Are you skeptical about buying car insurance online and don’t know precisely if it is better to buy car insurance online or through an agent? If your answer is “Yes” then this guide will help you in knowing exactly what to look for when buying car insurance online and how to find the best car insurance deal online.
“Bhroom bhroom bhroom…”
The moment we rider gear up our car, a heavy adrenaline rush flows through our blood. Ooh, congratulations! Finally, you’ve touched your dream, your dream car that you’ve been craving for years.
You might have to cut short your every other expense to save as much money as you could since last year and now your desire has eventually landed on reality. As I can see you’re seeking help for buying car insurance online, I must appreciate you for being such a responsible citizen.
Also, I can assure you about almost all the hooks and corners of purchasing car insurance online covered in the write-up that you’ll find out gradually as you scroll further. Let’s roll…
Why Do You Need Car Insurance?
It’s not that the entire world is planning for your accident, but hey, let’s accept the fact that accidents can happen anytime. Despite being unpredictable, accidents are not at all unavoidable. Thankfully, potential car insurance offers financial protection against the damage your vehicle faces in an uncertain event. Other than that, the right car insurance also offers coverage for the passengers or pedestrians, drivers and their properties.
If it’s your first vehicle, these languages might sound like an alien talking but as you read further, you’ll understand how to find out the best car insurance deal.
Transferring the Risk
If you’re a pro driver and never met with an accident till now, you surely never had to file an insurance claim in your life. However, it doesn’t eradicate the risk for you in the future to never have car damage or accident. Statistically, around 35,000 people die and almost 1.5 million people are injured due to car accidents in a year. Yes, the consequences can even be deadlier than you can imagine.
It’s Mandatory for Most States
If you meet with an accident and don’t have car insurance, you’ll be responsible for all the damages you’ve made. In fact, there will be legal actions against you for not getting your car insured, as it’s mandatory in most of the states.
Having a car accident involves a lot of unavoidable costs associated with it. For example – the medical expenses of the injured, legal fees, and much more. Without liability coverage, you will have to pay for all those expenses from your own pocket. That’s why opting for full coverage car insurance is essential for bearing those expenses without burning a hole in your pocket.
Is Buying Car Insurance Online Safe?
How can you buy car insurance online when you’re not even sure of its physical existence? The question might arise in your mind as there is a lot of money involved in it. However, let me assure you that a huge number of people today are showing interest to buy insurance online for their cars. The reason is most online car insurance companies are keeping strict privacy policies and strong firewalls on their sites. So you can be sure about your transactions and data being safe and sound with them.
IRDAI Approved Agencies
There is a list of IRDAI authorized insurance agencies available on the internet. To get that added relief, you can go through the list on your own and make a tally between buying car insurance online vs. agent.
Claim Settlement Ratios (CSR)
Each insurance company has its own CSR which is the number of claims it successfully closes as per 100 claims they receive. All you have to do is, visit their sites and check out their claim settlement ratios on a yearly basis.
Insurance + Technology
There is a huge number of Tech Insurance companies growing rapidly in the queue. As they’re tending to improve all motor insurance policies and data safety by using modern technology, placing trust is becoming easier.
Now that you know what to look for when buying car insurance online, hopefully, you can put more trust in the hands you choose for your vehicle coverage.
Why You Should Buy Car Insurance Online? (Pros and Cons)
From purchasing home appliances to movie ticket booking, almost 70% of people have turned to the internet for choosing a trustworthy gateway. In that case, looking for purchasing the cheapest full coverage car insurance online shouldn’t be a matter of concern even though it involves a lump sum amount of money. Here I’ve covered almost all the pros and cons of turning to an online car insurance company to help you find out the things to consider while buying car insurance.
Is It Better to Buy Car Insurance Online or Through an Agent? Well, there are a few important things to know before buying car insurance online. However, we’ll move to that section gradually after understanding both the positive and negative impacts of purchasing online car insurance.
Pros of Buying Car Insurance Online:
Avoiding the Conflict: Whilst searching for offline car insurance seems quite satisfactory to you, you’re definitely missing out the other side of the coin. You’ll find a thousand suggestions from different people who are only going to leave you confused and indecisive. At the same time, an online car insurance company is your own choice and needs none’s interference in the middle.
- Cheap Full Coverage Car Insurance: Do you know that every insurance company prefers to receive premiums online? The reason is they don’t have to pay a lump sum amount to the insurance agent for connecting the two. As a result, cheap car insurance online is easier to find out when it comes to a myth if searching for it offline.
- A Safer and Faster Gateway: Every online insurance gateway has a very strong firewall and strict terms & conditions. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about searching for a middleman to pay your premium. Your online transactions and policy information are never disclosed to anyone else except you and the insurer.
- Least to Zero Paperwork Required: Other than understanding how to find the best car insurance online, you must know the most satisfying part of it. As soon as you choose an online insurer, you’ll have to answer a few basic questions about your car. After that, when you’re asking for a new policy, you’ll probably need to submit your personal identification and your previous car insurance policy which will be much less than the required offline data.
- Comparing Multiple Options: The Internet has the biggest resource of everything you might look for. And car insurance policies are no exceptions to that. Through browsing, you find out a whole lot of different car insurance policies with different terms and conditions. Therefore, you can compare all of them and get car insurance online with the most lucrative coverage offers.
- Convenient and Smooth Operations: Thanks to the internet that you can purchase car insurance online anytime anywhere. In case you’ve forgotten to pay your premium and the deadline is knocking at your door, you can pay it even at midnight and get a seamless experience. The same goes for placing a query or browsing how to find out the best car insurance for you.
Cons of Buying Car Insurance Online:
Lack of Self-Knowledge: In case you don’t have enough knowledge about the insurance policy’s terms and conditions, it’s always better to opt for an offline agent.
- Time-Consuming Customer Service: If you’ve faced an issue with your insurance policy, you can contact your agent immediately and get a preferable solution. On the other hand, online form filling and seeking car insurance online quote can be a tome-taking procedure.
- Vulnerable Communication Network: In online car insurance, there is always a possibility of miscommunication. And the risk of losing communication networks makes it even more vulnerable than offline.
- Difficulty in Filling a Form: The common problem among most people is difficulty in filling up an insurance claim form. Here, you find none to guide you with which information to put where. Therefore, filling the blanks with wrong data can be possible which again leads to a lot more chaos in the end.
- Difficult for Non-Techies: People with a lack of technical knowledge may find it difficult to go for online car insurance. Even though the internet offers cheap full coverage car insurance, non-techies may not often find a reliable source to look for their needs. In that case, depending upon an agent remains the only option for them.
13 Important Things to Consider When Buying Car Insurance Online
When there are more than a thousand insurance companies claiming their superiority in the market, the buyer gets confused between how to find the right car insurance and how to identify its genuity. To help you justify your decision, here is a list of important factors you must look into before choosing potential car insurance online:
1. Keep in Mind: Searching Car Insurance Online is Just One Option
As having a car insurance policy is a must in most of the states, it becomes a necessity to search for the right car insurance policy as soon as you purchase your own vehicle. The policy has to provide a full coverage for your vehicle damage and your medical expenses incurred due to an accident. Therefore, you have to explore the internet to navigate to the right policy covering satisfying all your needs.
Apart from that, you also need to educate yourself enough to understand the genuity of the insurer. The reason is as soon as you type “how can you buy car insurance online?” on Google, it takes you to a bunch of companies whose offerings and conditions are almost similar to each other. At that point, you can definitely approach a knowledgeable agent and get a better clarification on the deal he offers. Before you go ahead with one, look for all its hooks and corners for your own safety.
2. Visit the Official Website of Your State’s Insurance Department
Every state has its own number of insurance companies that are registered and authorized by the Government itself. For example, if you look for IRDAI approved car insurance agencies online, you can find a government registered website that provides you with a huge number of car insurance agencies that operate online. Only those companies are IRDAI authorized which gives them the right to offer you an end number of car insurance policies suitable for your vehicle.
Remember, going into the trap of an unauthorized car insurer can cause you a huge amount of money loss. You might be paying premiums on a timely basis but when it comes to asking for an insurance claim during a damage, you may not find even a trace of it. As a result, all your money goes in vain and leaves you with huge data loss. The information you’ve provided to the fraud insurer now becomes a strong weapon for them to cause a bigger disaster to you. Therefore, always play safe and seek an IRDAI approved car insurance company online through the Government-authorized website only.
3. Keep All Information Ready Before You Search or Get a Quote
As soon as you enter a car insurance website, it asks you to provide a few answers. For example, your vehicle number, the age of your vehicle, how many car insurance policies you hold, if you wish to renew your policy or you’re looking forward to buying one, and last but not the least, your identification proof and license no. As the entire procedure goes under the online network, there is a possibility of miscommunication and loss of network.
In that scenario, I would request everyone to keep all the documents ready and then go ahead with the online procedure. So you get ample time to understand the requirements of the car insurer and provide them with the exact details. This way the workflow gets smoother and you don’t have to panic and run around to fetch documents and fill the data.
In fact, if you have kept your documents at some other place or they’re not in your hands, I would suggest you gather them first and then work with it. The reason is the online platform doesn’t give you the permission to submit your documents in instalment as you mostly do offline.
4. Learn About the Types of Car Insurance Policies
Before purchasing car insurance online, you must understand the different types of policies a car insurer can offer and their coverage criteria alongside. As per your car usage, you can choose to buy in between commercial and private car insurance. Let’s have a crisp knowledge of two different forms of car insurance online –
- Comprehensive Car Insurance: It’s an all-inclusive policy that offers you full coverage of an accident. Apart from bearing your loss or damage, it also insures the third party. Though third-party insurance is must, you should definitely choose comprehensive car insurance that gives you full coverage against accidental damage, theft or loss.
- Third-Party Car Insurance: Each vehicle running on the road must have third-party car insurance which is the basic. It only offers full insurance coverage to the damage of the third party in case of an accident. In short, it doesn’t bear any expense of your car damage. If the third-party is not affected by the uncertain event, there is no claim for the damage at all.
5. Shop Around and Compare Insurance Quotes Online
Just like every other seller, there are different quotes from different car insurers online. Most people wonder “Is buying car insurance online less expensive?” The answer is always “Yes, it is”. However, you must also keep in mind that when you’re searching for an online insurer, you’ll be opened to a huge number of options offering different car insurance quotes. And the most important part is, you have to explore all the options to compare them all and pick the right online insurer for your car coverage.
As soon as you step into an online car insurance website, you can instantly access their quotes after filling your requirements in the online quote request form. After you go through an ample number of insurance quotes on different websites, you can compare all of them on your own. Thus you arrive at a decision of choosing the best price with the best insurance coverage as per your basic needs.
6. Choose a Car Insurance Provider with a Wide Network of Garages
Apart from getting your vehicle covered, you must also find a suitable garage for your vehicle repairing. Most of the fraud garages ask for a lump sum amount of your money and don’t repair your vehicle properly. Therefore, you have to look for an online insurer that provides you with a wide network of garages for repairing your vehicle. So you can avail of a few number of benefits offered by your insurer.
Car insurance providers associate themselves with a huge channel of garages where they offer servicing and repairing of vehicles during the time of a damage. Therefore, as soon as you choose an online car insurance company, ensure to check the list of garages it’s concerned with.
Also, ensure that you can avail the benefit of cashless claim from the garages and the locations are nearby, as you don’t have to run around with your damaged car to look for it. Thus your claim settlement involves lesser hassles and moves smoother and faster.
7. Learn About Deductibles, Limits and The Cost of an Accident
Deductibles fall into the category of the expenses you pay for the damage as the insurance policyholder. Higher the deductible, more the insurance holder has to pay for the remaining amount of the loss during an accident. In fact, more deductible also means a lower premium. Therefore, your car insurance policy is largely affected by the limits you choose and the deductibles. So you must take that into account before putting your trust in an online insurer.
On the other hand, your auto insurance premium rises up when your policy limit is higher. Every driver has to buy a minimum liability coverage insurance as per the rules of most states. As per your requirements, you can certainly increase the amount of liability coverage higher than your state has fixed. Understanding your coverage limits is essential for you to ensure the amount of protection you have in hand before filing a claim.
Remember, with a more deductible and higher policy limit, you’ll have to pay a higher amount for your car repair while having a claim.
8. Read the Claim Procedure Carefully and Check the Claim Settlement Ratio
The most important aspect of any motor insurance policy is the accessibility and ease of its claim procedure. You must be aware of the entire claim process before opting for a policy. Keep the process clear and transparent with your insurer for seamless and faster claim filing experience.
Also, you must check the claim settlement ratio (CSR) of the online car insurance agency whom you’ve chosen. It’s basically the number of claims it has settled on a yearly basis by paying back to the insurance holder on the occurrence of an accident. Thus you can be rest assured about the insurer’s reliability and ingenuity.
Renewing your current motor insurance policy from your existing insurer seems like the easiest option for most. However, in that case, you might end up paying even more premium on your car insurance policy. So before buying car insurance online, it’s always better to shop around and compare the quotes beforehand.
9. Understand the No Claim Bonus (NCB) Promised by the Insurer
No Claim Bonus is the extra benefit given by the insurer to the policyholder in the form of a discount of bonus during the annual premium for zero claims filed. Therefore, the NCB needs to be calculated accurately while the renewal procedure starts.
You can avail up to 50% of NCB of its insurance policy. Therefore, not counting on it while buying a vehicle insurance policy will be an act of a fool. You must learn the NCB terms of the insurer and if possible, compare several policies and make the best out of your deal.
For example, in case you’ve got damage which would be less expensive than the no claim bonus, you should definitely pay for it out of your own pocket. This way you can avail most out of this no claim bonus advantage. In short, if you understand the no claim bonus promised by your online car insurer, you can make the correct judgement during your car damage whether to file the claim or to take advantage of the NCB.
10. Explore Insurance Discounts and Cashback Offers
There are different discounts on car insurance premiums from different online insurance companies. The type of your car discount largely depends upon your driving habits, lifestyle and mostly on your insurer. Though the features are not available for all the premium holders, having a glance of the insurer’s terms and conditions is always a safer option. These are the few qualified cases where discounts on the premium can be applicable:
- When the insurance premium holder maintains appreciable grades.
- If the insurance premium holder is on the way to complete a defensive driving course.
- In case the vehicle itself is having security and safety features.
Therefore, the best suggestion for you is to explore at least three to four car insurance quotes and compare their premium discount benefits. Also, there are cashback offers available on premiums. The facility offers you to receive a certain amount of cashback on your insurance premium. This feature is only available when you’re paying your premium online. So more cashback offered by a car insurer definitely leads you to pay less car insurance premium.
11. When Buying Car Insurance Online, Don’t Go by Price Alone
Having a cheap full coverage car insurance isn’t the only thing that can attract a policy buyer. For example, if a company provides you with a less expensive car insurance policy, doesn’t mean you go ahead and buy it for your vehicle. You have to examine its terms and conditions closely to ensure it matches your existing car insurance policy and gives you full coverage in case of your vehicle damage.
Also, you must check on its garage network list to ensure it doesn’t provide cheap materials for your vehicle repair. Instead, it should go for repairing your vehicle with original parts.
Additionally, you should also check on the websites like JD Power.com and ConsumerReports.org to ensure the insurer’s consumer satisfaction database. In fact, a non-established or financially unstable insurance company isn’t capable enough to cope up with your basic insurance requirements.
In addition, I would suggest you determine the financial state of the company from your state insurance department or your family and friends recommendations. Therefore, don’t keep the price as the sole factor for choosing your car insurer.
12. Consult with a Local Insurance Agent (If Needed)
In case you’re not a tech-savvy person, it might get difficult for you to find out the entire pros and cons of a car insurance website online. Additionally, you might not also be able to identify the ingenuity of the website as you’re not technically sound. In those circumstances, I would recommend you to take suggestions from your insurance agent before buying car insurance online.
Only an insurance agent is well-aware of all the technical terms and conditions of different insurance policies. Therefore, you must understand those well from him and then look on your own if the benefits of buying car insurance online are satisfactory enough as per your needs. After all, be it claim handling or filing for no claim bonus, there is no better communicator than an insurance agent.
13. Finally, Consider Buying Car Insurance Online
At last, when you’ve checked on all the important things to know before buying car insurance online, you choose the right online car insurer for your vehicle. Starting from comparing the quotes, insurance type, garage networks, discounts and cashback features, no claim bonus to your local agent’s recommendation, you’ve gone through all the criteria tactfully. So finally, you choose that one online insurance company providing all the benefits to you while offering the full coverage of your car damage.
Remember, accidents are uncertain but not impossible. So don’t be in a hurry while insuring your vehicle. Though having it is a must in your state, it should be cheap, genuine and IRDAI authorized.
Types of Car Insurance Coverage: Which One Is The Most Important?
In case you’ve bought a brand new car and are looking forward to buying car insurance online, you first need to identify the exact type of car insurance you need. Depending upon the usage of your vehicle, the insurer offers you a variety of policies. If your vehicle is for commercial purposes, the insurance claim must cover medical expenses of you and your passengers. On the other hand, if it’s your personal vehicle, it should cover the car damage and your medical expenses during an accident.
There are six types of insurance coverage policies. They are underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, auto liability coverage, medical payments coverage and collision coverage. As per your state requirements, some of these policies are must and the rest are optional. Having a basic knowledge of which insurance can provide you with the right coverage and which are mandatory in your states, you have to choose a potential car insurance policy for your vehicle.
Type #1: Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Suppose, you’re an uninsured motorist coverage policyholder and collide with another driver who doesn’t have insurance, this insurance coverage pays for your vehicle repair expenses and your medical bills. In case you’ve been hit by an underinsured driver, it clearly indicates that their liability coverage isn’t capable enough to insure all your medical bills. That’s the scenario when underinsured motorist coverage works on its end.
Depending upon your state insurance requirements, it can either be mandatory or optional. You must check your state insurance website to understand its requirements.
Type #2: Personal Injury Coverage
Personal Injury Coverage is also popular as PIP (Personal Injury Protection) which is applicable in only a few states. Similar to the Medical expense coverage, this policy pays off all your medical bills due to an accident. Thankfully, it has an added feature of covering the other related costs incurred due to your injury. For example – lost income due to permanent injury and child care expenses.
As it’s not available in all states, it’s mostly an optional coverage policy. However, if your state offers personal injury protection, you must grab it for your own good.
Type #3: Auto Liability Coverage
Most of the states have declared it as a mandatory. Every vehicle holder has to have a purchase of liability coverage even though at least the minimum amount of it as stated by the law. There are two factors of every liability coverage:
- There is bodily injury liability, which helps you pay for the medical expenses of another person’s injuries during the time of an accident.
- Another one is Property damage liability that helps you pay for the damage you’ve made to another person’s property in case of an accident.
Type #4: Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
In case of fire, theft, vandalism or hail, this comprehensive insurance coverage helps ensure the damage of your vehicle. The comprehensive coverage helps you pay for your repairing expenses if your vehicle is damaged by a covered peril. In fact, it often offers you a vehicle replacement up to the exact cash value of your vehicle. The deductible of this coverage lets you pay for the damage first and then you get the reimbursement from the insurer.
Comprehensive insurance isn’t mandatory in all the states. However, during your vehicle pay off or leasing, your lender may ask for it. So it’s always better to have it beforehand.
Type #5: Medical Expenses Coverage
Be it you, any of your family members or your passengers, whoever is driving and gets injured in an accident, the Medical expenses coverage reimburses the cost of the medical bills due to the injuries. The expenses coverage includes X-rays, hospital visits and medical surgeries.
Most of the states have made Medical Expenses Coverage a mandatory and the rest have kept it optional. However, when it comes to your life-risk, getting medical payment coverage is always a wiser choice.
Type #6: Collision Insurance Coverage
In case you had a collision with another vehicle while driving, or you accidentally damage an object like a fence, this collision coverage pays off your car repair expenses. Similarly, it also allows you to replace your vehicle up to its actual cash value after cutting off your deductibles.
Similar to the comprehensive coverage, collision coverage is also not mandatory. However, your lender or leaseholder might ask for it when required.
There are many more optional car insurance coverage policies that you might be offered by your insurer. Therefore, before you search for how to find the best car insurance online, you must understand the terms and conditions of the claim.
You might also like: 12 Most Essential Tips for First-Time Car Buyers
Is It Cheaper to Buy Car Insurance Online or Through an Agent?
‘Buying car insurance online vs. agent’ has always been the most contradictory matter for the policyholders. Every vehicle owner makes a thorough research on the maximum number of insurers’ policy terms and conditions to bring out the best possible deal. But how do you exactly decide whether to choose an online insurer or an insurance agent? Here I’ve explained a close definition of both to help you make a firm decision with ease.
Case 1: Buying Car Through Insurance Agents
An insurance agent associates himself with a specific insurance agency. He/she is a salaried employee of that company and asks for a commission on each deal closed. The person holds a complete knowledge of the policies, products, deductibles and discounts that the company is offering.
Therefore, he always knows which product is applicable for you as per your vehicle usage and which are suitable for maximizing your discounts. A certified agent can always provide you with a detailed answer to all your queries regarding your policy.
Despite being a trustworthy source, an insurance agent mostly ends up offering a single car insurance quote. Therefore, comparing the different quotes of different insurers becomes a void. On the other hand, discussing and getting quotes from different agents is again a very tedious procedure.
Case 2: Buying Car Insurance Online
Once you’ve chosen the exact website, you just enter the car insurer’s name on the Google search engine, fill the necessary data and receive a quote in front of you. Here you don’t have to listen to the suggestion from a thousand agents or recommendations. You don’t need another human to fulfill up your data and submit your paperwork. Here you do it all on your own which cuts short your time to even less than an hour.
The best part of deciding to get the car insurance online quote is you don’t have to pay the extra commission to anyone else. Therefore, you make direct contact with the online insurer which leads your savings to go on rising. So this is a clear choice where you don’t have to tolerate a broker or agent creating a miscommunication in between.
Despite being a wonderful choice, buying car insurance online can be quite critical. The reason is you have to look for the additional savings, discounts and deductibles on your own. In fact, you’re the one who has to file a claim during an accident as there is no middleman. If you decide to look after everything on yourself, there is no better choice than purchasing car insurance online.
Author’s View – Should You Buy Car Insurance Online?
As you’ve reached a point of buying a car insurance policy for your vehicle, the decision of choosing the insurer always remains in your hand. In case you don’t prefer to play an extra mind game on your own or don’t wish to explore several online car insurance websites, getting suggestions from a known agent is the best choice for you. However, if you’re not satisfied with the deals offered by your agent or you want to compare more car insurance quotes, it’s always a healthy choice to trust the internet (Yes, buying car insurance online is quite safe nowadays).
But still, if you are wondering with the question “Is online car insurance safe?”, you should definitely explore your state authorized and IRDAI approved online government websites that keep your data absolutely safe and secure. In fact, filing a claim is always easier with a recognized website. So don’t look behind and move ahead to get your vehicle insured asap for your own safety.
We hope now you are well familiar with all the important things to know before buying car insurance online. Go get the best car insurance deal online and drive safe!
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