Many consumers are finding it easier to buy online auto insurance than to use traditional methods. This is likely because of quote comparison sites that enable shoppers to compare auto insurance quotes online for multiple providers in a flash. Web users have grown accustomed to convenience and fast results...so online car insurance provides another avenue for speed and savings. But what should you consider before making an auto insurance commitment online? Here are some helpful hints.
A Provider's Rating
Standard & Poor and A.M. Best are probably the two top insurance rating companies. They give ratings based on financial integrity, which reveals if a provider can handle (from a financial standpoint) the amount of claims expected in upcoming years. You'll want to go with a stable company, even if it means paying a little more on your premiums.
How a Provider Fares in Customer Service
Check every resource possible to find out how a provider ranks in customer service. This is so important, because it will determine how you will be treated should you ever have a claim. Most providers are going to be nice and friendly up front (when trying to sign you on as a new client), but this doesn't mean the same holds true when you actually need to file a claim. Check Better Business Bureau, your state's website (Department of Insurance), and ask around online through forums and discussions.
Payment Methods Available
Providers may differ in how they require payments. Some offer a monthly payment, but might require you to pay this by direct monthly withdrawal from a credit card or bank account. Otherwise, you might have to pay quarterly or by the year. When comparing online auto insurance quotes, find out which companies offer a payment plan that fits your budget methods.
Find out from each company if discounts are available. You may receive a discounted policy if you've been driving for five or more years and have never had a collision or a speeding ticket. You might qualify for a safety feature discount if your car has certain safety features to protect you and passengers from injury. If your teen recently got his license, having good grades and taking a defensive driving course will result in a discount. Also, check for discounts if you have a short commute (or no commute) to work and if your car has added security features to prevent theft. Some providers offer discounts if you pay up front for the year, or if you insure multiple cars or your home and car with the same provider.
All in all, buying online auto insurance gives you an edge over buying local. You'll be able to compare without going from office to office, and you'll have the advantage of sitting back and comparing all the facts without actually speaking with an agent. Agents are salespeople and they want to sell their car insurance to you. You can compare auto insurance online without the sales pressure, which makes it easier to see what each company has to offer.
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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