Virtually everything can be done electronically or online these days, whether you’re shopping for a new pair of shoes or auto insurance. The growing trend over the past several years has been to use the Internet as a popular source to compare and then purchase affordable auto insurance. While those with more experience in the art of surfing and shopping the web may find sifting through the wide selection of insurance companies and available coverages simple, others less experienced find it confusing.
That’s why, it’s important to understand the pros and the cons of the two methods you can use to obtain auto insurance. The first is the old, conventional brick and mortar method, where you speak directly with an insurance agent, either face to face or on the phone. The second, the e-insurance online method, can be impersonal, but it allows you to easily shop for coverage that fits your needs without any added pressure. Similarly, insurance companies have embraced this method as an opportunity to display their numerous policy options on the Internet.
The pros and cons of each method to consider are as follows:
• The Pros of Online Insurance Shopping
1. No pressure from an agent – It’s only between you and your computer screen. You can shop leisurely at your own pace, in your bathrobe and slippers, if you wish, without feeling pressured to make an immediate decision. The policy options can be easily reviewed and compared between insurance companies.
2. Sign-up can be quick and done 24/7 – If you’re a night owl or have a bizarre work schedule, this is one convenience you can’t pass up. You can review, compare, and buy auto insurance any time of day and night…even at 2 in the morning while having a slice of cold pizza.
• The Cons of Online Insurance Shopping
1. Can be confusing for some – Too much information can overwhelm and confuse an inexperienced online insurance shopper. While insurance companies may outline the basic elements of a policy on the Internet, the sign up process can become complicated if the insurance terms used on their online websites are not completely understood.
2. Bundling policies and getting discounts can be difficult – The many discounts available to you when you speak directly with an agent might not be offered or apparent online, meaning you may end up paying more by not having the option to discuss the ones you qualify for. In addition, the majority of insurance carriers will discount your premiums if you bundle auto, home, and other policies together, but with online shopping the options may be limited or not fully displayed.
• Pros of Brick & Mortar Insurance Shopping
1. All options can be discussed – Insurance agents are professionals who can answer all your questions and offer the options you need or are looking for. They can discuss every feature of an insurance policy before you sign on the dotted line. Furthermore, you’ll be able to know what discounts you’re eligible for first hand.
2. Can interact with an agent – This is not always a bad thing. The insurance agent usually has the expertise to simplify the decision making process by presenting all your options; speaking with a live person with your interest at heart can keep you from getting inadequate coverage or making the wrong policy choice altogether.
• Cons of Brick & Mortar Insurance Shopping
1. You’re subject to sales pressure – While purchasing auto insurance isn’t as pressurized as buying a used car…there is a certain amount pressure involved in the process. If you buckle easily under the weight of a strong sales pitch, you may have a bit of a problem here. But, keep in mind that most insurance agents are not pushy, nor will they steer you toward purchasing a policy that doesn’t fit your needs.
2. Travel may be required – If you don’t have access to the Internet, your search can be time consuming, not to mention expensive, should you have to drive around. Luckily, you can handle a great deal of the work over the phone, getting quotes, etc. Still, it can be a hassle and inconvenient compared to having everything at your fingertips in the comfort of your own home or office.
So, regardless of which method you choose, just remember that each one has its positive and negative points…and, the final choice is up to you.
Also up to you is making sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Which method do you prefer to buy auto insurance – the online e-insurance method or the conventional brick & mortar? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.