Car Insurance Quotes Online: Fast Isn’t Always Best
Since the advent of the internet, getting car insurance quotes online is commonplace.
Whether it’s Geico, Progressive, Esurance, or one of the other major “direct writers,” Americans turn to the web to insure their cars and home. The author of this piece was one of those folks a long time ago.
To understand why people turn to car insurance quotes online, examine the facts:
Car Insurance Quotes Online Are Easy & Quick
How many times have you seen a Geico ad that says it will take you 15 minutes to save 15 percent or more? They try to play up the time element just as much as the cost. This is intended as a contrast to going to an agency, which takes a bit of time to get applications together and have them find a market for you. A good insurance agent can get it done same-day, or within two if they have all the information they need. For lots of people, that’s not fast enough.
Progressive also advertises that they do some of this in their letting you know the best rate, “even if it’s not with us,” or however it goes.
Car Insurance Quotes Online Are Cheap
To understand this, know about the “Law of Large Numbers.” All insurance operates under this principle, not just companies like Geico or Progressive. Essentially, this is to say that as the sample size of something increases, the numbers all start to even out towards the mean.
An insurance carrier that charges exceptionally low rates and pays out on a lot of claims is going to take a bath. Yet, what if they packed so many policies on the books to recoup that lost premium? That does, of course, increase the risk that those clients will all have claims that affect them adversely. According to this law, however, the more of a sample (insureds) they add, the more likely that things will even out for them. They won’t all total their cars or cause major property damage.
Car Insurance Quotes Online Don’t Involve Middlemen
In many cases, a person can go online, get the quote themselves, and not have to deal with anyone in between. It’s just you and the insurer (which is why they’re called “direct writers”).
Potential Pitfalls of Car Insurance Quotes Online
If direct-written, you might not have an agent to discuss your insurance needs. In many cases with direct writers, you deal with behemoth customer service centers, and to them you’re a number. If you’re fortunate enough to have a local agent, you will have people that know you and your account who are accessible to you. A good agent will try to explain to you what you need to know and monitor policy changes and other issues that arise.
An agent could also go to bat for you if you need them. Let’s say your carrier raises your rates and you can’t seem to explain why. Let’s also say a carrier decides to non-renew your policy and you can’t make sense of the rationale. An agent can potentially help you rectify the issue, for example, by getting a rate reduction put in place. They may also be able to find you an alternative carrier.
Please note that in some cases, there’s not much they can do. If you have an at-fault accident where the company is paying out a huge claim, it won’t be so easy to fix. Some companies have “accident forgiveness” whereby your rates won’t go up after your first accident, but more than one, meh.