As a consumer, you’re bombarded daily with auto insurance ad campaigns designed to get you to shop your auto insurance business. What are some factors you should consider before choosing your next carrier? Price, Customer Service, and Reliability are 3 that come to mind. Let’s talk a little about each .

Price – When was the last time you saw a car insurance commercial that wasn’t centered around price? While price is a very important factor in the insurance buying process, do make sure you compare apples to apples. In other words, when you’re getting competing quotes, you want them to be for the same levels of coverage, when possible. A lower quote may sound nice, but it may mean less protection.

Service – If you are ever in an accident, you want your insurance company to handle your claim fairly, quickly and efficiently. You can get a pretty good feel for a company’s customer service policy in your initial discussions when you get a quote. If the representative or independent agent is helpful and forthcoming with information, that’s a good sign. You should feel they are trying to educate you about proper coverage, rather than just trying to make a sale.

Reliability – An insurance company is only as good as it’s ability to pay a claim. The internet makes it very easy to search and find helpful information about a carriers such as claims reputation and/or financial ratings. Bear in mind, there is no exact science to rating an insurer’s financial situation, but there are an abundance of independent resources out there that will help you examine insurance carriers.