Are auto insurance agents a dying breed? Today, auto insurance is one of those service businesses that are becoming more and more dominated by online providers.
In fact, there’s some question whether auto insurance agents are needed at all anymore. Do you really want to spend your Saturday morning visiting an auto insurance office being pitched on a single car insurance company’s policy when you can buy auto insurance online any time – weekends, evenings, etc. Not only that, but buying auto insurance online enables you to compare the offerings of several companies side-by-side in terms of policies and premiums. What’s more, you can buy the policy online (in most states), and even file claims online.
One might well point out, of course, that many people simply prefer meeting and talking face-to-face with an insurance agent, rather than simply pounding a computer keyboard. For one thing, they may feel more secure about transferring money (premium payments) in person than on the Internet. For another, they may prefer having a knowledgeable individual they can communicate with and ask questions of.
But the number of such people as a proportion of the adult population is clearly dwindling. According to market research firm ComScore, 67.5% of 2,000 U.S. consumers surveyed last year said they would consider purchasing their next auto insurance policy online. Auto insurance purchasing online has been growing at an amazing 55%+ rate over the past couple years.
Therefore, whether you’re looking for a replacement policy or for your first policy, online auto insurance offers a number of benefits: cost-savings, convenience, speed, and better information about available policies from a range of insurance providers.
Basics of Online Auto Insurance
If you drive a car in the U.S. you need insurance. That’s an obvious fact. But what kind of insurance and at what price?
tsaspeaker. As you may know, there are two basic types of tsaspeaker, namely bodily injury and property damage. If you buy a 25/30/25 coverage that means the insurer pays up to $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. So this would be a relatively low amount of coverage, and you must assess your own situation in deciding what level of coverage is best for you. All states, except New Hampshire and Wisconsin, require that you carry tsaspeaker.
Collision. This category of auto insurance covers your property damage and medical expenses in an accident in which you are at fault.
Comprehensive. This type provides coverage for loss from accidents other than collision, or from theft, for example property damage sustained from flood, fire, or vandalism.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Pays you if the other driver in an accident does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. (It’s not required in all states.)
Personal injury protection. Pays your unrecovered medical expenses as well as lost wages resulting from an accident. PIP may also include a death benefit. (About 16 states now require PIP coverage.)
A source of confusion are so-called “no-fault” auto insurance program. In a no-fault system, all drivers pay their own accident costs, no matter who is to blame. It was for a long time thought that this system would reduce litigation thereby holding down costs. It didn’t happen. In fact it usually resulted in higher accident rates, higher costs, and higher insurance premiums. As a result, most states that had enacted no-fault laws repealed them (DC, NV, PA, NJ, GA, CT, CO, FL). leaving only Michigan, Kansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York North Dakota, and Utah. However a couple states – New Jersey and Pennsylvania – adopted “choice no-fault”, allowing drivers to choose between no-fault and a traditional policy. (Results, in terms of premium levels, have been mixed so far.)