The overwhelming majority of auto insurance companies offer free car insurance quotes online. Although many insurance companies do not allow you to purchase insurance completely online without talking to an agent, most will at least provide you with a free quote through their website. In fact, if you find a site that claims to charge a fee for a car insurance quote, there is a good chance that the site is not legitimate.
- Why get an online car insurance quote?
- Online car insurance quotes directly from car insurance companies
- Online car insurance quotes from 3rd party marketplaces
- Online car insurance quotes from online car insurance brokers
- Is Buying Car Insurance Online Always Cheaper Than Buying from An Insurance Agent?
Why Get an Online Car Insurance Quote?
The number one reason to get an online car insurance quote is for convenience. It takes less time to get a quote online after typing in some information than it does to talk to a representative. This is especially true if you are comparing quotes from a number of different insurance companies.
If you contact an agent for an insurance quote, there is a good chance that you will deal with some sales pressure. This will add extra time to your effort to obtain the quote. This is especially a problem is you have not had time to gather quotes from other insurance companies to which you can compare the quote. Thus, if you have not decided on the auto insurance company that you want to obtain insurance through, it is advisable to obtain and compare several car insurance quotes online before talking to an agent.
Online Car Insurance Quote Directly from Car Insurance Companies
There are pros and cons of obtaining online car insurance quotes directly from some car insurance companies such as Progressive, Geico, Esurance, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers. One drawback is that these are individual quotes instead of comparison quotes. Other benefits and drawbacks follow:
You can obtain a car insurance quote directly from Progressive’s website without ever speaking to an agent. This quote is, of course, a non-binding quote. One drawback of obtaining a quote online through Progressive is that as soon as you select auto, the website asks for your zip code and takes you to its quote platform immediately without giving you a chance to explore what types of coverage and discounts the company has. You need to try to get off of this platform and click on ‘Explore Products’ at the top of the page and then find auto to see the coverage options.
The coverages the company offers includes Liability, Comprehensive and Collision, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, Medical Payments, Rental Car Reimbursement, Loan/Lease Payoff, Roadside Assistance, Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage, and Rideshare Coverage. It also offers a deductible savings bank. Moreover, the discounts that the company offers can be found on this page as well.
At the bottom of the aforementioned page, Progressive presents the option to both get a quote and buy insurance. After you have identified the coverage and discounts that you would like, one benefit of obtaining a quote from Progressive is that you can then purchase the insurance on the website. This is beneficial because even Progressive states that you may pay a different price going through an agent or broker because they receive a commission.
GEICO’s website presents similar navigation problems to Progressive as the site opens with the “Get a Quote’ platform without allowing you to easily see coverage and discount options. If you go to the menu at the top of the screen, however, you can find auto on a drop down menu under information. If you scroll down on this page, you will find coverage options and discounts. After viewing this information, you can decide if you want to obtain a free quote from the company. It is important to note that this company has some unique discounts such as a discount for federal employees, seniors, members of certain organizations, and military discounts.
Esurance makes it slightly difficult for consumers to find their coverage options, preferring the start a quote first. The company offers the traditional coverage options and a wide variety of discounts. The professional look of the website can make consumers a little nervous when entering their information. However, if you are on the correct site, your information should be secure. This company also offers a discount in some places for purchasing auto insurance online. This is in addition to circumventing commission fees.
Liberty Mutual has a very user-friendly website and offers a discount for purchasing your auto insurance policy online. Furthermore, the company simplifies the process of selecting coverage by having a standard package and add-ons. One drawback, however, is that this company seems to offer fewer coverage options than most major insurance companies. Its standard package only includes liability for bodily injury and property damage and medical payments. You can add on Better Car Replacement, Towing and Labor, and Rental Car Coverage. You can also explore the company’s auto discounts before starting your quote. The company’s simple coverage options make obtaining an accurate quote online easy. Lack of options, however, may not be the best reason to go with an insurance company unless it definitely has what you need.
Farmers Insurance offers an easy to navigate website which is one thing that distinguishes it from Progressive. Just like Progressive, Farmers give you the option of purchasing insurance immediately after receiving the quote through the website. Farmers makes the process simpler, however, by giving more guidance before the quote process begins. The company even tells you what information you need to have available including you license plate number, driver’s license number, vehicle identification number (VIN), odometer reading, purchase date, and current insurance information.
When you click on ‘Get a Quote’ the company then asks for your zip code. The quote platform is more professional looking than Progressives to give you more confidence that it is safe to enter your information. Furthermore, there is a phone number in easy view in case you need assistance.
Online Car Insurance Quotes From 3rd-Party Marketplaces
Instead of obtaining a bunch of individual quotes from different car insurance companies, which may take a significant amount of time even if you are doing it completely online, using a third-party marketplace to obtain a number of quotes can be very beneficial. By using a 3rd-party marketplace site, you can both save time and easily compare prices. However, the drawback of getting quotes from 3rd party marketplace is that you might not get the quote from the insurance companies that you might prefer. Companies available on these marketplaces are usually smaller and regional.
Compare.com is a large third-party marketplace site that claims to work with over 50 auto insurance companies to find you the best fit. You can easily find a number of auto insurance companies to choose from on the first page. If you click on one of these companies, you get an overview of the company including discounts it offers, reviews, and pros and cons of choosing that auto insurance company as well as an overview of its claims process. Thus, it is easy to see the strong points and drawbacks of all the companies that compare.com includes. However, you will see that most of the top 10 car insurance companies are not included in the list of 50 companies available on compare.com. Thus, you might not see quotes from the companies you might prefer on this marketplace site.
Furthermore, the company claims that if you enter your zip code and information, you can compare companies and lock in your price. After you compare prices, the company claims that one click allows you to purchase your policy directly form the selected insurer. Compare.com states that you can do this because the site offers real-time quotes, not estimates, which is the difference between this site and others like it. This is similar to what an independent agent or car insurance broker does for his clients. However, the service is done completely online free of charge. Compare.com does claim that they earn a referral fee from the selected insurer which is not the same as commission and is not charged to the consumer.
There are still some benefits to discussing your car insurance options with a knowledgeable agent if you are not 100% sure of the type of coverage and the limits that you need to protect your assets. Therefore, Compare.com is for people who know exactly what they want, they simply want to get it at the cheapest price.
TheZebra.com is another 3rd-party marketplace that allows consumers to compare car insurance quotes. The site is nowhere near as easy to navigate as Compare.com and is best reserved for obtaining reviews of auto insurance companies before going to Compare.com and comparing rates. Thezebra.com does, however, claim to offer real time rates, similar to compare.com, if you enter in some information.
You cannot easily tell what information you are going to get in return until you take the time to enter the information and its comparisons seem more like information than real-time quotes. Thus, it would be wise to obtain reviews for the companies you want to compare and then leave this site.
Online Car Insurance Quotes from Online Car Insurance Brokers
Buying car insurance from insurance brokers has its own pros and cons. It may or may not be the best option for you. If you decide to go with that option, below are two broker examples for your reference. They are by no means the best or the worst insurance brokers, they are just examples. You should research to find a reputable local broker in your city to get quotes from several insurers to compare.
Answer Financial claims to help you find the auto insurance deals that are best for you. This online broker allows you to buy insurance from top rated insurance companies, compare rates for multiple insurance companies, and it has expert agents that are only a phone call away. It has thousands of reviews with an average of five stars meaning that the company has a number of satisfied customers. It also has a long list of insurance partners. Furthermore, Answer Financial has helped obtain insurance for 3.8 million vehicles and homes. The company boast that the average savings that consumers get from using the comparison service is $484. This company is very similar to compare.com and worth checking out. One beneficial difference between the two companies is that it may be easier to get in touch with an agent with Answer Financial if you need assistance.
Onguard Insurance company claims to have been in business for so long that it knows which auto insurance companies offer great rates and discounts without sacrificing quality and value. The company claims that it has narrowed the number of auto insurance companies that it works with to a little over a dozen which is significantly less than compare.com.
Ongauard Insurance may be a good online broker for you to use if you need specialty coverage. Some types of specialty coverage you can obtain includes SR22 Insurance, DUI Insurance, Young Driver Auto Insurance, and High-Risk Auto Insurance. You can receive online quotes for these types of special coverage needs. If you need regular coverage, however, Answer Financial or Compare.com are both better options.
Is Buying Car Insurance Online Always Cheaper Than Buying from An Insurance Agent?
Getting a car insurance quote online and using this to obtain insurance is only cheaper than buying from an insurance agent if you know a significant amount about car insurance. You need to know what coverage you need, your appropriate limits, and the discounts that are available to save money by using an online quote.
If you are not knowledgeable about car insurance options and discounts, you can pay more in two different ways. The first way that you can pay more, is by selecting more expensive coverage, or missing discounts. Some types of coverages overlap and having both can contribute to an unnecessarily high premium. Furthermore, not having enough coverage to protect your assets can led to you really paying for not using a knowledgeable car insurance agent.
Yes, you can easily obtain free car insurance quotes online. In fact, it is so easy that if you are asked to pay for a quote, it is probably a scam. Most major auto insurance company will allow you to receive a quote on their site for free and with significant ease. If you want to compare several auto insurance quotes from smaller and regional insurance companies at the same time, try Compare.com. You can also use an online broker such as Answer Financial. A number of side by side quotes will allow you to pick the best car insurance option for your needs.