A big question that many insurance consumers ask is, “Do larger insurance companies offer cheaper insurance rates?” Let me answer this question by saying that just because the larger insurance companies may do business in multiple states, this doesn’t mean their share of the market is bigger, nor does it mean they can write lower premium policies for everyone in every state.
The amount of insurance that each company writes may vary from state to state based on their experience in that particular state, or even in a certain region of a state. Insurance consumers should also be aware that there may be smaller regional insurance companies that offer the same coverage at a lower rate. Although the regional companies may not be as big as the larger insurance companies, they still may be competitive and financially sound. Bigger is not always better. In my experience as an independent insurance agent, I have discovered that savings were available to some customers by writing the customer’s insurance with a smaller regional company.I would suggest that people who are looking for the lowest insurance rates consider requesting insurance quotes from the smaller regional companies, as well as a larger national company. Most smaller regional insurance companies do business through local independent agents. In order to request quotes from smaller companies, you will most likely have to use a local independent agent.
If using a smaller company is a concern, then I would also suggest that you request from the writing insurance agent the companies their AM Best rating and financial information. The AM Best rating can be a handy tool for consumers.
The A.M. Best Company is an independent, full-service credit rating organization. They assign a rating for each insurance company based on the insurance company’s financial strength. Based on the outcome, a company will receive a rating of Superior (A++, A+), Excellent (A, A-), or Good (B++, B+). Per AM Best, companies with a rating between A++ – B+ are considered to be financially secure. Other ratings include Fair (B, B-), Marginal (C++, C+), Poor (D), Under Regulatory Supervision (E), In Liquidation (F) and Suspended (S). According to AM Best, companies with a rating between B – S are considered to be financially vulnerable.By comparing multiple insurance quotes from both large and smaller regional companies who have B+ or better rating, consumers should be able to feel secure in finding the cheapest insurance rate.