Online Auto Insurance
Online auto insurance is an industry that has exploded over the past few years. For years the only way you could get an auto quote was either calling your agent or going in to their office and speaking face to face. But with a lot of new InsurTech companies coming to the market this has changed forever. There are also many quote comparison websites that partner with numerous insurance companies and they allow you to enter your info one time and get rates from numerous companies.
There are positives and negatives about purchasing auto insurance online. One of the major ones is the quote you received is not the same price after the policy is issued and the company underwrites the policy. So, you get a great rate online and you are ready to pay for it then once you do you get a second bill that is double your quote because the insurance company found tickets or accidents on your record or you put in discounts you may not actually qualify for.
It can also be tough to recognize an auto insurance company from a lead generation company but there is a huge difference. A lead generation company can pose as an auto insurance company but they are actually just capturing your information to sell to auto insurance companies or agencies and they then bombard you with calls, texts, and emails trying to give you an auto insurance quote. You may get a good quote due to the mass number of companies that are quoting you but some people feel it's not worth all the calls and texts.
What information is needed to receive an online auto insurance quote?
Here is a list of information you will more than likely need to complete and auto insurance quote online:
- Driver's License number
- Date of birth
- Marital Status
- Dates of tickets and accidents
- Vin number
We did find on auto insurance company that does anonymous auto insurance quotes called Save Money Car Insurance. They write auto insurance in Oklahoma and Texas and give anonymous online quote and the rates seem to be accurate. But all other companies will require all the above info to give you an accurate quote.
How long does it take to get auto insurance online?
It all depends on what auto insurance company you are getting your online policy from to determine how long it will take. We have seen it take up to 10 minutes to up to one hour. Save Money Car Insurance offers the fastest online quote and bind experience taking 10-15 minutes to complete. It is wise to have all of your information that we listed above with you to speed up the process. If you are not familiar with what certain auto insurance coverages, we recommend not starting an auto insurance policy online but speaking with an agent so they can explain to you by phone or in person what coverages you need and don’t need. Any auto insurance company that takes 30 minutes or longer to complete online it may be worth your time to contact one of their agents to complete the policy for you.
Things to be aware of when purchase online car insurance
Just like buying anything online there are always things to be aware of. So, here are a few red flags to watch for:
- Beware if you get a quote that is half the price of every other auto insurance quote you have received.
- Beware if you see lots of bad google reviews about the company.
- Make sure the website you are on is actually a true auto insurance company instead of a Lead Generation company who will sell your information. This happens a lot and can be hard to tell the difference.
- Do not give your social security online when getting a quote
- Never pay for a quote, all insurance quotes are free. No real insurance company will ever charge you just for a quote.
It's always good to get a reference from someone you know who has had a good experience with online auto insurance or some sort of positive comments on social media. It's also always a good idea to call the insurance company before you complete the policy to make sure it’s a real company that has customer service agents to help you by phone in case you ever have a problem. Many of the new InsurTech companies make you do everything via their APP which is cool at the beginning but once you have a billing problem or claim most people want to talk to a human which many of these companies will not all you to do.
How can I get the best online car insurance quotes?
Here is a list of a few auto insurance companies that allow you to get an online car insurance quote and complete the policy online via their website or mobile app:
- State Farm
- Save Money Car Insurance
- Safe Auto
- The General
Most of your smaller regional companies do not allow online quotes its more your bigger national companies that allow this.
Here are a few Lead Generation sites and online quote comparison sites that allow you to get online car insurance quotes:
- The Zebra
These sites are interesting because they allow you to get quotes from a lot of carriers at one time.
When does online auto insurance go into effect?
Once you pay and sign your documents for your online auto insurance policy the policy will go into effect immediately just like if would as if you went to an insurance office and paid them in person. Most auto insurance policies are technically day to day so you can cancel them at any time. However, many auto insurance companies will charge a cancellation fee. Most online auto insurance companies have a time stamp in their database to be able to show exactly when your policy started.
Is it cheaper to buy auto insurance online or through an agent?
We have found it is not necessarily cheaper to buy auto insurance online compared to speaking with an agent. But we did find that most of the time when you speak with an insurance agent, they can offer you discounts that you would not normally think of by doing a quote online. But there can be some middleman fees when you do speak with an agent. So, we feel it's best to always get quotes online and also by speaking to an agent. Due to an insurance agent’s experience, they can often find you the best deal with the best coverage. It is important to remember that price is important but so is making sure you are covered correctly.
How accurate are online auto insurance quotes?
Online auto insurance quotes are as accurate as the information you give. If you are honest about your driving record and have all your above information with you and properly inputted then the quote should be accurate online. When you run into trouble is when you input wrong information or withhold information especially when it comes to tickets and accidents.
Is purchasing car insurance online safe?
In most cases purchasing online car insurance is safe. As long as you are on a true insurance company website and not a company who is posing as an auto insurance company. Here are a few steps to take to make sure you purchase online car insurance safely:
- Read the Google or Social Media reviews for the insurance company
- Try to get a personal reference from one of their customers that you know
- Call the auto insurance company before purchase to make sure they are real.
Just because the auto insurance company you found online doesn’t spend millions on national advertising doesn’t mean that are not a quality insurer. We have found many regional online auto insurance companies that are reputable.
How is the customer service with online car insurance companies?
This all depends on which company you choose to purchase online auto insurance from. If you choose State Farm for instance the service should be the same you would receive by going to one of their local offices. But if you go with an auto insurance company that is completely online and will not allow you to speak with a person, I would be aware. When you have a serious problem most people really want to speak with a person and some of these companies don’t allow this and frustrates some customers. You will see this when you look at some of these companies' retention rates. They write tons of new business but very few make it to renewal, which speaks volumes.
Concluding thoughts on online auto insurance
In conclusion we feel it is safe to purchase online auto insurance as long as you do the research on the company you choose. If you take the tips above and try to call the company before you pay for the policy you should be fine. Here at Cheapest Auto Insurance, we offer online auto insurance quotes, quotes in person at our retail stores, or quotes by phone with our call center. We feel giving customers all three of these options can create a better experience.