January 23, 2010

The Best Way To Deal With Online Auto Insurance Agents

One of the fastest growing online markets is online car insurance. With the ability and convenience to obtain free quotes and see policy details and premium information at a glance, many people are turning to the internet for their auto insurance quotes. Though this can save time and money, the simple fact is that auto insurance is too complex a purchase to be made without ever contacting an agent to hammer out the finer points of the agreement. Whether it is by phone on online, speaking to an auto insurance agent before purchasing a policy is essential.

Most online insurance companies will offer both a toll-free number which potential customers can call as well as an e-mail address where they can be contacted for questions. To obtain a quote from them might also require the filling out of a short questionnaire, to which they will reply by e-mail. Although insurance agents are in the business of trying to sell a product and therefore must be dealt with accordingly, they can be an invaluable source of information regarding the many policy details. Consumers should first ask the agent who is covered under the policy to drive the car. Is it simply the policyholder or can a spouse or child drive the car and be covered as well? In addition, how will the insurance work if a rented car is necessary, or if the client is driving a friend’s car? What kind of coverage does the insurance provider bring to the table in situations that are slightly out of the norm?

Also, be sure to inquire thoroughly about payment details, fees, etc. Some companies will charge an administration fee’ if payment is broken up into twelve equal installments over a year, and will continue to charge that fee every year the policy is in place. Also, be sure to ask about the ability to cancel the policy for any reason. Ask if this will incur a fee or affect the ability to get future insurance. It is worth knowing before purchasing a policy. That way, if the answers don’t add up, no money will have yet been spent and a better provider can be found.

The key dealing with any auto insurance agents is to be prepared. Know what kind of coverage is needed, how much is required by state law, and have all the details about drivers, cars, and previous accident histories ready. Also, be sure to insist on specific answers. Vague generalities or ‘to be determined’ statements can lead to future problems. Any online insurance company worth its salt should be able to give clear cut and honest answers to its clients’ questions.