There was a time when people bought car insurance from the same insurance agent that their parents had done business with, and likely their grandparents before that. A small town might only have one or two car insurance companies located in it and when a person needed car insurance quotes they called those local companies.
Then the phone directories started to offer people the opportunity to call cheap car insurance agents located in other towns close to them. Finally technology gave us access to the internet, and thus the cheapest car insurance soon was to be found online instead of locally.
When you buy from car insurance companies that sell their product from brick and mortar locations in your town you are going to pay slightly higher premiums than if you buy the same amount of coverage from car insurance companies that sell their product online.
Brick and mortar stores have to pay rent on their store locations. They pay electric bills, water bills, and gas bills to keep those store fronts warm, cool, and functioning. They have office supplies, employee wages, cleaning supplies, and property taxes to consider. They have to charge their customers more money than the online car insurance companies have to charge.
Online companies do not have to have a brick and mortar building that has large banks of filing cabinets, waiting room chairs, break rooms, bathrooms, property taxes, and all of the other office trappings. Online car insurance companies can offer lower rates because the amount they have to spend each month to stay in operation is less than the amount a brick and mortar storefront company pays.
There are some positive benefits from buying you insurance from a local company. These benefits include:
- Having a local agent that can call you by name
- Being able to have your agent quickly respond to your claim. Possibly the agent could come see the damage before the car is towed away from the scene of an accident.
- Being able to call the agent to have cars added or dropped easily
There are also benefits to buying your car insurance online. Some of these benefits include:
- Lower priced coverage due to lower overhead cost
- The ability to shop for insurance at your convenience instead of when the offices are open
- Being able to email a picture of your accident to your agent and get a response instead of waiting for the agent to come see the vehicle
- Not having to leave your home to go pay the car insurance premium
- Being able to easily add cars, or take cars off of your policy by going online to your account page
- Being able to customize your insurance to make the package fit your needs. If you want full coverage insurance but not coverage in a foreign country you can make the policy reflect that
- Being able to print a new copy of your insurance card if you lose your old one