We’ve all been bombarded by insurance company advertising claiming you can save a ton of money on your auto insurance. Here’s a list of potential benefits and drawbacks is you decide to buy online.
The Good Points of Buying your Car Insurance on the Internet
- Buying insurance for your car, SUV, pickup or minivan online allows you to shop at your leisure. Shop in your slippers if you want! Quotes from online insurance companies are fast to complete, and if you have your current policy in front of you, multiple quotes can be completed in less than a half an hour.
- Insurance agents have an undeserved reputation for being pushy and many consumers may question if their agent is looking out for the client’s best interest or the agent’s pocketbook. The vast majority of insurance agents are good at what they do, and they provide valuable advice to their clients. If you don’t want to deal with an agent, choosing to buy car insurance online is an option.
- Some websites actually show you other company’s car insurance rates. This data is available from each state’s insurance department, as rates are filed and available for other companies to access. This allows you to see an approximate price of competing company rates.
- When you need to make a change to your coverages, you can perform the change directly on the company website. This eliminates a phone call or visit to your insurance agent and may save some hassle
The Bad Aspects of Buying Auto Insurance Online
- Choosing to not buy car insurance through a local agent does have disadvantages. You won’t have the advice of an insurance agent, although online companies do provide advice to their customers. If you have a complicated personal situation, you may be better off seeking the professional advice of a local California insurance agent.
- Insurance agencies that are “independent”, or they don’t write with just one company, can quote your car coverage with multiple companies, just as you would do online. But many of the companies independent insurance agents write with do not provide quotes to consumers online. An agent may be able to provide you with the lowest car insurance rates available.
- Insurance agents can help you in the case of a claim that was not handled to your satisfaction. If your car insurance company attempts to settle your claim at an amount that your do not feel is satisfactory, you can appeal to your agent and allow them to handle the claim. Many times an agent will be able to argue on your behalf and obtain a better settlement for you.
- When you buy your auto insurance online, you don’t have the benefit of a local office to contact if you need assistance. With a local agent, you can simply stop by their office and discuss your problem face-to-face. With online car insurance companies, your contact is via email or through a toll-free phone number, which is a bit impersonal.
Whether you choose to buy car insurance online or through a local agent, there are pros and cons to both choices. Our recommendation is to compare multiple online quotes with several local agents and see if one company stands out from the rest. By obtaining as many rates as possible, you will have the best chance of saving money on car insurance in California.