It’s a myth that the better known insurance companies offer better coverage. All consumer family auto insurance policies sold in Virginia must provide the coverage specified in the form policy. If a policy offers less, Virginia law provides that the policy is required to conform to the requirements.
Insurance policies are the same. The real differences between companies are price and service, not what they are selling. In Virginia, auto insurance companies are regulated as to what the policy offers, and they have to have a “charter” to be allowed to sell insurance in Virginia, but family auto insurance policy rates are not regulated.
The insurance companies can charge whatever they want. Often, consumers in Virginia pay too much for their auto insurance, but the reason they do is because they don’t shop around. Also, some people just buy auto insurance from the same company their parents did, and don’t really think about it. In fact, to encourage people to shop around, the Virginia Bureau of Insurance offers free booklet that has an “Automobile Insurance Quotation Worksheet” in the back. They also offer “Sample Premium Tables” that show rate quotes they received for a person of a certain age with the same driving record. The Auto Insurance Consumer’s Guide can be accessed at https://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/pubs/autoguide.pdf This guide is also helpful because it offers consumers a detailed list of tips for shopping for auto insurance.
Be a sensible consumer and do as the Bureau of Insurance recommends and shop around. Rates can vary tremendously between different auto insurance companies. And by all means, when it comes to your auto insurance, if you are not happy with the price you are paying or the service you are getting, shop around. But, you may want to consider how often are you likely to use your auto insurance or make a claim? The average person is not likely to use their insurance more than once every 5 or 10 years, so if you can save $100 a year with one company over another one, how much worse does the service have to be every 5 or 10 years when you actually use it? So the service is about the same, and the policy is about the same, then it’s probably a wise decision to go with the company that offers the cheaper price, whatever the brand,
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