Many insurance providers offer their insurance comparison platforms as a way to increase transparency and trust with their potential clients. If we compare our rates with our competitors, they say, shouldn't that assure you that we mean business when we say you'll save with us? It's a great publicity stunt, but the results are mixed. The following insurers offer their own quote comparison experiences to users, but they also deserve a critical eye.
The Esurance website has its own page dedicated to comparing quotes. The company discloses that it works with its sister company, Answer Financial, to deliver auto insurance quotes from the "best insurers." Sounds harmless, right?
How it works: Far from a process, the Esurance comparison page asked me for only one thing: my zip code.
Results: It turned out that my zip code was the only thing Esurance needed because my “quote list” was immediately generated on the same page. I didn't see real-time quotes, but Esurance did run multiple announcements from insurers like GEICO, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual, all inviting me to get a quote from their websites. All this under a box that led directly to the Esurance process. In general, I didn't get anything but announcements… but at least it helped me think about which other providers to visit the Quotelab.
Although Progressive hardly has a problem dominating the auto insurance market, it still offers a quote comparison experience. It seems that Flo and her iconic price reader aren't there to save you money through Progressive alone. Do they really practice what they preach?
How it works: Curious to see if Progressive could find me cheap auto insurance from other companies, I entered my zip code and was taken to Progressive Direct to complete my quote.
Results: The website highlighted how many residents in my state had purchased an insurance policy with Progressive in the past 30 days. After I filled out my Progressive application, I received my six-month policy quote. But what happened to compare other companies? I tried different zip codes, and the process was the same. Progressive can boast of having cheap car insurance rates, but if I wanted to manually compare quotes, I would have done it myself.
Conclusion: who can offer you the best and cheapest quotes?
Insurance experts suggest that you shop for auto insurance policies every time you need to renew (typically semi-annually or annually). Before you start your search for quotes, review your existing policy and see if your needs have changed. For example, many car lessors require deductible comprehensive / collision coverage, no more than $ 500. But once you pay off your auto loan, you can increase this deductible and save a considerable amount on insurance premiums.
When you've defined exactly the type of coverage you need, a car insurance comparator can help you find the best price for the policy you want. However, it is wise to stick to the use of reputable comparators, who give you real quotes, rather than client generator sites that will leave you at the mercy of calls from insurance agents.