Shopping online for Ohio auto insurance is the most time efficient way for you to find your lowest rate. However, there is a right way and wrong way to do it. This article is going to show you what you need to know about doing it the right way, while avoiding common pitfalls.
There are three ways to quote and buy auto insurance online:
1. Quote online directly with an auto insurance company or an agent who only sells one company.
Quoting with one company time or with an agent who only sells one company will probably not get you the best rate because it is not time efficient.
2. Getting quotes from a lead generation site.
When quoting with a lead generation site, you will have the opposite problem. A lead generation site looks just like a regular insurance agents website. But there is a big difference between the two. A lead generation site does not sell you insurance. They simply take your information and sell it to other insurance agents. That wouldn't be such a bad idea except that many of these sites will sell to dozens and dozens of agents. So you want to stay away from lead generation sites because your phone will ring off the hook for days!
Note: Many of these lead generation sites try to disguise themselves as regular agents. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a website from one of these companies and a website owned by a real insurance agency. (see "tell-tale signs" below to help you identify and distinguish between the two).
3. To quote with an independent agent.
When quoting with an independent agent, you get the best of both worlds. You only need to submit your information once and the agent will do the hard work for you by shopping around for the lowest rate. Getting quotes from multiple companies at once gives you a much better chance of being matched up wih the right company.
Other key points that you need to know:
1. Tell-tale signs of a lead generation site.
As I mentioned before, it can be difficult to tell the difference from a good site that is run by an agent/agency that actually sells insurance versus sites that only sell your information.... Here are some tell-tale signs to look for in distinguishing between the two:
A legit site will have all of the following:
2. Know/understand basic auto insurance coverages.
Whether you're getting an auto insurance quote online, in person, or on the phone, you will be asked to select between different levels of coverages on your auto insurance policy. It is very important that you understand these coverages. If you don't understand levels of coverage, then you are setting yourself up for failure. If you do not understand basic coverages, be sure to either educate yourself beforehand, or have an agent explain those clearly to you. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions, or you can learn a lot about basic coverages from my blog.
3. Include all drivers that should be on your policy.
Be sure to include all drivers that needed need to be added onto your policy. Anyone living in your household of driving age or anyone living outside of your household that has regular access to your vehicle should be listed as a driver on your auto insurance policy. They don't necessarily need to be insured, as some companies will allow for exclusions. But anyone living in your household of driving age should be listed on your policy. This can prevent you from a major disaster in the future!
4. Know what's on your driving record.
If you don't know what's on your driving record or leave out key violations accidents or claims filed within the last several years, getting a quote is worthless! Before an agent or company can sell you a policy, they first have to pull up your driving record and your insurance score (known as a CLUE report). This will tell a company whether you had any accidents, claims, any tickets on your record and so forth. So be sure that the information you submit is accurate. It also helps to be accurate on the dates of occurrence. This is especially true if the occurrence date is approaching three years. If you are unsure of what all is on your driving record, you can visit the Ohio BMV website tab and look it up. An official driving record transcript cost five dollars or if you're certain the violations of been within two years you can also access the free unofficial copy.
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..