How to Find Car Insurance That Will Actually Take Care of You

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I just bought a new car.

Well, a new-to-me car. And as it is my first time buying car insurance, I had no idea where to turn. After working in a consumer advocacy organization and hearing about the horrors that some car insurance companies put their clients through (think: not paying for uninsured motorist claims, even when policyholders pay extra for it), I knew I had to find a good, consumer-friendly insurance company. As Texas Watch has been a part of an effort to get insurance companies to offer a discount to their clients during COVID-19, I knew that (morally) I would not want to switch to a company that revoked discounts or did not offer discounts. I had no idea where to look to see where good insurance companies advertise or where I could get honest information about them.

I asked our Executive Director, Ware Wendell, where to begin. He suggested OPIC’s Policy Comparison Tool. The Office of Public Insurance Counsel is our advocate in government for the rights of policyholders, and they do a great job fighting for all of us. Their tool gives you the ability to compare insurance policies between companies. Insurance policies can be confusing in the way they are worded, so having a summary from OPIC is really helpful in seeing which companies provide the coverage I need.

OPIC led me to HelpInsure.Com, a free tool from the Texas Department of Insurance and OPIC to see what insurance companies offer in the state. What I found most helpful to me was the consumer complaint index. This tells you how many complaints were filed against the insurance company compared to other companies with similar policies. It was really important to me to have the lowest possible score on the consumer complaint index, because that means that an insurance company is more likely to work with me if I am in a wreck. The rate change feature was also an important factor in seeing how much a company values consumer loyalty. I didn’t think that the price tool was very helpful because the site didn’t ask for any information about my car--it only asked about my driving history. Additionally, it's always best to call the insurance company directly to get an accurate quote. And the lowest price may not actually be the best deal because the policy offered may be lacking important coverage. It’s about finding the best fit for your needs.

So, I ended up choosing an insurance company with a low complaint index, an A+ financial health rating, and a low rate change for 24 months. I was able to get the insurance policy started the day I got the title of the car in my name. I’m very excited about the new adventures my Tiguan and I are about to have, feeling confident that my insurance company will pay my claim if I get into a wreck on I-35.


By: Kelly Taft, Development & Operations Director, Texas Watch


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