Shopping for insurance online certainly sounds appealing. In theory, you should be able to open up your web browser, log on to a popular insurance site and search for policies as you please. However, online shoppers will find that insurance search engines ask for more than they may be willing to give.
“One giant pitfall is that many companies and broker sites require that people enter their names, email addresses and phone numbers before they will issue a quote,” Richard Reich, President of Intramark Insurance Services, said. “This almost always leads to your email box filling up and your phone ringing off the hook as multiple agents contact you to buy policies.”
Someone in need of any type of insurance may welcome the follow-up. Insurance policies, whether for your car, well-being or life, are fairly involved and full of options that may require discussion. (I can’t say, for example, that I understood all the facets of the online auto insurance policies generated for my old, half-dead Toyota Corolla.) However, divulging a virtual novel of personal information can be off-putting and users should know what this information can and cannot be used for.
So, can the casual online insurance consumer do some non-commital window shopping? Here’s how I fared when I went shopping for auto insurance at four of the most popular online insurance search engines. (Note: I don’t disclose rates as I was solely interested in seeing what I needed to give to get them. Those interested in a price comparison can stay tuned for a follow-up article.)