When it comes time to look for new car insurance, it can be very easy to find the major car insurance companies and overlook the smaller companies that are available. The major companies have large advertising budgets, which means that you are more likely to find them and get their quotes. However, there can be some advantages to using a smaller car insurance company for your auto insurance needs.
Finding the Smaller Companies
When you get car insurance quotes online, you may only be getting quotes from the major companies. It can be harder to find the smaller car insurance companies that are out there. Some websites that give you quotes from multiple sources in one form submission will provide you with some companies that you may not have heard of.
The smaller car insurance companies are often local or only available in one or two states. When this is the case, you may not be able to find them or get quotes for them online. A local insurance agent will often be able to point you in the direction of smaller companies in the area. Barring this, you may want to ask around to friends and family. You may also want to check with community memberships such as your home owner’s association to see if there are smaller insurance companies that they partner with.
Advantages of Big Companies
The big insurance companies have a lot going for them. These companies are the most financial stable. This means that if you have to file a claim, you are more likely to get the full compensation that you deserve from your policy contract. Claims may also be handled more quickly, because the larger companies have a lot of employees and can get estimates and file paperwork faster than smaller companies.
Big insurance companies have some other advantages as well. You may be able to get better discounts and savings from bigger insurance companies. These major companies are the most likely to have good driver discounts or accident forgiveness programs. You may also be able to bundle your homeowners or renter’s insurance and other types of insurance to save additional money on monthly premiums with big insurance companies.
Disadvantages of Big Companies
With bigger car insurance companies, you are not going to get very personalized service. You are just one of a million customers, and when you really need help you will likely be dealing with an anonymous representative over a toll free number. The big car insurance companies are always out for their bottom line rather than taking care of customers, because they have enough customers it doesn’t hurt them if you decide to go elsewhere for your policy renewal.
Advantages of Small Companies
Small car insurance companies offer a much more personalized service. They are more likely to go out of their way to keep you happy with their company. These companies are also often cheaper than the big companies, although they do not offer the same discounts. Small companies are quite frequently local, so when you get your policy through them you are supporting your community. Small companies may also support politics and charities that are important to you.
Disadvantages of Small Companies
Small companies do have some disadvantages. You want to be careful when you are selecting a small insurance company because not all of them are financially stable. You need to make sure that if you ever have a claim there won’t be any problem for the car insurance company to compensate you according to your coverage.
Another thing to look out for is that some small insurance companies are actually subsidiaries of the major companies. This means that even though you may be getting a deal through the smaller company, you may not be supporting your local economy as it appears on the surface.
Other disadvantages of small car insurance companies include the fact that because they are smaller, they don’t have as much staff on hand. This can mean that your claim is not processed as quickly. You may also have to wait for business hours to contact your car insurance company if you have an accident or other issue arise, and this can delay getting your claim processed further.
Making a Choice
Really, it is a matter of preference whether you choose a major car insurance company or a small company. These auto insurers will all compete for your business. The best thing to do is shop around for the best rates, both online and through local agents. If a smaller company gives you the best premium quote and checks out as stable enough to pay claims, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with the smaller car insurance company.