Car Insurance Not on Comparison Sites

Car insurance not on a comparison site would mean buying from an agent. Agents have the ability to provide you with multiple quotes from different carriers, while comparison sites give you a hassle-free quick way to obtain quotes.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There are two types of car insurance agents: independent and captive
  • Online comparison tools help you obtain multiple quotes all at once
  • There are discounts that you may be able to take advantage of


Are you debating whether to buy insurance from a local agent or from a comparison site? Find out some of the differences between the two to decide which method is right for you.

And while you’re here, you might as well enter your zip code in our comparison tool to see how much you could save on auto insurance. Try it today for free.

Buying Car Insurance from An Agent

There are two types of car insurance agents:

  • Independent Agents
  • Captive Agents

An independent agent has the ability to provide you with multiple quotes from different insurance carriers. This allows you to select the insurance quote with the best coverage for the lowest rate.

Since they don’t receive incentives to push you toward a particular company, they generally will have your best interest in mind and steer you in the right direction.

The only major drawback of soliciting the help of an independent agent is they charge a substantial fee for their services, which is then tacked onto your insurance policy premium.

A captive agent is someone who works exclusively for one particular insurance company. They act as a personal representative on your behalf when it comes to working directly with the insurance company.

They know the ins and outs of the business, so they can better answer your questions on how different policies work at their company. There are some negatives when working with captive agents, however, including:

  • slightly higher monthly premiums, although still cheaper than going through an independent agent
  • cannot provide access to products or pricing from outside their company

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Buying Insurance on a Comparison Site

With the age of technology, finding a cheap insurance quote can be fast and hassle-free by utilizing online comparison tools. As long as you have access to a computer, you can obtain multiple quotes with just a little background information and the click of a button.

The process works by asking you a few basic questions about you and your car insurance needs to find you the best possible rates. You can then compare different quotes side by side to see the differences. 

Although you won’t see any quotes from your local mom-and-pop insurance providers, online comparison sites will bring you quotes from the major insurance companies that you can trust.

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Switching Car Insurance Companies

Don’t be afraid to switch car insurance companies to save money. Remember, insurance is not a long-term contract. The rates often change, so it is important to stay on top of how much you pay.

The insurance company would love to have you stay locked into an expensive policy, but it is up to you to make the change. You can shop around, compare quotes, and see if there is a better deal out there than what you are currently paying.

Switching is not difficult as long as you do it the proper way:

  • Obtain a new policy from another company first before switching.
  • Make sure to set a start date for the new policy that will ensure no lapses.
  • Notify your existing provider that you are canceling and follow any specific instructions for leaving.
  • If allowed, ask for a refund from your existing provider of any unused portion of the premium.
  • Contact your state DMV and notify them of changes, unless your new provider will do this for you.
  • You should now be all set to drive with your new policy!

Saving the Most on Car Insurance

Most car insurance companies offer discounts that can be applied to your policy that will amount in additional savings. Many people miss out on discounts simply because they don’t know or don’t ask.

Good Credit Discount

Insurance companies do take your credit score into account, so be sure to pay your bills in full and on time. A high credit score could cut your bill by as much as half!

Good credit shows that you are financially stable, and those who are financially stable are considered more responsible, which makes you less of a risk in the eyes of the insurance company.

Safety Features Discount

You may be able to get a discount on your insurance premium just for having safety features installed in your vehicle. Even the safety features that automatically come with your car — like airbags and anti-lock breaks — can result in a discount.

Anti-Theft Discount

Discounts on your comprehensive portion of the policy come from having anti-theft devices installed such as car alarms, fuel or ignition cutoff switches, stolen-car tracking systems, and VIN etchings.

Marriage/Domestic Partnership Discount

If you are married, then you may see a significant drop in your car insurance premiums. Insurance companies tend to think that those who are married are safer drivers than those who are single.

Green Discount

By going green, you can help yourself save money on car insurance. Some companies offer a small discount if you opt for e-statements instead of paper.

Another way you can go green is to buy a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle. More and more companies are giving significant discounts, not because hybrids are safer, but because people who take it upon themselves to buy one are seen as less of a risk.

Early Shopping Discount

Some insurance carriers will offer a 10 percent discount if you switch to them before you next premium is due. To take advantage of this offer, make sure you start looking for other insurance options a few weeks before your policy is up.

However, before you switch, be sure to ask your current insurance carrier if they can match the competitor’s discount. That way you’ll still get a deal, but you won’t have to worry about switching.

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Being Careful with Cheap Insurance

One thing to keep in mind is that the cheapest car insurance does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with a good insurance company. Some insurance companies can offer exceptionally cheap rates because:

  • they pay lower rates to their employees
  • they employ the bare minimum of employees
  • they have few people to review claims

You can imagine if the employee morale is low, the customer service may not be easy to deal with.

A good rule of thumb is to check out each company first with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have good reviews and pay out on their claims.

How do you find the best auto insurance rates? Whatever method of buying car insurance you choose, don’t just take the first quote you get and go with it. Remember that comparing quotes will help you find the best insurance for the price. Why not enter your zip code below and try it today?

References:

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/captive-agent.asp
  2. https://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/four-steps-to-switching-car-insurance.html
  3. https://news.leavitt.com/personal/what-happens-if-i-let-my-auto-insurance-lapse/
  4. https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/07/01/auto-insurance-discounts-not-to-be-missed.html
  5. https://www.bbb.org/

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