Like most people, I was fully insured with what I thought was good health and auto insurance. Then I was hit by a car. Everything seemed fine, until I started receiving letters threatening to take me to collections for nearly $100,000 of medical bills that insurance companies weren’t paying.
After a lengthy process of recovering the money, I vowed to fix this problem. Hence, I applied my technology background to make sure no other family ever experience the same thing my family went through.
Fortunately, I have a technology, business and mathematics background. That’s the right background for figuring out how to analyze insurance from a consumer perspective.
How the Rating System Works
We use a rigorous process of collecting data on insurance companies in every state where they do business. Insurance departments collectively receive millions of complaints throughout the review period. The state insurance departments review every single complaint. They cull the majority of the complaints because they were not valid. For example, the policyholder may complain that an item wasn’t covered. After reviewing, the insurance department may find the policyholder had not purchased coverage for that item. Invalid complaints like this example are excluded from the ValChoice analysis.
We know of no other rating system that includes this level of rigor. Hence, we believe the ValChoice rating system produces a more reliable result than any other rating system.
The development and refinement of the grading system has been underway for nearly a decade. During this time period we’ve had dozens of insurance company executives review both what we do and the results. We’ve also shown the results to hundreds or thousands of independent agents. Agents and industry execs alike typically respond with comments like, “You nailed it. This system works!”
What does this mean for you?
First, it means you can now find out before something bad happens if you are with a good insurance company. I wish I had known that before my accident.
Second, it also means you’ve found a trusted source for insight into the important topic of insurance. Let’s face it. Insurance isn’t fun. Most people don’t want to spend time researching insurance companies.
Creating a reliable, accurate grading system hasn’t been easy. Along the way we passed on many opportunities to make money. Click this link to a blog post titled “Not everyone can be bribed” for an example of how people expect ratings systems to work. Unfortunately, the expectation is that the ratings are manipulated. That’s not how it works here. Read the blog post linked to above for a sad story on how honor and trust have taken a back seat to getting rich quick in some circumstances.
Why I Founded ValChoice
My work to help people buying insurance began with a book, “Injured Money.” I wrote and published “Injured Money” to help consumers better understand the challenges you may face when dealing with difficult insurance claims. Here’s what one reader wrote to me in a thank you note after reading the book, “every driver should not only read Injured Money, but should stow a copy in the glovebox when they’re done.” Getting that thank you note made my day! More information about “Injured Money” can be found on another website, Wish2Know.
The press coverage of ValChoice has been excellent. The reason we get such good press coverage is simple. Just look around. How many companies/people do you see dedicated to bringing transparency to the insurance industry? Yes, we’re rather unique here at ValChoice. For a good summary of how my life evolved from Silicon Valley technology executive to analyst of insurance companies for consumers, read this story published in the San Jose Mercury News.