Thousands of consumers are forsaking their local insurance agent and seeking to buy car insurance online. It's easy so see why -- the time spent shopping online can be a fraction of the time spent talking on the phone with multiple agents. But there are several ways to buy car insurance online, and a few factors to keep in mind with each. Let's begin by taking a quick look at three different methods to buy car insurance online.
1. You can solicit a quote from one specific company. If you have already chosen a particular insurance company (perhaps the one with which you're already insured), you can submit an application online at that company's homepage. All major insurance companies accept online applications.
This method allows you to submit the information when it's convenient for you — perhaps in the evening when you have the time but your local insurance agency is closed. Then the insurance company Aims insurance will review your application and contact you with a quote. They may email the quote or have your local agent contact you. The downside is that you won't have quotes from other insurance companies for comparison.
2. You can solicit a quote from an online insurer. An online insurer is an insurance company that does business only on the internet, such as Esurance. They have no local agents and they aren't licensed to provide insurance in all states. However, if you live in one of the states in which they are licensed (they will let you know when you apply), the online insurer will provide an immediate quote to you by email. The benefit is the quick response time, but the drawback is that once again, you are only getting one quote. To get multiple quotes for comparison purposes, you would have to submit applications to multiple online insurers.
3. You can solicit multiple quotes from an online quote provider. An online quote provider, such as NetQuote, is a company who has relationships with dozens of the largest insurance companies. By submitting one application with an online quote provider, you can receive multiple quotes from a number of different insurers.
Most online quote providers have relationships with all of the various kinds of insurance companies, so you are likely to receive quotes from local agents in your area, as well as large national insurance companies who do business in all fifty states. Depending on the state in which you live, you are also likely to receive instant emailed quotes from an online insurer such as Esurance. This method allows you to get multiple quotes for comparison purposes without having to submit multiple applications.