Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Finding a reliable car insurance agent takes time
  • There are many online sites you use to verify the reputation of a car insurance agent
  • J.D. Power & Associates is an independent rating company you can use to verify credibility

There are several steps to obtaining a new car insurance agent. You must find someone who is reliable and trustworthy.

As you begin looking for a new agent, you should keep a few things in mind. One of the most important factors is their reputation.

To find exceptional rates on car insurance, enter your zip code into the FREE toolbox above!

Table of Contents

Verifying the Reputation of a Car Insurance Agent

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In order to verify the reputation of a car insurance agent, you should check the ratings of the insurance company they represent.

You can use J.D. Power & Associates by visiting their website. They have four different categories to choose from, including policy offerings, pricing, billing and payments, and contacting the insurer.

Each one of these can be very important when you are looking for a car insurance agent. At some point during your time with your insurance agent, you will need to make inquiries.

It does not matter if you have a question about your bill, or if you are filing a claim due to an accident.

You are going to want to have a company that works with you to resolve your issues quickly and efficiently.

Depending on your needs, you can base your decision on the number of stars each company has received in the past by current customers.

Of course, this is only one resource and there are other ways to verify the reputation of the company. Another way is to check a company’s financial strength.

A.M. Best rates insurance companies based on how financially sound they are and how stable A.M.

When you log onto A.M. Best’s website, you can see just how strong the company has performed over the past few years. They also use a rating system, but theirs is based on a letter grade.

All companies that rate between “A+” and “A” are considered extremely responsible and strong, showing growth in the most important areas.

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Car Insurance Requirements for Financed Vehicles

Choosing a new car insurance agent also means you will need to find out the specific requirements regarding your coverage.

The last thing you want to do is pay more than you need to, and this is where the state map on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website can be helpful.

You can review all types of information, including the minimum requirements as they relate to car insurance.

While most states require liability coverage only, this may not apply to you if your vehicle is being financed by the bank.

Because the bank holds the title for your loan, they generally require:

  • Liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive coverage

Some may even make it mandatory for you to carry PIP or Personal Injury Protection coverage.

These types of extras can cause your premium to increase substantially. This is why it is imperative that you verify the particulars with your state before you settle on any car insurance agent.

If you are lucky enough to purchase your vehicle without relying on a financial institution, you should be fine with the state minimum.

Place your Focus on Customer Service

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Customer service is very important when you start looking for car insurance agents, especially when you have a new car.

A new vehicle is an enormous responsibility and you will need someone who will be able to put your mind at ease, even with the simple questions.

To make sure your car insurance agent has great customer service, you might want to review how their current and past customers feel.

The easiest way to complete this task is by going to the Better Business Bureau website.

One of the most important features of the BBB website is their customer complaints field.

The BBB uses a grading system, similar to the one used by A.M. Best. This means they grade their businesses on a scale of “A” to “F.”

For obvious reasons, companies that score a grade of “A” exceed the industry standards and resolve customer complaints well within the 30-day timeframe.

Conversely, companies that score a grade of “C” or less are not within industry standards and should be avoided.

As a new customer, you want to feel like the company you choose will always go above and beyond to assist you and retain your business.

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Make Sure They Have a Current License

Believe it or not, many customers do not even consider the license issue.

A good car insurance agent understands the importance of keeping their license valid.

Regardless of how long they have been in business, they must continue to renew their operating license on a regular basis.

While each state varies in their renewal process, it is important to educate yourself on the basics.

Some states may require annual renewals, while others can renew their licenses every two or three years.

If you enter a car insurance agency and their license is not visible, you may want to reconsider your choices.

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Look for Someone Local

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Today, there are an enormous amount of affordable online coverage providers that provide you with several benefits.

A local car insurance agent that is within your immediate community may be a better choice because you can reach them just by stopping by their office.

Instead of spending time on the telephone speaking to a faceless customer service agent, you can simply walk into the office in your neighborhood and build a relationship with your agent.

They shop where you shop and spend their leisure time in the same parks and restaurants. This is something that seems to be missing in many of the larger corporations.

Understand the Car Insurance Industry

Choosing the correct car insurance agent for your new car also means you must understand the industry. This includes how they calculate your rates and the specifics involved.

If you were able to purchase a new car, your credit should be in pretty good shape. However, you should doublecheck just to be sure.

Remember, one of the main factors in assigning rates lies in your credit score.

If your new car has multiple safety features like anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, car alarms, emergency stability control, and all of the latest computerized gadgets, you should be able to receive a comparable rate.

If your car is considered a higher risk, like a sports car or a high-performance vehicle, you may be in for a surprise.

Where you live, your age and your driving record also play a major part in how much you pay for car insurance.

You may want to contact your local Motor Vehicle Commission or Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a copy of your abstract.

Once you have an idea of what the car insurance agents see, you will have a better understanding of how they judge you and calculate your rates.

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