Getting insurance quotes can be a major hassle if you try to be your own insurance broker. From finding and contacting numerous agents to keeping track of all the fine print…who has the time? One of many advantages of working with an independent insurance broker is that they can do this legwork for you, and can shop around on your behalf to get the very best deal instead of selling you on any one company.
But, if you choose to go it alone, here are some things to consider when evaluating insurance quotes:
- How long has the insurance company been in business?
- Check with your state’s department of insurance to make sure they’re legally able to do business in your state.
- How reputable is the company? Check out their AM Best ratings and the NAIC’s Consumer Information Source at https://eapps.naic.org/cis/ for potential complaints.
- Online calculators and quotes are helpful, but doing things the old fashioned way (over the phone) and speaking with a human—preferably an agent—ensures you get all of your questions answered.
- Prepare a uniform checklist of questions to ask when requesting the quote so you can compare apples to apples. The basics should include: the deductible, the premium and if it’s subject to change, any exclusions, requirements/eligibility, what exactly is covered up to what amount and what, if any, claim limitations or lifetime limits exist (all too common with current health insurance rules).
- Always ask what discounts are available and get the rates for both regular and discounted pricing.
- Remember it’s not just the price that matters – it’s the service, company strength, and having the proper coverage that are important.
Trust your instincts and be informed. If phone messages are ignored or people you know had a negative experience, you’ll want to take an especially hard look at whether or not the coverage is worth the impersonal or apathetic service that could come with it.