Looking into Insurance Companies? Here’s What to Look For

Finding the right independent insurance company can be a triumph for your wallet and your peace of mind. You want an insurance company that has your needs in mind, but with today’s vast digital market of agents how do you know how to choose? Researching independent insurance companies may feel like an overwhelming task. However, there are specific traits to look out for when evaluating a company or agent. Whether you’re searching for auto, home, or small business insurance, these traits will steer you in the right direction:

Solid History and Reputation

After you begin your search and find a number of companies and agents in your area it’s time to start researching. A visit to an independent insurance company’s website can tell you a lot, including but not limited to:

  • How long they’ve been in business
  • Their mission statement
  • What products they sell and in what states
  • A breakdown of their team

Once you’ve created a shortlist of companies that provide the appropriate coverage for your personal and business needs, you can dive deeper into a company’s background. Some insurance companies are rated by independent rating agencies such as AM Best Rating Services, which reviews factors and financial results and ultimately assigns a letter grade or score.

A Majority of Good Reviews

Reading reviews is a direct look into the experiences of actual customers. You can easily find reviews on Google and Yelp as well as social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Typically, a successful company will feature a large number of reviews that are mostly positive. However, online reviews are not always reliable and can highlight outliers in the case of highly negative ratings. With that being said, be sure to read a variety of reviews on different platforms.

Bonus Tip: Look out for detailed reviews that name specific agents. If one agent, in particular, receives a majority of glowing reviews, you may want to request their services.

Personalized Customer Service

A great advantage of using an independent insurance company is its ability to quickly compare quotes from a wide variety of providers. However, this process can easily feel impersonal in the wrong hands. An experienced and capable agent will go above and beyond to understand a client’s needs and budget. If you are seeking policies in multiple industries or niche areas, like general liability insurance for small businesses, in California you may feel overwhelmed by industry jargon and finer details. The agent you want in your corner is one who can easily communicate clearly and efficiently. From the moment you walk into their office, it is an agent’s job to make you feel comfortable and confident about the policies you select.


Life is chaotic enough before you factor in managing your insurance policies. You want an independent insurance company that makes insuring your car, home, and commercial buildings easy. When evaluating a company, test out their attention to customer service by both calling and emailing them. Quick, courteous, and informative responses are a sign that you can expect the same results once you are a client. Also, don’t hesitate to ask about online bill pay, emailed statements, online claim filing, and any other features that make insurance more convenient.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

While the above traits are desirable in companies and agents, there are also red flags to look out for. These include:

  • Agents with a pushy or aggressive demeanor
  • Being rushed to sign a contract
  • Receiving vague answers to your questions or none at all
  • Suspiciously low premium quotes
  • Hidden fees in the fine print

Signing an insurance policy is based on trust between a client and the company and agent. Trust your instincts and always ask questions about details in your policies you are unsure about. An agent who has your best interests in mind will always put in the work to get you the answers you need.

Go Independent with American TriStar Insurance

American TriStar represents multiple A-rated insurance companies offering car, home, commercial building, small business insurance, and more. Our licensed team of experts strives to provide unparalleled customer service and support to get the right coverage for you.