If you’ve ever taken the time to do a quick car insurance quote online you’ve probably been delighted at the surprisingly low rate you received. Then, when you’ve decided that you would like to take advantage of this rate, you realize that it’s actually going to cost more to get the coverage you both need and want than you were originally quoted. The discrepancy between car insurance quotes and actual coverage can be both surprising and frustrating to the consumer.
The reason this happens is a simple sales strategy on the part of the insurance company. The idea is that if they can draw you into their products initially then they’ll have a better chance of you actually purchasing their products. Thus, their magnet is the “lowest” car insurance quote online. You’re exploring various companies, you see that incredibly low quoted rate on your computer screen, and you make the decision that Insurance Company X is the best fit for you. Exactly what they want.
However, as you’ve probably experienced, once you get into the details of the actual quote for your specific vehicle, in your specific area, with your specific driving history, etc. then that “lowest” quote suddenly seems very deceptive compared to the one you are now being offered. Car insurance rates depend on so many variables and factors that no single advertised quote will apply to every driver. The actual coverage you will receive and pay for is going to be based on things like where you are driving and storing your vehicle, your state’s legal requirements, what kind of modifications that have been made to your vehicle, who’s going to operating it and so on.
Another way insurance quotes can vary from actual coverage is the specific features you might want covered. Often, a quick online quote is only going to cover the generic bare minimums with the highest deductibles (higher deductibles=lower premiums=more money out of your pocket if something happens). Once you realize that you don’t want to pay a $1,500 comprehensive deductible if your car gets broken into, that premium will rise. Likewise, when you decide that roadside assistance or rental car reimbursement would be beneficial for you, you’ll notice that the insurance quote you originally received did not include these, and thus your actual coverage will require a higher payment.
So, in order to be a savvy consumer, you must consider the fact that incredibly affordable insurance quotes may just be that carrot the insurance companies use to get you in the door. That’s not to say insurance companies are trying to trick you necessarily, but make sure you know what coverage you’re really paying for.