How To Evaluate Insurance Companies
To evaluate an insurance company:
Step 1: Check the financial reliability of the company. You can do this through rating services such as AM Best (www.AMBest.com ) and The Street (www.TheStreetRatings.com ). The higher the insurance company's rating, the better. As a practical matter, it is better to avoid companies with a rating below an A.
Step 2. Check to find out whether the insurance company has a reputation for paying claims on a timely basis.
- While there are no public records about payment of claims, you can check with the insurance department in your state to find out if there are a batch of complaints against the company.
- To locate the contact information of the Department of Insurance in the state in which you reside, see: www.naic.org
Step 3. Ask around about the company.
- If you were introduced to the company by an employer, ask the human resources department about the company's claims reputation.
- If you have access to an insurance broker other than the one who introduced you to the insurance company, ask about the company's reputation.
- Ask your friends and colleagues about the company and what experience they've had with the company or what they have heard about it. Take anything you hear from individuals with a grain of salt because it is likely to be one person's experience which could be colored by factors you don't know about.
NOTE: For information about how to choose a health insurance company, click here.