Should I buy car insurance online?

You don’t have to buy car insurance online, but every driver should start inquiring about auto insurance quotes online in order to save money on car insurance. Shopping for car insurance online allows you to read independent reviews of different companies and get an idea of what other people are paying for auto insurance in your area. If you’re ready to buy auto insurance online, enter your ZIP code below to get started with free quotes from local companies.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2020

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The world has shifted where you can buy almost anything online but should you buy car insurance online? There are many reasons to visit a local agent and purchase car insurance coverage but nothing compares to the ease and luxury of purchasing car insurance coverage online. Not only can you obtain coverage instantly but drivers can often even save money by purchasing auto insurance direct.

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While you may not end up buying car insurance online the first place ever driver should start inquiring about auto insurance coverage is online.

Why should I buy car insurance online?

Buying car insurance online is not for everybody however insurance coverage is a critical asset to your overall financial protection so, at the very least; you should start your search for auto insurance online. Why? Because the odds are you know very little how auto insurance really works. Most reputable car insurance companies have vast content explain the types of car insurance available, how policy deductibles work, what discount are available and more. If you want to find the best car insurance coverage then you also need to form a base of knowledge about the product you are buying and shopping online provides instant access to much of this knowledge.

Shopping for car insurance online also allows you to read independent reviews of car insurance companies and often build a much longer list of providers than simply looking in the yellow pages. Since car insurance is so important you also need to learn from a relaxed environment where the pressure of an agent doesn’t distort or limit facts about the insurance coverage you are buying. Comparing your car insurance options from home simply allows a better learning experience and often leads to a much more educated choice about which provider to use and what type of insurance to purchase.

Is it cheaper to buy car insurance online?

Yes and no. Finding cheaper car insurance online will depend on your individual profile but there are far many greater stories of people finding cheaper car insurance online than visiting an agent. Many car insurance companies even offer exclusive discounts to people who buy car insurance online such as:

  • $50 bonus for signing document electronically (Progressive)
  • Early Renewal Discount – for policyholders who opt to renew their policy online before their current coverage expires
  • Online Multi-Policy Discounts – where you add or purchase another type of insurance and receive an instant discount on your auto insurance
  • and more

Car insurance is an extremely competitive industry and many car insurance companies are moving towards a heavy direct presence online where policyholders can purchase, compare quotes, manage their policies and even file a claim without ever visiting an agent.

Are there disadvantages to buying car insurance online?

Without the personal assistance of a licensed agent there will be always be drawbacks to buying anything online. Car insurance companies are no different and while comparing car insurance quotes is easy to do you also depend on the form questions auto insurance companies use to process your application. Some of these forms may not include all the right questions which could possibly prevent you from maximizing your discounts.

You also want to make sure the company you are buying car insurance from has all the customer service requirements you need in the event of an accident. Do you prefer to have a local agent available if you need one or is calling an 800 number good enough for you? While many providers still have local agents the number of agents has continually decreased over time so make sure to choose a provider who not only offers affordable car insurance rates but also has the support system you need.

High risk drivers (such as those with SR-22 requirements or young drivers) may enjoy speaking with a local agent as sometimes the rates quoted online can often seem expensive for high risk drivers. A second option or some practical advice from a local agent may benefit high risk drivers more than those with a good driving record simply looking for the cheapest car insurance quotes.

I want to buy car insurance from my local agent – should I still shop online?

Absolutely. Having a local agent has many benefits but you still should compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers to see if your premiums are within a reasonable range of other companies. Shopping online can also help you build greater knowledge of car insurance which you can take back to your local agent to inquire about discounts or additional coverage. If you don’t plan on buying car insurance online that’s ok – but at least try to learn about coverage online.

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