Does it matter whether or not a car insurance company has a local office?
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Asked February 11, 2013
The days when your insurance agent had to take a look at the damage to your vehicle before a claim could be processed are long gone. Today's multinational insurance underwriters have adjusters or designated centers to get repair estimates that can either come to you or are readily accessible wherever you travel. You can even file a car insurance claim online, making the location of your insurance company's offices an unimportant side issue.
What is more important for your car insurance is to know that you are dealing with a reputable, stable company. Knowing the company which wrote the policy will be in business when you file a claim is a lot more important than seeing the company sign as you drive past after work each day. To check the financial rating of your insurance company, visit a website such as the A.M. Best Company, where you can get the current rating and long term outlook of insurers in an easy to understand letter grade.
Insurance brokers have become a common way to purchase insurance. This means that you may not be buying insurance from the company you choose even if you purchase the policy in your town. Brokers represent several different insurance companies, and typically do the research behind your policy for you, so that you are getting the best deal instead of settling for the company that is closest to home.
Some insurance companies do not maintain physical offices anymore. They sell policies through independent agents and brokers, handle claims processing online, and employ adjusters that can travel to many communities to verify a claim. Some companies do not even use adjusters anymore, and simply request you to provide them with 3 repair estimates, and then pay the average cost of those estimates.
Answered February 11, 2013 by Anonymous