With all the money and business in the auto insurance industry, you would think stellar customer service and clear terms and rates would be industry standard, but this isn’t the case. The fact is, many businesses are looking to nickel and dime you, and some aren’t even very nice about how they go about it. Plenty of people are mistreated and ripped off by their insurance providers.
Instead of putting up with this sort of business behavior, put your foot down and take your business elsewhere. You wouldn’t want to be another person on the long list of auto insurance horror stories. If you auto insurance company exhibits any of the following five signs, it may be time to make a switch:
Your Rates Keep Rising
There’s are only a handful of reasons that your rates should rise. This might include vehicle history, accidents, and driving record. If you find that your rates are rising annually despite your loyalty and clean record, start looking into other auto insurance quotes and write down the rates they offer.
There are some rate increase reasons you may be able to fight. For example, if at the end of your policy your rate has gone up because your credit score has lowered, you might be able to negotiate. Sometimes, your financial situation hardens, but if your auto insurance is always paid on time and you haven’t had any issues with your vehicle, it’s clear that you are responsible on the road and with your car.
Call your provider and let them know that you’ve found more competitive rates and, as loyal client with a great record, you’d like them to match those rates or, at the very least, maintain the rate you started with. Otherwise, be prepared to make a cancellation. Crunch the numbers to see how much you’d save be switching, considering any fees you might incur from leaving a contract early.
Customer Support Is Horrible
Customer support is the number one indicator of a bad business, and you definitely shouldn’t put up with it. If you have a difficult time getting your auto insurance company on the phone, that’s the first sign that the customer service is subpar. Good customer service is so important in an auto business. After all, these are the people you rely on to be there for you in the event of an emergency.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, for every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. Don’t be one of the silent ones. If you publicly voice your opinion on terrible customer service, not only will you help others avoid a similar fate, but might even get a positive reaction from the company. Businesses are constantly trying to save face on a public front, and that could work out in your favor.
Your Coverage Isn’t Satisfactory
Plain and simple, if you aren’t happy with your coverage, it’s time to switch providers. As previously mentioned, you should make a list of auto insurance providers and their terms. This gives you an idea of what’s standard in the industry. Be sure to collect information from both national and local insurance companies, as both offer competitive coverage and benefits depending on what’s most important to you.
Prolonged Claim Investigation
Some companies will do whatever they can to avoid paying out a claim. The best auto insurance companies will investigate a claim in a timely manner, but shady businesses will procrastinate as long as they can, which can put you in a serious bind. One way they might do this is by making unrealistic demands for evidence and documentation. They might continue to request unseasonable amounts of paperworks to delay the process and find ways to deny the claim. Even if in the end, they decide to award you the claim, the hassle isn’t worth the continued business.
Quick Settlement Offers
On the same token, working too fast can also be a problem. If your provider makes a swift settlement offer, chances are they are giving you far less than you deserve. Often, it can be tempting to take the money now; you don’t want to delay the receipt of your funds more than it needs to be. But a rush settlement can sign of a company that doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
Similarly, if you voice your concern over the settlement and find that the business is pressuring you into accepting it, it’s time to move on. A great company will not attempt to convince you to take a lowball settlement, and will explore all avenues to get you every dime you deserve. If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your claim, have an attorney look over the details. And when that’s all said and done, do not renew your policy.