All businesses have gone online, and that includes auto insurance. So, online auto insurance: to do it, or to avoid it like the plague? Or is there a middle ground? In this article, I will examine this issue and present to you the pros and cons. When you are done reading the article, you will have enough knowledge to decide whether you like the idea or not.
1. Easier access to information. With online auto insurance, you can get as much information as you need with the click of a button. Previously you had to ask agents and customer service employees, some of whom might either be incompetent or rude, which explains why people knew so little (they were afraid to ask questions). Online insurance has democratized insurance knowledge, giving power to the clients.
2. Self-service. I don’t know about you, but I find most agents intimidating. Not because they are threatening, but the opposite. They abound too much in the power of persuasion. One cannot think clearly. Online, this won’t happen. You can gather all the information completely at ease.
3. Convenience. At a time when fewer people are working nine-to-five jobs, online insurance provides the convenience of getting information at any time of day or night. Previously you would have had to wait until office hours, and you could not call the company’s employees during weekends.
4. Speed. Getting a quote and choosing a policy has become exceedingly fast.
5. It may be cheaper since you are not using an agent’s services during most of your interactions in the policy-choosing process.
1. Lack of a relationship. The old way appealed to customers because of the relationship you built with your insurance agent. Anything you needed, anything you wanted to know, you would call your agent, and he would have the answers. It was possible to veer from one point to another, and thereby get a comprehensive understanding. This relationship building benefited the insurance company as well. In those days, how much money an insurance company made depended on how many relationships it had created with clients. Because of the client’s trust in the agent, renewal was easier. This loyalty cut so deep, that when an agent left one company for another, his clients would follow him to the next company.
2. It may be more prone to cases of misunderstanding. The client may ignore hard-to-understand parts because there is no one he/she can ask these questions. The policy’s terms might confuse clients, and they may ignore the fine print.
3. Numbers posted on the site may be misleading. The agency can cherry-pick attractive numbers that can compete with other companies’ quotes.
4. The phone operators may lack the insight and knowledge the client needs.
While I too miss the old days, when we had more connection with one another, I know they are not coming back. Online auto insurance may need some fine tuning, but so far its benefits have been ground-breaking. It has made the processes involved in choosing a policy faster, more affordable, and efficient.