How to shop
No matter the type of insurance you’re seeking, these general guidelines will help along the way.
- Compare policy offerings from at least three insurance companies and/or agents before making a final decision. The web is ideal for researching company-specific information. Online insurance quoting services may also be useful for general comparisons.
- When making an insurance inquiry, be sure to provide the same coverage information to each company or agent, including extras you might want or need.
- Ask about claims handling procedures and how long they’ve been in business. A company’s financial stability rating is also an important consideration. See our Rating Services tip guide for more.
- Ask friends and family members for agent or company recommendations. Check web reviews.
- If satisfied with the customer experience from your current provider, it’s not always wise to jump to another provider just to save a few dollars.
- Ask about available discounts and eligibility requirements. See our tip guide: Auto and Homeowners Insurance Discounts.
How to save
It’s important to understand that insurance premiums can increase, even in the absence of a claim. On the auto insurance side, factors such as the uptick in crash frequency and severity, have increased costs associated with auto repairs, labor, medical costs and even fraudulent claims.
The cost of homeowners insurance claims rose at twice the pace of inflation between 1997-2013, due to claims severity (cost per claim), according to a 2015 report from the Insurance Research Council
Although Ohioans may experience increases in auto and homeowners insurance premiums, they’ll likely not be as severe as in many other parts of the US.
In fact, Ohio’s insurance premiums remain well below the US average. The Buckeye state’s average homeowners insurance premium ranks 9th lowest in the US and Ohio’s average auto insurance premium expenditure is 12th lowest, based on OII analysis of National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) auto and homeowners reports released in January 2017.
For ways to save, see OII’s tip guide: Ways to Save on Auto and Homeowners Insurance Premiums.
- OII Jan. 2017 Ohio Auto & Homeowners Insurance Trend Report
- OII Consumer Tips Fact Pak
- OII Online Resources
- Ohio Department of Insurance consumer resources
- Insurance Information Institute consumer topics