are comparing are your state insurance department and the Better Business Bureau for your area.

Read this Consumer Search article for another opinion.

Comparing Discounts Offered

Although you originally receive rate quotes from each company, you can dig deeper to see how else you can save money with each company. Most insurance companies reward good drivers with discounts. Some companies offer discounts in more areas than others.

It is a good idea to ask what discounts are offered and if you are eligible for any of them.

Almost all insurance providers offer a discount when you combine your auto policy with your homeowner’s policy. You may be able to save anywhere from 10% to 20%.

Other discounts may be for good students, safe drivers, safety features of your vehicle, or anti-theft devices. Some companies even offer a loyalty discount once you’ve been with them for a certain period of time.

Comparing Financial Stability

An important component of any insurance company that most people don’t consider is how financially stable it is. This information can give you a good idea of a company’s ability to pay claims, not only now, but also in the future.

It can also predict whether the company will still be around years from now, or if there is a chance that the company is going to fail.

One source to find out this information is A.M. Best. This company independently rates insurance companies based off of multiple financial aspects. You can compare companies that insure cars as well as homes.

Compare the ratings of each of the companies on which you are trying to make a decision. You don’t necessarily have to choose the company with the highest rating, but you should choose one that rates A- or higher.

Also take a look at the companies’ outlooks. Choose one with a stable or positive outlook and pass on a company that has a negative one.

Where to Find Home and Auto Insurance Companies

Now that you know how to compare insurance companies, you may be wondering what are the quickest ways to find them.

The fastest and most efficient way to get multiple free quotes for your insurance needs is by using the Internet.

There are multiple sites that allow you to fill in your zip code and other pertinent information, which takes about 20 minutes, and then they present you with quotes from a number of insurance providers that can help you.

The nice thing about this is you don’t have to visit individual insurance websites and fill in the information each time. This saves you a lot of time and allows you to choose an insurance company faster.

Once you are presented with three to four companies that have quotes that are appealing to you and your budget, make sure to compare them at a deeper level.

Once you do, you can feel confident that you made the right decision in regards to an insurance provider for your vehicles and home.

Start the car insurance rate comparison right here and now by entering your ZIP code into the FREE quote area on this page!

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