Online Car Insurance: Pros and Cons

These days, more and more people are opting to do business online. There’s no shortage of information online and online shopping is definitely convenient. For many consumer items, it’s a great alternative. For instance, it’s easy to research mattress prices, read reviews, make your choice, and have it delivered to your door when you choose to shop online. Compare that to the old-fashioned method of going from store to store trying to do research and compare prices, and, once you’ve made your choice, finding a friend with a truck to help you haul the thing home.

But is it the best way to go when you’re in the market for car insurance? Are there sufficient resources available online for consumers like you to find the right insurance coverage for their particular situation? Part of what you pay for when shopping for auto insurance in person is an experienced agent that knows you and your situation. You need insurance coverage on a car to be able to register it when you buy a car in Ontario. So it’s important to stay informed about your insurance options.

Sites such as LowestRates or InsuranceHotline are useful for comparing quotes from Ontario’s leading insurance companies if you’re ready to shop online. If you’d rather purchase your auto insurance through an agent, you can find a broker via the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) website.

Online car insurance: the pros

Before you decide, though, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of online car insurance.

Ability to buy insurance at your convenience

Online car insurance is conveniently available at any time of the day – or night! You’re not restricted to making your purchase between the hours of 9 and 5. As long as your connection is safe and secure, you can buy when it’s most convenient for you. And the process is quick, too, because comparing plans is so easy. Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of online car insurance.

Multiple options within minutes

Online, you can get quotes at competitive rates from multiple insurance agencies. Usually, you just need to fill out an online form with essential details about your car and you will receive several quotes relevant to your situation.

Savings on coverage

Being able to compare multiple car insurance quotes means you can more easily root out a policy that is costs less than others. Part of these savings are a result of the insurance company not having to pay an agent but a large range of factors go into insurance ratings so going the broker route is still a viable option.

Answers to insurance questions are available

Online insurance sites can generally be relied upon to provide a smart and easy-to-understand FAQ section. That means you can most likely find out what you need to know within a few clicks.

Shorter wait time for receiving insurance documents

You often have the option of downloading your insurance documents right away or receiving them via email. Either way is faster than snail mail.

Online car insurance: the cons

Knowing the cons of online insurance before purchasing will help you to avoid a lot of problems.

Need computer skills

It takes concentrated effort to fill in the amount of information required to get a car insurance quote online. If you’re not the most savvy of computer users, buying online might feel like you’re stuck in a labyrinth with no escape. An insurance agent or broker will gladly do the work for you.

Insurance expertise required

Without a personal agent or broker, you’ll need to look up answers to your insurance questions online yourself. While you can always call the online insurance company’s toll-free number, you won’t have an agent assigned to your file. That means you’ll speak with a different person whenever you call. A personal insurance broker’s professional expertise can save you a lot of time in helping you understand your coverage.

No direct human contact

Face-to-face meetings can be extremely valuable when it comes to car insurance. Questions unavoidably pop up and websites sometimes malfunction. What’s more, there are points in the process where an actual human being is required to verify the accuracy of your policy. Toll-free phone numbers are helpful, but the process can feel impersonal. And there’s always an annoying automated system to get through first.

Multi-policy discounts less likely

If you’re a homeowner, choosing to buy your car insurance online may mean you miss out on a multi-policy discount. Generally speaking, online car insurance sites are unlikely to work with other companies in order to provide home insurance.

No help filing an insurance claim

With an online car insurance company, you will have to file a claim on your own. Although fairly easy, this can add stress to an already stressful situation. Going the traditional route means your personal agent or broker can do it for you.

Online car insurance: the rundown

Online car insurance has its pros, but it is not necessarily for everyone. We advise you to take the time to consider the advantages and disadvantages in terms of your needs. That way, you’ll be making an informed decision when contemplating whether an online auto insurance policy is a good fit for you. Getting several quotes – as many as possible, really – is a crucial step towards making a right, knowledgeable choice. You can’t drive your car without insurance so it’s important to understand exactly what coverage you’re getting and how much you have to pay for it.

Now you can decide how you’re going to insure that new or used car you’ve got your eye on.

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