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You study safety and performance ratings before buying a car.

You have your prospective home professionally inspected from basement to roof.

You read labels and select the best foods for your family’s table.

Why should insurance purchases be any different?

Yet even the most conscientious consumer may balk at the complexity of this purchase and just take a shot in the dark, by going with a company whose name sounds familiar.

Shine some light on the subject as you search for the best insurance for your needs by examining these myths about insurance.

Myth #1: All insurance companies are basically alike.

Truth #1: Insurance companies vary in the financial strength that backs your policy, assuring they can meet their obligations to pay claims. Look for an insurer that is financially strong and consistently qualifies for a high financial strength rating from A.M. Best Co., an independent provider of insurer ratings.

Find a local independent agent who lives in your community. An independent agent has a long-term stake in protecting you by following through to your satisfaction.

Myth #2: All insurance policies provide the same coverage.

Truth #2: While many insurance policies contain similar coverages, each company provides unique policy conditions and limitations. Policies that look alike can be changed by a single exclusion or endorsement. Read your policy carefully.

Myth #3: All insurance companies provide the same level of service or claims service.

Truth #3: Your state department of insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can tell you which companies have the fewest complaints and resolve them effectively. Look for a company that provides personal treatment, prompt contact and fair settlement.

Myth #4: You have no control over the cost of your insurance.

Truth #4: An independent agent can pinpoint exactly how changes in your deductible or your lifestyle can lower your insurance costs. He or she can propose safety measures that earn discounts or tell you how to package one policy with another to save money and improve coverage.

Independent insurance agents make a living by knowing which companies act responsibly and which policies are best for a specific client’s needs. Your local agent can help you make an informed insurance purchase that provides stability, quality and convenience.

Posted 9:48 AM  View Comments

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