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UPDATED: Jul 4, 2016
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Do you ever wonder about how to buy car insurance online? Are you curious about whether or not you can buy your policy online without ever speaking to a human agent?
The truth is, it’s entirely possible to buy car insurance online if you know what you’re doing.
There are plenty of car insurance companies that provide basic online services, as well as other who have completely automated the process so that everything can be done without human intervention.
How much you use the Internet for your car insurance needs will depend on how comfortable you are doing business that way.
Fortunately, there are enough options out there to suit the comfort level of all kinds of users, whether you simply want a basic quote to get started, or you prefer to conduct all your business online.
What are some of the benefits of buying car insurance online?
From the standpoint of the consumer, convenience is probably the biggest reason driving us to online car insurance purchases.
Most of us don’t have the time to set aside an entire afternoon for making phone calls. Using the Internet affords us the ability to get quotes quickly, compare them, and decide on a policy.
And because the Internet is virtually instant, there’s no waiting on hold for the next available representative, no long, drawn-out conversations with agents who don’t understand your needs, and so forth.
Another benefit of buying car insurance online is a lower cost.
Companies that offer car insurance exclusively online don’t have the overhead costs of companies that maintain local offices around the country. That savings can be passed on to consumers in the form of lower rates.
The insurance company saves additional money by being able to sell policies without having to pay agent commissions. All the way around it seems like a better deal for both providers and customers.
Who is buying car insurance online?
Statistics show that using the Internet as a place of commerce is almost universally embraced by individuals 30 years old or younger. The fact is that the younger generation has no trouble doing as much of their shopping online as possible.
As for older Americans, those between the ages of 35 and 55 are a mixed bag; some prefer online shopping while others don’t.
Americans aged 60 and older tend to stay away from e-commerce as much as possible. Statistics from the Insurance Research Council show the same trends with car insurance.
Should I look online even if I already have car insurance?
Car insurance is no different than any other product on the open market in that prices fluctuate on a regular basis.
The problem is that we don’t tend to think of car insurance in the same vein as those consumable products we buy at the supermarket.
But just as we would continually compare prices for our weekly grocery list, we should occasionally get some online car insurance quotes just to be sure.
It may be that the policy you chose last year was indeed the best one at the best price. But this may no longer be the case. You’ll never know if you don’t shop.
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Most of us obviously don’t have the time to investigate car insurance once a week, but experts suggest that you compare quotes whenever it is time for your policy to be renewed. For most of us that means a semi-annual exercise.
In the fifth month of the current policy period, when the renewal notice comes in the mail, it is a good time to take 30 or 40 minutes and compare quotes.
The same can be said for policies that renew every quarter or annually.
How do I get started buying car insurance online?
Before you get started in the online car insurance process, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools.
- High-speed Internet – This is at the top of the list in the modern digital world. Dial-up access is usable, but you will be frustrated by the amount of time it takes and you run the risk of dropped connections, which could cause data loss with any forms you’re filling out online.
- Reputable Browser – These include Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Also, make sure that your software and plug-ins are all up to date. Interactive websites require the latest technology to operate correctly, so if your web browser is not up to speed it’s almost guaranteed to cause you problems.
As a side note, some insurance company websites may even require you to use the Windows or Mac operating systems.
My computer specs are up-to-date, what do I do next?
The next step is to find a car insurance calculator so you can begin the process. The site you’re on right now has just such a calculator that’s available free of charge.
You simply enter your zip code in the box provided, click the search button, and wait a moment while the results are returned.
Most calculators will redirect you to a secondary site in order to collect more specific information about your car and driving habits. Don’t be alarmed; this is necessary in order to generate a realistic quote.
Once you have the initial quotes from the car insurance providers in your area it’s time to shortlist those companies.
What you’ll do is scan the results for specific criteria such as the amount of coverage provided, types of car insurance available, any extra coverage offered, and total price.
By carefully considering this information you can narrow the list of car insurance companies you want to investigate further down to three or four.
What do I do with my shortlist?
Once you have your shortlist, the real work begins. Now you have to visit the websites of each individual company and use their car insurance calculators to get a more accurate number.
These calculators will be more in-depth than the general one you started with because more information is needed.
In fact, just think of these calculators as electronic agents that are collecting the same information a human agent needs in order to make a decision.
Be sure to answer all the questions as honestly as you possibly can.
Even in cases where you can sign up and pay for your policy without ever talking to a human agent, somewhere along the line, a real person will review your policy and the information you provided.
If it turns out that some of your information is inaccurate, they will find out and adjust your policy accordingly.
Once you have finished entering the information into the insurance company’s calculator, one of two things will happen:
- The company will offer you a policy which you can sign up for instantly.
- They will assign an agent to contact you via e-mail or telephone.
Which option you’re afforded is dependent upon the individual company and what they offer.
Regardless, you’ve now reached the point where you can determine which of your shortlisted companies is best for you. From there it’s simply a matter of signing on the dotted line and making your payment.
Buying car insurance online begins by entering your ZIP code into our FREE search tool below! Compare car insurance quotes now!