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Apples to Oranges: The Trouble With Online Insurance Quotes

They are everywhere!  Banner ads and invitations to click HERE for an online quote that promises to save you hundreds of dollars on insurance. The gecko winks and flirts with you in the sidebar, Flo’s red smile invites you in from your Facebook page, and strange gif images on your homepage dangle the promise of a “Weird Trick That Insurance Agents Don’t Want You to Know About to Save on Insurance.” We know, we know! We’re curious too – just what are these online quotes all about?  We regularly field questions from people about this.  Here’s the scoop.

Deceptive and Disruptive

Those are the words one of our clients used to describe his experience after clicking on of these links just to see if there were real savings to be had.

“I started filling out some information for a basic quote because I was curious. First, I was surprised by how much information I had to enter to get anywhere. And then, even though I checked the “contact by email only” box, within 5 minutes my phone rang – it was somebody very aggressively trying to sell me insurance and they wouldn’t let me off the phone. In the next 10 minutes I had three more calls and I hadn’t even finished filling out the quote request!” he told us.  “The calls continued for several days!”

When you fill out one of the quote request forms online, first, they require a lot more information than you expect, and second, you have effectively “opted-in” to a marketing database that gets sold over and over again to lead farms and you will be deluged with calls and spam email.  We’ve actually been invited to buy these lead generating lists but we choose not to on principle. We don’t want to be that annoying person cold calling you at dinner time.

Apples to Oranges

When you go for a quote online you are asked to select the coverage you want. The problem is that you often don’t know the coverage you actually need. Most people will only select the cheapest options and the quote they end up with is not comparing apples to apples at all.

Our state only requires minimum liability coverage- that’s it!  They don’t require uninsured motorist, under-insured motorist, comprehensive, collision, towing, rental or medical payments coverage.  Many of these coverages are an absolute necessity but they are not required by law. Choosing the right coverage and having higher limits can literally save your assets and future wages in case of a loss.  An independent insurance agent will explain all of this to you when they review your needs and find you the appropriate coverage.

Lastly, many of these quotes can be misleading.  They could be quoting you a total price with a paid in full discount but if you normally pay monthly that could increase the premium by $100-$200.  Or you could be used to paying an annual premium but they are quoting you 6 months.  It is very important to read all the fine print. In our client’s recent experience it turned out that the quote he got was only for 6 months and that the cost of the insurance was actually DOUBLE the premiums on the plan we had found for him.  Not exactly the kind of savings that the ads promise.  The projected savings they advertise are actually based on quoting for very high risk people with poor credit scores – basically people who are uninsurable.

So please – don’t click! Just say no to Flo and the lizard. It’s not worth the hassle. Give us a call if you need to find some savings on your insurance.  We will work very hard to make sure you have the insurance and protection you need for the best price possible.  And we won’t spam your inbox – promise!


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