Who are the underwriters?
Before you purchased your policy or were getting car insurance quotes, find out who are the underwriters of your potential policy. Some of the better car insurance companies will actually underwrite themselves. If they do not actually underwrite the policy, you might want to investigate and research more on the underwriters themselves before buying the policy. It is simpler if the company that you are buying off actually does the underwriting themselves, as you know when it comes to time of claiming they will not be palming your situation off to another company.
Major players: The majority of car insurance providers actually have their policies underwritten by the same major players, but it is still better to choose a company that does it themselves, or you are essentially buying from a broker. Underwriters are big name companies that have a huge financial base and have been around for a long time. Some smaller insurance companies may be underwritten by Company A, which is then underwritten by Company B. You can see how complicated this may get and decision making may take a long time. The underwriters are the company that you need the trust in.
Assessment: In the instance of a claim, it is the underwriters who will look at the situation and if they think that something is suspicious, or there are any discrepancies, or the incident requires more information, they are the ones that will investigate the incident further. This will include communicating with police and other bodies. They will also be making a claim against people too. Look at the situation where you are claiming that you are not at fault, but the other person is also claiming they are not at fault, and you can see how the situation can spiral out of control, and why you need to get as much information as possible at the point of the accident or incident.
Just a shop front: Understanding this situation you can see that many 'insurance' companies are actually just shop fronts, and all they do is notify you of the decisions made by the underwriters. This is certainly something to consider when you are purchasing a protection policy.
Track record: Even if you change insurance companies, you might not actually be changing underwriters, and this may be a big consideration for you. Remember everything goes down on a record. If you are ever denied car insurance for example, this will go down on a record somewhere too. Underwriters are the ones who like to keep all the details and do all the number crunching and decision making. You will want to look at the track record of the underwriter too.
There is nothing worse than paying for years on an insurance premium and not getting the service and car you expect when something goes wrong. You need to research as much as you can yourself.