For some, shopping for auto insurance in Austin, TX can be a difficult and confusing process. Texas auto policies can be somewhat complicated and differences in price should be analysed and accounted for in order to choose the best auto policy or company. For the average consumer, the process of getting auto quotes from different insurance companies and understanding why some policies are more expensive than others can be complicated. This article tries to inform the consumer why some auto policies are more expensive than others and gives the reader some tips on how to research auto policies in Austin, TX and receive the most value for their dollar.
Different Insurance Companies Have Different Customer Service Levels
One factor that accounts for price differences among auto policies is quality of service. As with other service products, there are many levels of service among auto policies and auto insurance companies. From well-known national brands to lesser known local insurance brokers, the insurance shopper has many options to choose from. Each auto insurance company and product offers their own customer service experience and level of quality and these differences are usually reflected in their premium prices. When shopping for insurance policies and talking to insurance companies here are a few tips for determining what level of service you can expect to receive from a particular insurance Company:
When you have account or billing issues or need to initiate an insurance claim, who do you speak with at the company? Some companies are structured where you speak with an individual agent or agent office for most claims and account management issues. This structure is best suited to people who want a more personalized experience. When you call these types of companies you will generally speak to one of a few people in the office. The benefit of this type of setup is that these people will oftentimes know you and your particular situation and will have generally built a professional relationship over you over time.
Another structure that you will find, usually with lest costly insurance policies, is the call center environment. With these types of insurance companies you will generally be directed to a call center if you call with claims or customer service issues. A call center is a larger, less personalized customer service experience. In this situation, the representative you speak with will most likely be in another city, state, or country. There will be a large pool of representatives for you to deal with and it is very unlikely that these people will know you personally or know your particular situation. In this type of system you may be rotated among different call center representatives and speak to a different person each time you call. Some people do not like this type of system because it is far less personalized customer service experience than the preceding example.
Differences in coverage can account for price differences
When comparing auto insurance quotes among different insurance companies or agents the consumer should to compare the different coverage amounts among the different quotes. The consumer should be aware that there a variety of different coverage amounts for such things as liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, deductibles, uninsured motorist insurance, and personal injury protection. Any difference in coverages will result in a change in the total premium for that policy. In order to compare premium costs among different insurance companies the consumer should examine a hard copy printout of each insurance quote and verify that the coverage amounts are the same among the quotes. The consumer should also make sure that optional coverages for things such as towing coverage and rental car coverage are uniform among the different quotes.
Differences in the auto policies themselves account for price differences
Auto polices in Texas are regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). The TDI is a government entity whose function is to regulate the insurance industry in Texas. Some things the TDI regulates for insurance policies are premiums levels and policy contents. The TDI tries to assure consistency among insurance policy types and the specific coverages that are included in different types of auto policies. Although the TDI regulations strive to maintain consistency among insurance policy offerings between different insurance policies, there are situations where differences in coverages will differ between the same type of policy. Oftentimes these differences won’t be disclosed to the consumer and they won’t know that they’re not covered for a particlar item until they need to put in a claim. When getting auto quotes, it is a good practice to compare the specific coverages among the auto policies. One way to compare coverages is to look at the website of the Office of Public Insurance Counsel http://www.opic.state.tx.us/hoic.php. On this website the consumer can compare the standard policies between the major insurance companies and make sure that they are making an apples to apples comparison between policies.
Insurance company track record and reputation affects the price of their services
In making an informed decision on Austin auto insurance, It is also advisable for the consumer to research the insurance company track record. One way to research the insurance company itself is to visit the Texas Department of Insurance website. On this website the consumer can verify the validity of licensing for the insurance company and also see if there have been any complaints or enforcement issues with particular insurance companies or agents. One final option is to visit the Austin Better Business Bureau http://austin.bbb.org/. The Better Business Bureau maintains a database of complaints against companies and is a good resource to use to investigate Austin insurance carriers. In order to make an informed decion on auto insurance in Austin it is advised that the consumer the follow suggestions contained in this article, visit the recommended websites, and do some homework. If the consumer has questions about differences in policies, coverages, or anything on the insurance policies, they should address this with the insurance agent or company representative. In this way they can make a logical, informed comparison of the auto quotes, policies, and premiums and make a smart buying decision.