Best P&C Insurance Companies: How Do You Find The Best?

October 14, 2009

In 2008, The Department of Insurance of the State of New York released a report showing the 40 P&C insurance companies that had the most complaints. We did an article about this previously. We showed the ten worst companies, the ones that got the most complaints. But we did not feature the ones that got the least number of complaints in New York, a tough insurance market.

Here is the list of New York’s best P&C insurance companies as determined by the least number of complaints, higher number of complaints as you go down the list:

1. Long Island Insurance
2. Infinity Property & Casualty
3. Interboro Mutual
4. Tri-State Consumer Ins. Group
5. American International Group (AIG)
6. Safeco Insurance Group
7. Countrywide Insurance
8. White Mountains Group, OneBeacon, Esurance, Auto One Ins.
9. State Wide Insurance
10. Hannover RE Group, Clarendon National (no longer writing business)

You may find that some of these companies are only local or regional and that you cannot do business with them where you live. But notice that AIG, Safeco, OneBeacon and Esurance are national companies that got fewer complaints.

It’s not as easy to list a Top Ten Best P&C Insurance companies for America. We would have to contact all 50 state Departments of Insurance and find out which insurers had the least complaints. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners presently does not have any such report. In addition, complaints are not the only criteria that should be used to evaluate an insurance company.

Think about this statement, my friends.

The only thing that truly matters about your insurance is what happens when you submit a claim. It doesn’t matter how good your agent is…or if the company sends you a calendar every year…or buys you dinner. It really doesn’t matter if you pay a low premium or a higher premium. Claims handling is EVERYTHING!!

    Claims are about KEEPING PROMISES.

When the insurance companies don’t keep their promises, the complaints pile up!

Lowest premiums are not the only criterion you should use, either. Shopping for insurance is confusing and complicated. Determining if your quotes are “apples and apples” comparisons takes strict attention to detail.

You may need the help of a dedicated, experienced agent to determine your insurance needs and buy the right policy. Still, my recommendation is to shop widely for your insurance needs. Get quotes from captive agents (who only write for one company) and independent agents (who write for multiple companies).

Getting quotes on the internet makes shopping for insurance very easy these days. But look for an insurance quote service that can give you competitive quotes PLUS strategies on submitting insurance claims that will help you collect thousands of dollars more in your claim settlements.

So, which insurance company should you do business with?

1. Choose a company that has an A+ or A rating from the insurance rating services like A.M. Best.
2. Get multiple insurance quotes at least every two years, then choose the company whose policies give you the most coverage for the least money. Don’t worry about company loyalty. The companies don’t care and neither should you.

If you are one of the unfortunate people who experience a loss of any kind, you’ll need to know how to handle your insurance claim so that you maximize your recovery. You will need to know how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, check out:

For the only online insurance quote service that provides you competitive quotes and claims strategies, check out:

You can win the insurance game if you have the right information. So go and win!


Insurance Quotes: Does Shopping For Insurance Affect Your Credit Score?

August 2, 2009

Insurance quotes and insurance company underwriting have recently added a new factor for evaluating new customers. Now, insurers will check your credit scores. They have determined through statistical testing that people with good credit scores are better risks, and that undesirable credit scores are not good potential customers. Insurance companies and agents that see a person with a high credit score will consider you a low-risk client.

There are many consumers who worry that requesting new insurance quotes could have a negative affect on their credit scores. When agents or insurers pull up your credit report, it creates an “inquiry” on your credit history. Inquiries can sometimes lower your credit score by a few points.

So, does shopping for insurance quotes lower your credit score?
The answer is “NO.”

There are two types of credit inquiries:

“Hard Pulls” – this refers to credit inquiries for acquiring credit as from a lender, credit card company or a merchant credit card.

“Soft Pulls” – this refers to inquiries made that review your credit score. This is the kind of “pull” that an agent or insurance company will do during the quote process. Soft pulls are not noted on your credit report except listing the name of the entity that made the request. But the Soft Pull does not lower your credit score.

So, you may be confident that shopping for insurance quotes will not lower your credit score. And it is very important to know that a good or high credit score can lower your insurance rates when you shop for insurance quotes.

Hot Tip: The trade group Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association (IIABA) finds that 85% of new insurance buyers will use the Internet for rate quotes and research before making a purchase. Start shopping online for insurance and allow excellent local insurance agents to contact you with the most competitive quotes for your insurance needs.

You could save hundreds of dollars per year through the insurance quote process. Many times, the new agent you choose will handle cancellation of your old policies and take care of all the paperwork. Shopping on the Internet for insurance quotes is easy, simple and FREE!! It does not cost you one cent to get an insurance quote. In a matter of minutes after you submit your request, agents will begin contacting you to complete your quotes. You could get better coverage for less money…it happens all the time.

Don’t waste time, and don’t spend more for coverage than you have to!

“Big Rig” Insurance: What To Look For In A Commercial Truck Insurance Policy

July 18, 2009

“Big Rig” insurance is essential for the independent owner/operator. In today’s highly competitive commercial trucking industry, an owner/operator has to be a shrewd businessman, and get the best insurance for the lowest premium.

Are you a person that loves sun-drenched afternoons cruising on mountain roads or along the coastline? Can you close your eyes and see the highway stretch out before you all the way to the horizon?

Your big rig may be your family business. Do you hit the road with your wife as a driving team?

Are you a person who enjoys the freedom of being your own boss as an independent owner/operator? Or are you a leased operator?

Do you own more than just one truck?

No matter what your motivation is for owning and operating a commercial semi truck, you will need commercial truck insurance. But all commercial truck insurance policies are not the same.

Here are some features and coverages you should look for when shopping for commercial truck insurance:

• Only accept an A-rated insurance company so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your insurance company has the financial strength to take care of you when covered losses occur.
• Comprehensive Coverage – protection for non-collision losses, such as fire, smoke, windstorm, theft, lightning, hail, animals, vandalism, even low branches and overhangs.
• Replacement Cost coverage – on your personal property that is stolen, damaged or destroyed.
• Physical Damage/Collision coverage – when your vehicle runs into something.
• Replacement Cost Coverage on the vehicle, which pays to replace your vehicle with a brand new one of like kind and quality. Most policies only pay the Actual Cash Value for a total loss.
• Liability limits – buy high liability limits, it’s inexpensive coverage. Skimp on other coverages but don’t skimp here. Personal injury attorneys love truck accidents and get big jury awards.
• Attached Accessories Coverage – includes running lights, antennas, chrome, custom wheels, custom paint, satellite dishes, and such. Many insurance policies don’t cover customizing equipment. Make sure yours does.
• Non-Trucking Liability, or“Bob-Tail” coverage – takes care of you when you’re using your rig at times you’re not under dispatch.
• Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability – covers your load against damage from certain causes.
• Trailer Interchange coverage – if you have a trailer interchange agreement, you need this coverage to protect you while you’re in possession of a container or trailer that you don’t own.
• A trailer interchange agreement is a contract that arranges to transfer a trailer from one trucker to another in order to complete a shipment.
• Refrigeration Breakdown Endorsement – provides coverage up to a separate limit shown on the schedule for spoilage of perishable stock while the stock is in transit on a vehicle.
• Non-owned trailer – this is third party coverage for a trailer that you are hauling owned by another entity.
• Emergency Expenses Coverage – pays for lodging or travel back home if your unit is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss more than 50 miles from home.
• Towing and Roadside Assistance – first dollar coverage, no out-of-pocket costs for towing, flat tire changes, fuel delivery and locksmith services.
• Occupational Accident Coverage – pays your medical bills for certain covered accidents while you’re working. Crucial coverage if you do not carry health insurance for yourself.

We may need more information from you such as driver and equipment lists, MVR’s and loss runs.

Commercial trucking insurers also offer a variety of discounts, such as:

• Multi-Unit
• Multi-Policy
• Safety Course
• Prior Insurance
• Renewal discount for maintaining continuous coverage

You will also find a wide choice of deductibles and payment plans available. Choosing higher deductibles will lower your premiums. Flexible payment plans will help you manage your budget.

By using these strategies, you’ll have the best chance at having fun cruising the roads in your “Big Rig!”

Get your best Big Rig commercial truck insurance quotes at:

Quotes are always free…you NEVER spend a penny for a quote. And, there is NEVER any obligation to buy.

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The first report is “Five Things To Avoid When Buying Car Insurance.”

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Car Insurance: Five Things to Do to When Shopping for Car Insurance

November 15, 2008

Shopping for car insurance can be confusing, frustrating and expensive. But you can save hundreds of dollars annually if you’ll use the strategies listed below.

Remember, folks. I’m an insurance adjuster. I’m the guy that keeps the promises that the insurance company makes. So, I bring a perspective to this topic that comes from years of handling insurance claims, not selling policies.

When I get a claim, it means someone who drives and owns a car bought car insurance. Then, something happened and there was a loss. Then, the policyholder submitted a claim to their insurance company.

But, at that point, the policy is already in place. The contract has been signed. The premium has been paid. This is NOT the time to find out that the coverage YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD is different from the contract.

Unfortunately, this is the most common moment when people find out their car insurance is not going to work like they had hoped. And do you know who it is who gets to break that news to the policyholder MOST OF THE TIME?

The Agent who sold the policy? No.

ME!! The Adjuster!

So, in an effort to help you buy the right car insurance, here are five tips when you are shopping for car insurance.

1. Get at least three quotes. Ask your friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers who they have chosen for car insurance. Ask them for good and bad experiences. Five quotes would be better. Also, start shopping about three months before your renewal date, so that you have plenty of time to make a smart decision.

2. Choose high deductibles and high liability limits. Choose the highest deductible your budget will allow. Choose higher liability limits than just the minimum limits that state law requires. In today’s world, personal injury is expensive, and jury awards are always high. What happens if you only have $50,000 liability coverage, and a jury awards a claimant you injured $250,000?

3. In your quotes, make sure that all the coverages are as close to identical as possible. Agents are adept at switching around coverages to get the premium lower. Make sure you are comparing “apples with apples.”

4. Try to bundle your coverages with one company. Most insurance companies who write car insurance also write homeowners and renters insurance. They will give you significant discounts if you will place both your car and home insurance with one company. But, let your calculator be your guide.

5. Don’t do business with a company that gets a lot of complaints. Phone the Department of Insurance in your state. Ask them if they have a report that lists the number of complaints that they receive about insurance companies. (I just wrote an article about this recently, so I know that some states do have reports like that.) If the company you want to buy your car insurance from gets lots of complaints, DON”T USE THEM! Go on to another insurance company.

Well, that’s it for now. If you will use these strategies, you’ll buy your car insurance and save money. That will make you smarter than most people.

Remember this. Buying your car insurance wisely is best. However, at claim time, the insurance companies will not tell you the claims process that you should use to collect every dollar you are entitled to collect. But I will.

To find out more about how to take control of your insurance claims, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlements, check out my website at: .