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|Is Low Price Auto Insurance Always the Best Price?|
Written by Doug Cohen
Is Low-Cost Auto Insurance a Safe Investment?
When shopping for a good deal on affordable auto insurance, itís tempting to do a price comparison and simply pick the lowest price offered on the policies you need. Insurance pros warn consumers this isnít the best strategy for picking an insurance agent or policy. Low-cost auto insurance should come with customer service and attention to your needs.
Ensurance.com president Doug Cohen says as with many other types of services on the market, sometimes you get exactly what you pay for. "When it comes to car insurance," Cohen points out, ďcheaper is not always better. Think about it this way -- would you put your life savings into a bank that while paying you a much higher rate of interest than other banks, kept your money behind the counter in a ceramic piggy bank and had a low-cost battery-operated security system?"
The key to finding quality along with a reasonable price? Doing some homework on the insurance market. Use the Internet to research the cost of insurance in your zip code and start by comparing prices for basic services such as the required-by-law coverage in your state. Companies who charge more or less the same for basic services may have higher prices on optional coverage, but donít let presence of a few higher prices stop you from taking a second look at a reputable company.
Once youíve got an idea of the average prices in your market, itís time to research what kind of discounts the most promising insurance companies may have to offer. Reputable insurers with higher prices often feature discounts for optional safety equipment, good driving records or taking a defensive driving course. These discounts bring you closer to the prices of inferior companies, but without the risk.
You may be better off paying a few extra dollars and trying for any discounts you are eligible to receive. Doug Cohen points out that when it comes to prices, good companies with affordable car insurance are often overlooked in favor of cut-rate plans that donít show drawbacks until you try to get good service. "That's the way it is with some insurance companies. Like the bank which saved money on a vault by using a ceramic piggy bank and a battery-operated alarm, but was then able to pay you a higher rate of interest than most other banks, how do you think insurance companies are able to offer you such low premiums?"
The last step in your search for affordable insurance is to investigate the top three companies on your list and see what kind of reputation they have for helping their insureds when itís time to file a claim, and how responsive the company is when you call with questions or to get a progress report on your claim.
Does your research uncover a history of complaints associated with paying a claim promptly? Or a pattern of contesting claims beyond what seems reasonable? Don't sign up with a company that gives warning signs of being unreasonable or difficult to deal with.
Ask your friends, check with consumer advocacy websites or the Better Business Bureau and see what information turns up. Your investment of time into researching the insurer will pay off with a safer and more reasonable investment of your money in the right kind of low-cost auto insurance. Beware jumping at the first competitive price you findóunless youíve checked out the company to see if they can back up their rates with a good reputation.
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