Finance Quick Answers
How do you choose an insurer?
When selecting an insurance provider:
- Compare the costs of coverage under equivalent policies.
- Compare service. If possible, talk with someone who has filed a claim with an insurer you are considering.
- If you are using an agent, don't hesitate to ask about qualifications and credentials. For life, health, and disability insurance, consider an agent who is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). For auto and homeowner's coverage, consider an agent that is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPLU). These credentials won't guarantee good service, but at least you will know your agent has passed some tough insurance courses and must have a basic foundation of knowledge on the subject.
- Select a company that has a high rating with Standard & Poor's, Moody's, or other rating services.
- Consult the Department of Insurance in your state if you need resources to help you select an insurance company.
Brenda Procter, M.S., Consumer and Family Economics, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
If you'd like to learn more about this and other personal finance topics, the University of Missouri offers 'Personal & Family Finance,' a correspondence course, through the Center for Distance and Independent Study (800-609-3727). Information about this course is available at http://cdis.missouri.edu/CourseInfo/DetailCourseInfo.asp?1985.
Last update: Sunday, July 20, 2008