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How COVID-19 led us to refocus the business

How COVID-19 Led us to Refocus our Business


Last week, tongue in cheek, I asked my wife how she wanted to spend our COVID-19 pandemic rebate for our car insurance.  She looked at me like I had three heads. That was the right response.

There’s almost nothing we can do with the rebate. That’s not because of COVID-19. No, it’s because it’s not enough money with which to do anything. Unless of course we found an open restaurant that would sell us half of a dinner.

one-half a dinner depicting the value of COVID-19 car insurance rebates

We “Got Marketed”

It feels awful to be taken for a sucker. Yes, we were taken for fools. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to all of us with these COVID-19 car insurance rebates. The big marketing companies dominated the headlines with massive amounts of money being rebated. In self-defense, regional insurance companies were forced to follow. They had no choice. Whether it was right for the business or customers didn’t matter, every buyer of insurance expected a rebate from their insurance company.

Then came the disappointment.  Few consumers actually get money back. Instead, they found that a small amount of money will be credited to their account. Sometimes they don’t even get that until they renew their policy for six more months. What a disappointment!

Instead, I wish one of two things would have happened.

First Option

Take my “one-half a dinner” and give it to someone who lost their job. They’re no longer commuting. They don’t have an income. There are 30 million workers that found themselves in this situation in the last six weeks. Help them.

Another Option

Keep the money and the next time I get hit by a car (I hope that doesn’t happen again), pay my medical bills. This might read like 13 years later I still have hard feelings. I don’t. Really. That’s true. It was this thought that spurred us to revisit and refocus on our mission.

Refocusing the Business Based on COVID-19

COVID-19 started all of us at ValChoice thinking. No boundaries. No limitations. Just thinking. What do consumers need? It wasn’t hard to figure out. They need to know the same thing I wished I had known before my accident…which companies are good about paying claims.

Consumers need to know which companies are best about paying claims, not which companies are best at marketing. This was the reason I founded ValChoice.  This is what we’ve been doing at ValChoice since the beginning. Rethinking the issue made us realize the information needs to be more accessible.

Making the “Best Insurance Companies” More Accessible

While holed up in our homes talking with each other on cell phones and via video conference, we decided to publish the 5 best auto and 5 best home insurance companies, in every state. Right now, you might be thinking to yourself “isn’t that already on every website in the world?”

No, the best companies are not on every website. In fact, they’re hardly found anywhere. What’s on every website are the names of the companies that pay the most to affiliate marketers. At ValChoice, we know this very well. Here are two of the reasons we know this:

  • These affiliate marketers are always asking us for information that will help their web pages perform better for conversion rate and SEO rank. Interestingly, they only want superficial information. They don’t want to know who’s best about paying claims. Instead, they want to know “who’s best for older Americans,” “who’s best for ex-military,” “who’s best for females,” etc. What the affiliate marketers don’t understand (or don’t care to know) is that’s not how the industry works. The good companies don’t care what groups you identify with. They’re there to protect you, not market to you. Identity is a marketing mechanism, not a methodology for paying claims. Unfortunately, the affiliate marketers don’t care about this is because the best insurance companies don’t have big advertising budgets.
  • Also, ValChoice has been offered millions of dollars to make affiliate marketers more successful. All that was required of us was to change our grading system to make companies that aren’t the best, score as if they are the best. We passed. That’s not how we roll.

Take Control of Your Financial Life

Big advertising budgets do not translate into good insurance. For that matter, neither do small advertising budgets. Company culture and management style is what determines the best insurers.

ValChoice collects and analyzes data that shows which companies are best, and which are the worst. We analyze every company in the industry, in every state where they do business. We’ve always provided this information to consumers for free. Now we’re making it easier to access on We hope everyone that was disappointed in their COVID-19 rebate will come view our ratings.

Importantly, the list of companies is different in every state. Checkout your state and buy insurance from one of these companies.


We are adding more states to these lists daily. If your state is not yet included, check back soon.


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