Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies can sometimes get a bad reputation for not working in your favor, but they are necessary to help keep overall costs down when something goes wrong. Insurance companies generally provide peace of mind in case there is some kind of emergency to help mitigate the cost of expensive events so that you do not have to pay the full cost out of pocket.

What to look for with car insurance

It is okay to shop around when looking for an insurance company. Car insurance is especially easy to compare costs and benefits, as there are several tools online to help you. For example, NerdWallet has a tool to compare car insurance rates in 2022.  While you may be looking for the cheapest option, keep in mind that you should also consider getting insurance that has:

  • Low monthly payment with good benefits
  • Reasonable deductible (consider the amount you’re willing to pay out of pocket if there’s an accident)
  • Ease of claim filing
  • Speed of payment after deductible is met
  • Mobile app (quick use in an emergency)
  • Good reviews online.

Some states require you to carry certain insurance liability limits, although there is a generally recommended formula of 100/300/100:

  • $100,000 per person
  • $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
  • $100,000 $100,000 per accident in property damage liability.

These limits are the maximum your insurance company will pay out once you’ve met your deductible. This is why it’s important that you can afford your deductible and that your insurance has good coverage.

How to deal with claims

It is important that you know how much you will pay if there is an accident, which is your deductible.  You have to meet your deductible before your insurance company will start paying your costs, which are the liability limits you set when you bought the policy. Sometimes with car insurance companies, you will need to pay a repair shop before you get reimbursed from your insurance company.  To help speed up the process, make sure that you:

  • Contact your insurance company immediately after an accident
  • Keep records, including police citations and photos of the accident
  • Take your car to a shop recommended by your insurance company
  • Follow up with a call or email if there is no immediate response from the insurance company.

Also, keep in mind that insurance agents are just doing their job within the parameters of what your insurance covers based on the limits that you set. If you only search for the cheapest deductible or monthly rate, you may end up having a hard time getting all the costs covered for an accident. Be proactive from the start, make sure that you have good coverage, and it will make dealing with your car insurance company much easier should you have an accident.