I get asked this all the time: “In your opinion, which is the best car insurance company?” And since I’m a collision shop owner, I can understand why people ask me this. I work with insurance companies on a daily basis and my clients value my opinion. I value their trust. So I thought about it and instead of naming an insurance company or providing a list of companies (which is already available online); I rather touch on the three most important characteristics that all good auto insurance companies have in common, in my opinion.
A business relationship with a car insurance company, is like a relationship between two good friends, it’s a two-way street. Like all strong relationships, the ones that are forever, are the ones where both parties are happy with their friendship. With that being said, if you are looking for the cheapest insurance, this post is not for you; and if you think the most expensive ones are better, well, maybe that is what shareholders want you to think.
Here are the three factors to look for in reviews and when gathering information to help you pick the best car insurance, and well, lasting friendships too.
Good communication is key, an insurance company should be able to answer all your calls in a timely manner and reply quickly. Just like a good friend is with you in the good times and in bad, your insurance company should be too, specially since you are paying them to do just that. This means that good customer service is priority at all times, not only when you sign up, but file for an insurance claim, have billing questions, your car is at the body shop, you have complaints, and concerns. A good insurance company has various methods of communications, whether it’s over-the-phone, fax, email, online assistance, mobile app, social media, snail mail or an agent, they are available 24/7. No delays, hassles, roadblocks or giving you or the body shop the run-around. This is important because after a collision you will need them to agree to repairs quickly so you can get your car repaired fast.
Trust is fundamental, an insurance company should have a brand image that exudes trust and the reviews to back it up. And this goes both ways too, the insurance company should trust you when you want to take your car to the auto body shop of your choice. Why does this matter? Well sometimes when a company gets so big, often the shareholders take priority over the actual paying clients. You need to trust that their interest are in line with yours and not just their partners, like their shareholders or some collision centers (those in their direct repair program, DRP). Think of it this way, you know which friends you can trust to watch your kids and which you might not. Well, of course insurance companies are not babysitters but they oversee the repairs of the vehicles that your kids are riding on. And well, that’s, a BIG deal. Wouldn’t you agree?
Finally, but equally important is R-E-S-P-E-C-T, respect. And not just a little bit (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). The insurance company should show respect in their communications with you, policies, prices, and when dealing with collision shops. Information is not kept secret from you, they are clear in their communications, so you can make informed decisions. Policies are clearly stated, so not only their lawyers understand them, and small print, is not so small either. The insurance company should be honest and transparent with it’s prices, not disrespecting your intelligence or your wallet. We all know they have expenses, but you have plenty of bills too. Do you let your friends disrespect you? Nope, and neither do we. Why would you let an insurance company be the exception?
Communicating, Trusting, and Respecting Your Collision Shop
Lastly, your insurance company should treat the auto body shop you take your car to the same way. If communication, trust, and respect is present, repairs will be done quicker, because the insurance claim process is already a long one. Since we are in the topic of respect, the insurance company also needs to respect the Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) procedures, which are the specifications of the manufacturer. I will write more on this topic later.
These are my top three characteristics, they go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the others. Just like the characteristics for a forever friend. A good car insurance company’s reviews and information you gather should reflect these three traits. It shouldn’t take rocket science to figure out if an insurance company has these traits, it should be loud and clear.
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If there is something you want me to write about let me know, I will do my best to write about it. If you ever need any auto body or paint work and you live in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area call or text me 818.793.7728.
-Jaider, West Coast Body and Paint owner.
“Oh boy where to start…my bumper was completely scratched with paint chipping and the hood of My car was like three different colors due to an auto body shop not being able to correctly match my paint. Jaider took the time and effort to check out all the ways we could go about fixing the issue. He was amazing! He had the car for about five days and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the finished product. They do fantastic work and my car looks better then when I left the dealership. I trust Jaider and his crew with all my cars and will reference him to all my friends so glad I found west coast! Highly highly recommend if I could give ten stars I would!”
-Alexandra G.Los Angeles, CA 6/3/2020