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Using Car Insurance Calculators vs. Buying from Offline Brokers
Buying insurance with the help of an online comparison tool, aka an insurance calculator, might seem much like purchasing from brick and mortar insurance brokers. After all, both compare quotes from various companies and come up with the most affordable ones. However, there are many differences between the two, and this article will explain three of them.
Range of offerings
Insurance brokers work with a limited range of companies. Most often, they will promote offerings from around half a dozen major insurance carriers, because these ones control more than half of the car insurance market. Working with a company that has a measly 1% market share would be too much of a hassle to them.
Some big car insurance calculators, on the other hand, can query upwards of 100 insurance companies. Smaller carriers that still get a good financial rating and have received good customer feedback may sometimes offer much better rates than industry giants.
Risk of up-selling
Let’s face it, no matter how well you research the market and learn about coverage options, you cannot beat an insurance broker who sells coverage for a living. That guy is a trained professional who deals with policies and insurance companies ten hours a day, six days a week, forty-five weeks a year. He is trained to sell – the more he sells, the more money goes into his pocket. It goes without saying that he will try to sell you as much insurance as your wallet allows you to buy – oftentimes a lot more than you actually need.
There is no one to put a pressure on you if you shop online. There is no unscrupulous agent sitting behind his desk with his eyes going cha-ching! as you walk into his office. You can spend as much time as you want analyzing offers and buying what you really need, not what puts more food on that guy’s table.
It’s not only that you can take your time to analyze rates and providers before you can make up your mind, but you can also do it at any time of day or night. Insurance brokers have day-time office hours that will most likely overlap with your work schedule. If you work from 9 to 5:30 and their office is open from 8 to 6, it’s kind of hard to make it on time. The only shot you may have would be on Saturdays, but not all insurance brokers are open on weekends.
If you use an auto insurance calculator, you can do it at any time of day or night. Feel like querying a bunch of providers on your lunch break? Go ahead and do it, it’s not going to take more than ten minutes anyway. Do you want to do it at 3 AM? No problem, the system is fully automated and works 24/7/365.