Are you satisfied with your auto insurance? It can be a confusing field to determine who will provide you with the best coverage for your money. Who will look out for you when an accident occurs? As personal injury attorneys, we work with automobile insurance companies on a daily basis. Some are cooperative and have their customers’ best interest in mind, while others can be very difficult.
To gain some insight, we have turned to Clark Howard, a leading consumer advocate and money expert. Clark has been sharing practical advice to help people save more and spend less for more than 30 years. He has a great website full of helpful information: www.clark.com. You might have heard him on The Clark Howard Show dishing out great tips. His top three picks are: USAA and Amica Mutual and NJM Insurance for customers across the country.
It’s always wise to look at Consumer Reports. The most recent survey in the Consumer Reports Rating of Auto Insurers, conducted in late 2017, asked nearly 24,000 readers about their satisfaction with the claims process, the premium costs and overall satisfaction of the customer. Clark watches this information closely and notes CR’s list of 10 top rated auto insurers:
Here are the “top rated”(#1 is best):
- Amica Insurance
- New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company
- USAA Property & Casualty
- Auto Club Group
- Erie Insurance Group
- PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company
- The Cincinnati Insurance Company
- Auto-Owners Insurance Group of Companies
- Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group
- Travelers Group
Now for the “lowest rated”(#1 is worst):
- MAPFRE North America Group
- MetLife Auto & Home Group
- Mercury General Group
- Progressive Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
- Nationwide Group
- Farmers Insurance
- Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group (Geico)
- State Farm
J.D. Power is also a highly respected publisher of consumer satisfaction reports. Their 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study surveyed nearly 43,000 customers across the country, almost twice as many as the Consumer Reports survey, from February-April 2019. They caution that while the national players who you see advertising on TV, such as Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, State Farm and others, much of the auto insurance industry is local. Smaller regional insurers are among the best auto insurers in the business according to J.D. Power. In fact, for the southeast, they note Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee to be the highest ranked.
With auto insurance premiums continuing to jump, 8.2% just in the last year, it is important to shop around. Considering this is four times the rate of inflation, consumers need to pay attention. Price comparisons will offset price increases caused by cost factors you cannot control. “As customers take greater control of their auto policies, it’s also becoming more important for insurers to offer superior digital experiences and easy access to account management features such as bill pay, policy information and an integrated experience for customers who bundle multiple policies,” according to Robert Lajdziak, Senior Consultant for Insurance Intelligence at J.D. Power.
Customers drive the market, which is ever changing, and direct to consumer models are growing. One fifth of policy holders claim to have never met their agent, as everything has been arranged online. This is a 33% decline over the past 20 years when face-to-face relationships with agents ranked highly important. One notable area of satisfaction is from consumers who have chosen to bundle their auto, home and life insurance policies. However, the number of companies who do that well is still not high enough.
Georgia Law, and most States require that everyone have automobile insurance. Doing the research when making the decision which company to sign on with is important for many reasons: coverage, claims and customer satisfaction. Just because you see highly advertised companies locally does not mean they are in our market doing a good job servicing their customers. If you are in a car wreck and are injured, it will be extremely important that your insurance company goes to work for you and your recovery.
At Friedman & Martin, we pride ourselves on negotiating the best possible outcomes with insurance companies we deal with on behalf of our clients. You can count on us to make sure you get what you deserve. Call us today at 912-232-3500.