Comparing auto cover online
Turn back the clock ten years and surfing the web was for geeks, but today most people are savvy when it comes to buying off the web - anything from a book to a boat, laptops to a lounge suite, and one item that is big right now is the comparison site. And even bigger are the, literally, hundreds of thousands of sites offering auto insurance and cover - a simple search shows a little over 300 million sites listed when you search 'Auto Insurance' - almost one site for every man jack in the States.
How do you choose which one to go with?
Well, it helps to know your way round the web and how to surf smarter rather than choosing the first site on a web-search listing. Very few people have the patience to go beyond page 1 and yet on there are pitfalls that may cause you to stumble. Some listings are sponsored by the web-site themselves, some have simply paid to advertise but beyond that it's a matter of the number of hits, or clicks' on a particular site that moves them to the top of the list.
So how do you make it easy for yourself?
First narrow the search - don't just look at "Auto Insurance", add the city or neighborhood - for example I punched in "Auto Insurance Des Moines" and the number of pages dropped to 6.9 million and when I added Cheap at the front it halved again. So the more precise you can be, the more likely it will be nearer to what you need.
So, on the first page of this search there are three sponsored (i.e. they have a deal with Google), and probably half a dozen under the heading 'Ads'. Then you get to the meat of the sandwich; the real listings ranked by popularity. From then on in it's plain sailing - or is it?
Before you begin to ask any one anything you need to know what you want from your auto cover, draw up a list of your needs; Collision cover, Liability cover, Comprehensive - all very confusing but I have listed an 'ABC' guide at the bottom that might help you decide.
If you are looking on the web, chances are you are going direct - that means cutting out the agent and his commission. You already have, or may have, your current auto cover and a renewal notice - use that to create a shopping list.
Next, how much time do you have - time is our most valuable commodity - once its gone, its gone.
Try hitting the top five listed sites with your shopping list and then compare that against your own quote, you may be pleasantly surprised. Try one of the comparison sites if you are pushed for time - let them do the work for you.
Once you have a couple or three quotes that look interesting go to work on what they don't offer compared to what you have now - if it comes up short, don't do it.