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Follow these tips from the Illinois Dept. of Insurance

  • Find a reliable company.  Contact the Department of Insurance to find out if a company is licensed in Illinois.  Unlicensed companies are not required to comply with state insurance laws or participate in the Insurance Guaranty Fund which protects policyholders if a company goes bankrupt.  Check a company’s complaint ratio.  Our website lists complaint information for all companies with ten or more auto insurance complaints.  Check a company’s financial stability to ensure that it can pay its claims. Refer to our fact sheet  Finding a Reputable Insurance Company-Using Financial Rating Agencies for assistance.
  • Find a reliable agent.  Some companies sell through local agents and some through direct marketing or group plans.  If you wish to buy insurance from an agent, look in the yellow pages or ask people you know and respect for their recommendations.  Look for a licensed agent (insurance producer) who is reliable and helpful in answering any of your questions.  You can verify an agent’s licensing status by contacting our Department or visiting the Producer Licensing Record of the Producer Information section on our website.
  • Shop carefully.  Insurance is expensive.  You should shop around for the best product at the best price.  The key to comparison-shopping is to determine what coverage you need, how much of it you need and what it will cost.  Obtain more than one estimate or quote.  Do not be rushed into buying a policy by high-pressure sales tactics.  Do not be misled by advertising or buy a policy simply because it is endorsed on television, radio, in newspapers or other advertisements by famous people.
  • Understand what you are buying.  Ask for a detailed explanation in layman’s terms.  Don’t accept calculations or examples you don’t understand.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Fill out your application completely and accurately.  It is important to give correct and complete answers when applying for insurance.  If you omit or misrepresent information, the company can void the contract.
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