Pros & Cons of Buying Car Insurance on the Internet: What every consumer should know FIRST

The Internet can be fantastic money and time saving tool allowing us to purchase everything from our weekly groceries to even a vacation home in the Caribbean if we so choose. Anyone with a connection to the Internet is connected to the world and can get just about anything they want with the click of a button. This begs the question, “Just because I can do it, should I?”


You see, just because something is convenient does not necessarily mean it is better. Many decisions are better made by speaking directly with a qualified person face-to-face whom we can develop a relationship with and learn to trust the advice that they give us over time. This represents one of the major advantages of using a local insurance agent to purchase your car insurance versus purchasing it online.

Many people, however, are taken in by the creative advertising campaigns for these online insurance companies and simply seek them out for the convenience and promises of huge savings that they offer in their commercials. The fact is, the reality of the relationship you develop with an online insurance company can often be far different from the one portrayed in their ads. It is up to you to examine the process carefully to make sure that you make the best decision for you and your family.

Let’s examine in detail the pros and cons of purchasing car insurance online.

Pros of buying car insurance online

• One Click Convenience-let’s face it, buying on the Internet is easy. You simply find what you want, type in your credit card information and then press submit and you’re done. This process seems far easier than having to spend an hour on the phone with an insurance agent or even sitting down with them face-to-face to rate a policy and then to purchase it. Convenience is often the major reason people buy car insurance online.
• Can often print proof of coverage immediately after purchase-adding to this convenience is the ability to print a temporary insurance policy immediately after purchasing it online. This allows you the flexibility to buy a policy and show proof of coverage as soon as payment has been submitted. Oftentimes, bricks and mortar insurance companies simply offer you a Binder number that acts as proof of coverage but your actual policy will not arrive in the mail for several weeks.
• Ability to shop rates quickly-because you are simply looking at different websites when shopping for car insurance online, is fairly easy to jump from one site to the other in order to price out your policy. Most of these companies are brokerages and work with several different carriers to offer you the best deals possible as well making finding the best deal possible much more easy than if you had to visit individual insurance companies face-to-face.
• Potential discounts associated with online service-many online insurance companies offer huge discount incentives in order to earn your business. These discounts, if you do qualify for them, can be significant and offer an additional reason to purchase your car insurance online.
• Don’t have to set an appt or leave the house-purchasing car insurance the traditional way meant you had to set an appointment with an insurance agent, then get in your car to drive there, and then spend time sitting with the agent as you discuss your coverages and premiums. If you decided not to go with this particular company, you had to do the same thing all over again. When purchasing car insurance online, you won’t even have to leave the house to finish the transaction.

Cons of buying car insurance online
• Very difficult to establish true relationship with the company-if you do end up purchasing car insurance online, it is less than likely that you will be able to establish a warm relationship with the company. This is because your interaction with them will be via e-mail and occasionally the phone. Relationships can be extremely important when it comes to your insurance needs as the more a company knows about you and your family, the better they will be at helping to tailor your coverages to best meet your needs.

• Customer Service may be lacking-if you need an answer concerning your car insurance and you need it quickly, then working with an online car insurance company may not be the best route. These companies often work with call centers or through e-mail service portals. This means that in less you have a claim, your service request may take many hours or even days to process.
• Financial track record/standing of the company-insurance claims are paid based on the financial stability of the insurance company. It can often be hard to tell how stable your company is if they are simply a website. The last thing you want to have happen is to have purchased an inexpensive policy online only to find them going out of business within a year to because they don’t have enough money to pay for claims.
• May receive savings at the cost of proper coverage-one final important note that represents a potential negative in purchasing car insurance online is that of the actual product you receive. We may see a price that we like after giving an online car insurance company our information, but price is only one factor, the actual coverages you receive are the most important aspect. If the online insurance company is offering you a cheap policy, it may be because they are greatly diminishing the amount and type of coverage that policy has. When working with a face-to-face insurance agent, you will be able to go over your policy coverages in detail to make certain you are fully covered the matter what situation may arise.

Purchasing a quality insurance policy may be one of the most important things you do in your life, especially if you encounter a serious accident sometime in the future. While purchasing a car insurance policy online can offer both convenience and savings, it will lack the relationship that you can build by dealing with insurance companies face-to-face via a local insurance agent. Take these pros and cons into consideration when choosing to purchase your next car insurance policy.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 7:12 pm and is filed under article. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Pros & Cons of Buying Car Insurance on the Internet: What every consumer should know FIRST”

  1. Verline Bleyer says:

    I reckon insurance is imprescindible to anyone consenting to whippy a disquiet sprightliness. But today´s rates are fair too utmost!

  2. RegularGuy says:

    I subscribed to the ‘personal touch’ theory for years. Then I had a claim from
    a hit-and-run. That nice local agent who signed me up couldn’t be reached. I
    finally got his ‘admin’ who was both clueless and (apparently) helpless. All she
    did was keep referring me to the ‘Claims Department.’ It was a frustrating cycle
    of indifference and bureaucracy.

    I’ve decided that those friendly, smiling agents exist only to SELL insurance.
    Once the policy is sold, you’ll never see them again – well, maybe at renewal
    time. Or when you get a cheesy calendar as a Christmas gift.

    I now insure with an online insurer, and the quality of my customer service
    experience is MUCH better than with a local agent. My online carrier is always
    prompt in replying. I can call them almost 24 hours a day and get a live agent.

    Traditional insurers who bad-mouth online companies are only trying to sell FUD,
    Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Don’t buy it.

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