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Along with being somewhat expensive, car insurance policies can be difficult to navigate, which is why is important to have a solid provider that can be trusted to aid the policyholder during times of stress and confusion.

Online resources and websites to help find a top-rated auto insurance company

There are various online resources that help interested shoppers determine the top rated car insurance company and find out which insurer can best meet their needs. People researching auto insurance options should visit their state’s Department of Insurance website, which usually publishes consumer complaint ratios for all of the providers in the area. The ratio determines how many complaints an insurer received per 1,000 claims filed, allowing shoppers to discover which local providers are best meeting the needs of their customers.

“Just because they’re a big name doesn’t mean that they’ll be a ‘good neighbor’ or that you’ll be ‘in their hands,'” Doug Heller, a consumer advocate at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, told the website.

If a particular state insurance department does not have consumer complaint ratios listed, Heller recommends researching the complaint ratios reported in other states to see if there is a certain insurer that has garnered a multitude of negative reports.

Find organizations that rate car insurance providers based on data

Organizations such as Standard and Poor’s, J.D. Power and Associates and A.M. Best are also sources that rate auto insurance companies, according to Standard and Poor’s and A.M. Best rate the financial strength of an insurer, meaning that a good rating indicates the company will likely be able to pay for damages sustained during a car accident. J.D. Power and Associates collects data from car insurance policyholders across the nation, and rates providers based on data such as coverage options offered, average price of policies, the way the company processes a claim and customer service satisfaction, the website reported.

The U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates found that in 2009, Auto-Owners Insurance was the top-rated insurance company in overall customer satisfaction, followed by Amica Mutual and The Hartford, which tied for second. The study, according to the company’s website, measured what policyholder’s thought about the claims process after a collision resulting in auto physical damage loss.

Get the opinion of someone who deals with insurance adjusters everyday

Speaking to mechanics and body shop owners is also an easy and practical way to figure out how various auto insurers respond to claims. Body shop managers in particular often interact with insurance adjusters, allowing them to witness first-hand the companies that have the easiest claim process, and those that push aftermarket parts instead of original equipment manufacturer parts in order to save money.