Online Insurance Quotes

Online Insurance Quotes: Welcome to the Jungle

Not to scare you or anything, but it's a jungle out there -- on the Internet, that is. The information available is so varied and copious that once you venture away from the Internet kiddie pool it's like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. Take online insurance quotes, for instance. You might think it would be easy to fire up a search engine, enter your needs in the little text box, and find something you can live with in just a few minutes, right? You'd be wrong, of course; otherwise there would be no need for this article.

Go ahead, look at a few online insurance quotes. We'll wait. Hmmm hhmm hmmm, hmmm HMMM...Oh, you're back. Kind of overwhelming, wasn't it? While it can be difficult enough choosing from the plethora of local insurers out there, with the Internet you get access not just to agencies in your town or county, but all over the state, country, and world. Of course, you have to focus on those who can handle policies in your state, but even then you've got plenty of choices for your online insurance quotes, including companies who specialize in them. What do you do?

Too much is just enough

Obviously, you'll need to narrow down your choices. What you do first depends on the type of online insurance quotes you need. If you're looking for auto insurance only, you'll want to choose agents who specialize in auto insurance. Same thing for homeowner's insurance or anything else: find a specialist in that type of insurance, because they know all the little pointers and hidden intricacies of their particular sub-field.

Once you've got a list of candidates, throw out the ones who handle only one insurance company. These "captive" agents can't offer you a variety of quotes: they've got one rate and one rate only for your particular situation (car, home, life, whatever). An independent agent represents a variety of different insurance companies, often up to 20, and will offer you several online insurance quotes at least. The only exception to the independent agent rule is when you've got your heart set on a particular insurance company, perhaps because you've dealt with them before and admire their level of customer service. In this situation, you shouldn't even bother checking more than one agent representing that company, because the rates will be approximately the same; the company will have one rate for the insurance fitting your situation. Anyone who claims they can offer you less than another agent selling the exact same policy is either duping you and hoping to make it up in fees later, or is just a bad businessman. Don't bet your farm on the latter.

Refining your choice

Let's say you've done all of the above and still have a list of candidates you can't choose from. All the online insurance quotes they offer are decent, and they look good, so now you have to make a decision. Don't resort to the eenie-meenie-miney-moe method quite yet. Before picking someone at random, do a little homework first. Check the list with the Better Business Bureau and its online equivalents. While this probably won't narrow the field much, it might help you weed out an agent or company that's disreputable. Finally, zero in on the deal that best fits your needs while saving you the most money. This may not be the cheapest rate, but sometimes you have to ignore the lowballers in favor of quality.

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