Are Online Insurance Quotes Accurate — or Better?

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Not that long ago, the only way to get an insurance quote was by contacting an insurer over the phone or heading to a local insurance office. Today, that isn’t necessary. Many insurers allow prospective customers to get insurance quotes online at any time, day or night.

Overall, online insurance quotes are a convenient way to gather critical information about a potential policy. But is getting an online quote the right choice? If you’re wondering whether online insurance quotes are accurate – or better than those acquired in other ways – here’s what you need to know.

What Is an Online Insurance Quote?

According to the California Department of Insurance, an insurance quote is “an estimate of the cost of insurance, based on information supplied to the insurance company by the applicant.” With an online insurance quote, the only differentiator is how the applicant provides the information and receives the estimate in return.

Generally, an online insurance quote is produced by heading to an insurer’s website or an insurance marketplace. Applicants then provide any required information using an online form or portal. Once the prospective customer completes the process, they can submit their application with a click and wait for the delivery of a quote, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours in most cases.

Pros of Buying Insurance Online

Buying insurance online is typically the most convenient option. Applicants can submit their information at any time, allowing them to complete the initial steps whenever it’s best for them.

In some cases, the website provides a quote almost immediately after submitting an application, allowing the person to start reviewing the information right away. When using a marketplace, customers may even receive several quotes from a range of insurers all at once, making it easy to compare the estimates and choose a suitable provider quickly.

Some companies even offer discounts for getting an online quote and buying insurance entirely through the website or portal. Usually, that’s because generating an online quote doesn’t require time from an agent or representative, which makes it less expensive for the insurer. However, this type of discount isn’t universally offered.

Cons of Buying Insurance Online

There’s one significant primary drawback to buying insurance online. When using this strategy, applicants aren’t getting direct support from an agent or representative. As a result, if the customer has questions about what coverage levels are suitable or how various aspects of the policy work, they’ll either need to do their own research or contact the company directly for help. While that drawback isn’t an issue for those with some insurance savvy, others may find the lack of direct support off-putting.

Should You Get an Online Insurance Quote?

Generally, if you have a solid understanding of your insurance needs, getting a quote online isn’t a bad idea. The process is typically quick, and some insurers do offer discounts when you use their websites to purchase policies instead of contacting an agent directly.

However, if you have questions about your coverage needs, it’s better to contact an insurer over the phone or in person for quotes. By using that approach, you can get guidance from a representative, helping you ensure the policy you’re quoted can meet your needs.