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Should I purchase car insurance quotes online?

Here's what you need to know...
  • Buying actual car insurance online is perfectly safe, but don’t pay for quotes
  • All states require that drivers buy and maintain some level of auto insurance
  • There are several reasons why a car insurance company may not extend insurance to an individual
  • Compare prices periodically, and use online quotes to your advantage

If someone offers to sell you the opportunity to buy cheap car insurance quotes online, the answer is a resounding “No!” There are many auto insurance comparison sites online that are free to the user. There is no need for the user to pay for the service.

If, on the other hand, the question is whether any potential customer should proceed with a cheap car insurance quote found online, the answer will always be “Yes!”

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Licensed and Regulated by the State

United-States-map-78275004-1600x1600Buying car insurance as a result of an affordable quote found online is perfectly safe. Every car insurance company is licensed and regulated by the states in which it operates.

Some operate only in a single state; others maintain regional operation of only a few to several states. Still, others are national and operate in all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia.

Regardless of the size of the car insurance company from which the potential customer receives a cheap auto insurance quote, no company will sell to anyone who resides in a state in which the company is not licensed to operate.

Because every company selling car insurance in the customer’s state is licensed by that state, it is also subject to oversight by the state’s insurance commission. This assures the potential customer that the car insurance company will perform in accordance with the requirements of the state.

No one needs to fear that they may pay for full insurance but receive none in return. To do so is to commit fraud, which carries criminal implications.

Whatever a car insurance company could gain from a few individuals in fraudulent premium payments would be far, far less than what it would pay in fines and lost business resulting from any fraudulent activity.

Companies’ Perspective

Every customer that a car insurance company can add increases revenue, of course, but every additional customer also serves to decrease the per-customer risk that the car insurance company assumes with every policy it writes.

All states require that drivers buy and maintain some level of auto insurance. Requirements vary from state to state, but all states require that drivers carry some level of liability insurance.

Most car insurance companies operate from the perspective that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior. Thus, they charge less careful drivers higher premiums and careful drivers lower premiums.

Car insurance companies offer quotes based on what they believe will be beneficial to them and their customers. If one or more companies has offered a cheap quote for auto insurance, the car insurance company believes that the potential customer is at least a reasonably safe risk.

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Getting Turned Down

A company that advertises cheap car insurance rates online may choose not to extend a car insurance policy to an individual. There can be several reasons, some of which are:

  • The company does not operate in the potential customer’s state.
  • The potential customer’s driving record is not as clean as it could be.
  • The potential customer has a low credit score.
  • The potential customer drives a high-end, high-performance vehicle.

For example, if an individual is seeking insurance for a vehicle registered in New Mexico, he/she will not be able to secure insurance through Tennessee Farmers Insurance Companies, which operates only within the state of Tennessee.

If this individual has a mostly clean driving record, he/she should be able to purchase car insurance through any company that operates within the state of New Mexico. It could be a company operating only within the state of New Mexico, a regional company that serves New Mexico, or a national company that operates throughout the United States.

An undesirable driving record can lead any car insurance company to decline coverage. If an individual has several speeding tickets or even past traffic convictions, most insurance companies will assume that he/she will continue those habits in the future.

A large company may choose to insure someone they see as being high risk, but a smaller one will likely decline.

Unfortunately, a low credit score can also translate to higher car insurance premiums.

Car insurance companies nearly always charge higher premiums for high-performance vehicles. Virtually everyone who drives a sports car can expect their car insurance rates to be higher than average. Even so, people who drive these types of cars can still find good deals on car insurance online.

The Bottom Line: Lower Premiums

adobestock_65265779-1600x1600At the end of the day, price comparison can lead to lower premiums, regardless of driving record or vehicle type.

Comparison shopping is the key because most car insurance companies want to increase the number of customers they serve.

Most companies will meet price quotes that are lower than what they originally quoted a customer or are charging current customers, particularly when the company sees the customer as being valuable. Compare prices periodically, and use online quotes to your advantage.

Understand that there is no risk to the customer in buying insurance based on a cheap online quote.

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