6 Tips to Finding a Trusted Insurance Provider
Not all insurance carriers are created equal. Some engage in practices known as bad faith. Every insurance company has a legal duty to treat clients in good faith, meaning they must act honestly and fairly when handling claims. Bad faith insurance could involve tactics to get out of paying claimants for valid claims, such as denying a claim or delaying payments. Finding an insurance provider you can trust may take a bit of research.
Look at More Than Just Price
Many people want to purchase the cheapest policy they can find, but this is not necessarily a good tactic if you are looking for a trusted insurance provider. Look for more than just a good price for an insurer you can count on. Choosing the cheapest policy could stick you with a provider that is not looking out for your best interests. To make a profit, the insurance company might cut back on customer service or engage in bad faith practices if and when you need to file a claim. With insurance, you get what you pay for. Find a provider with reasonable fees, but make sure you also look for signs of good faith.
Ask for Referrals and Recommendations
One of the best ways to find an insurance company you can trust is by asking friends and family members for recommendations. You know you can rely on the advice your friends give you since they do not work for the insurance company. You will receive an unbiased review of how the insurance company treats its clients and handles claims. You may have friends or family that recently dealt with the claims process who can give you an idea of how the insurance carrier operates. If you have a bad faith insurance lawyer, he or she may also be able to tell you which local providers to avoid.
Check for Proper Licensure
You do not want to give money to a fraudulent insurance provider. If you dug deep online to find an insurance company with the lowest price, you may end up with a carrier or agent that does not have the proper license or industry experience. If you have never heard of the insurance company, ask to see a copy of its license. The best agents will have additional designations, such as Accredited Adviser in Insurance, Certified Insurance Counselor or Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter. Additional certifications show an insurance agent is willing to go above and beyond for his or her craft.
Investigate for Complaints
Clients can file complaints against their insurance companies for alleged bad faith with the Arizona Department of Insurance. The department keeps track of complaints and enforcement actions against insurance companies in the state. You can search through these complaints for the insurer you are considering for coverage. Stay away from companies with an unusual number of actions against it in Arizona. This could be a red flag for an insurance company that regularly commits bad faith.
Arrange interviews with insurance agents from a few different choices. Discuss your unique needs, concerns and questions with each provider. See how they treat you as a potential client, how thoroughly they answer your questions and the types of coverage they offer for your particular needs. Ask questions about how long the carrier has been in business, whether it has any specialties and what you might expect during the claims process as a client. You should feel good about the insurance carrier you choose.
Positive client reviews can help you confirm you have found a provider you can trust. While a handful of negative reviews may not mean a bad faith company, many bad reviews or a subpar rating could be a sign of something amiss. Read testimonials to learn what you might expect from the insurance provider. Some companies only highlight the best testimonials and reviews on their websites, so make sure to check an unbiased third-party review site as well.