Pros and Cons of Buying Car Insurance Online

car insurance online

If you’ve thought about buying car insurance online, you’ve probably wondered how the process works. Is it as simple as booking a flight, or much more complicated? The answer is contingent on who you are and what you require from your car insurance.

Before you begin gathering insurance options, learn how to purchase car insurance online, from quick quotes to insurance cards. Depending on your circumstances, you may discover that shopping and comparing your options is more difficult than you anticipated. However, the advantages of timing and convenience may outweigh the drawbacks. Here’s what you should know before purchasing car insurance online.

How Does Online Car Insurance Work?

Some insurance companies allow you to buy car insurance online. This is referred to as “direct” insurance because it is sold directly to the consumer. Other insurers will only sell policies through insurance agents.

You can request quotes directly from insurers’ websites or use a site that gathers multiple auto insurance quotes for you. Multiple-quote websites can vary greatly; they may provide real-time quotes, estimates, or even compare new policies to your current policy.

RELATED: 10 biggest challenges for insurance companies

These price-comparison websites may also generate “leads” or future business for affiliated insurance companies or agents, which may result in emails and phone calls from one or more insurers. It’s a good idea to look into a site’s privacy or opt-out policy before submitting personal information.

 Determine Your Desired Coverage

First, decide what types of coverage you require and desire so that you can accurately compare insurers’ offerings. These could include:

1. Liability coverage: How much coverage do you want or need if you injure or damage someone else’s property? Keep in mind that liability coverage does not cover damage to your own vehicle or property. States establish their own minimum liability coverage requirements, which may not cover all of the damage caused by an accident. For example, if you cause $50,000 in bodily harm to someone in an accident but your insurance only covers $25,000, you must pay the difference.

2. Collision and comprehensive coverage: How much coverage do you want or require if your car is damaged or destroyed as a result of weather or an accident?

3. Uninsured/underinsured motorist: How much coverage do you need if you are hit by an uninsured motorist for damage to your own car or medical bills? In some states, insurers are required to provide this coverage with liability, while in others, you must pay an additional fee.

4. Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments: How much coverage would you need if you or your family were injured in an accident to cover medical bills, physical therapy, and even lost wages while you recover?

5. Special coverage:Do you have any special, high-value items in your car, such as an expensive stereo? Do you want to carry roadside assistance or Mexican driving coverage?

6. Deductible: The amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance will cover the damages. What are you willing to give up in exchange for a lower premium?

Request a Quote

To obtain an online quote, you must provide some basic information. Prepare to have the following documents and information at your disposal:

1. Information about your vehicle: Year, make, model, price, and vehicle identification number (VIN), as well as whether the vehicle is leased or owned outright.

2. Use of a vehicle: The number of miles you drive each year, as well as whether you drive for business or pleasure.

3. Information about the driver: All drivers in your household’s names, marital status, birthdates, and driver’s license numbers. You may also be asked for your Social Security number, credit score, educational level, and occupation.

4. Driving history: All accidents and claims, even those ruled not to be your fault, as well as the length of time you’ve been driving.

After you enter your information, the insurer will generate an auto insurance quote. The quote is simply an estimate of the rate you might pay based on assumptions made by the insurance company about you and your risk. You’ll be asked to continue the purchase online, call an agent, or have your quote emailed to you.

You should be asked questions during the quote-generation process to help determine whether you qualify for an auto insurance discount, such as whether your vehicle has safety features such as airbags or a security alarm. Examine the quote to ensure that these discounts were applied correctly.

Online auto insurance rates may differ from those obtained from an agent. Agents typically consider commissions or sales fees, but online purchases may incur additional costs, such as the insurer’s calculation of the cost.

Evaluate Quotes

Some insurer websites allow you to change coverages and amounts to see how they affect the quote, such as dropping comprehensive coverage if you drive an older vehicle or raising the deductible. However, you may need to speak with an agent to fully customize your policy.

A few states provide rate comparison tools to assist consumers in making informed insurance purchases. These guides contrast rates with and without accidents, drivers of various ages, and other variables.

Compare the costs as well as the following when reviewing your quotes:

     Liability, comprehensive and collision coverage amounts,


     Term; if the policy is only good for six months, you may have to go through the online shopping process again sooner than you’d like.

     Discounts for low mileage, full payment, requesting a paperless policy, and certain memberships

     Accident forgiveness, roadside assistance, pet protection, and identity fraud coverage are either included or available at an additional cost.

The insurance company will review your driving record, claims history, and possibly your credit history before offering you a final policy rate. If the insurer discovers a poor driving record that you haven’t previously disclosed, the final rate may be significantly higher than you expected or were quoted.

You’ll receive a temporary insurance coverage card or a digital insurance card after you pay for your policy and coverage is activated.

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Car Insurance

Below, you will find the Pros and Cons of purchasing car insurance online.

Explained Pros

     Reduced pressure: In-person insurance shopping may involve information overload and high-pressure sales tactics. Online shopping allows customers to weigh their options and research coverage.

     Convenient shopping: You can shop for auto insurance online at any time of day or night, and you can take your time researching and comparing quotes.

     Convenient purchasing experience: Most insurers will email you a quote and give you time to consider it or compare it to others. Some insurance companies let you finish the entire process online, while others require you to speak with an agent as the final step.

     Discounts: Some insurance companies provide discounts for purchasing online or requesting an online quote.

Explained Cons

     Time-consuming comparisons: Comparing quotes and coverages accurately takes time, research, and analysis. Deductibles, for example, can have a significant impact on your quote. One insurer may include roadside assistance or pet insurance, whereas another may charge extra or not provide the coverage.

     Quotes that are potentially inaccurate: If you do not disclose all of your personal information, or if the insurer later determines that you are a higher risk than they first thought, the online auto insurance quote may be inaccurate. In the initial request, an insurer might ask for your car’s make, model, and year, but not the VIN, which would reveal the vehicle’s entire history, including any accidents.

     Not appropriate for all drivers (or vehicles): Online insurance shopping may not be an option if you have a unique situation. For example, if you’re turned down because of a DUI or because you’re a high-risk driver, you may have to go through an agent or a state insurance plan. Some insurers do not provide online quotes for specialty vehicles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, or households with more than five drivers or cars. 2 You might not be able to bundle policies (such as car and renters insurance) online.

     Not all insurance companies offer online sales: Some insurance companies only work Others allow you to begin the process online but require you to speak with an agent to complete your purchase, which is inconvenient if you want an entirely online experience.

     No specific agent to contact: Because online shopping frequently does not involve a licensed agent, some customers prefer to have a specific person to contact when they have insurance-related questions.

Who Should Consider Purchasing Car Insurance Online?

You might consider shopping for car insurance online if you have plenty of time, are an avid deal hunter, and understand auto insurance coverage well enough to compare quotes. Simple scenarios (one driver, one average car, no accidents, no plans to bundle insurance, no specialized needs) may be ideal for online car insurance shopping.

If any of the following apply, you should seek out an independent agent who can provide quotes from multiple carriers and help you narrow down your options:

     The terminology and coverage amounts perplex you.

     You have high-value assets to safeguard (such as a home, yacht, or classic car).

     You want to combine several types of insurance coverage.

     You have a one-of-a-kind situation or driving history and want a professional to assist you in interpreting your options.


If you choose to get car insurance quotes online, keep in mind that saving money isn’t always the primary goal. Other factors to consider include service quality, claim procedures, online and offline support, and so on.

Accept it. Purchasing insurance is not always the most pleasurable experience. There is no doubt that getting quotes online will make your purchasing process much easier. It is critical to obtain adequate insurance that meets your needs. Talking to people who have had the experience, reading reviews, or even consulting with an insurance agent may help you save even more time and money.


Editor’s picks

12 Best Strategies on How to Get Insurance Leads Online?

Best Way to Write an Insurance Agent Bio


Pros and Cons of Buying Car Insurance Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top