Although modern technology has made sweeping changes in the automobile insurance industry, there are some things that people miss when they buy their car insurance online. Outside of the online environment, a personalized agent would provide service and auto insurance tips to help reduce premiums, no online access or electronic devices would be needed, and payment methods would not have online fees or risks.
Most online users do not have a personalized agent. They are simply a number in the computer system. If you have questions or concerns, you have to call the help line or toll free number and speak with a customer service agent. If you must file a claim, an online company will also generally provide you with a number to call. Sometimes you may not speak with the correct person and end up getting transferred many times. No one likes to be placed on hold. Some people become so frustrated that they eventually hang up without getting the answer they were looking for.
Most people that use an online insurance carrier miss the personalized attention that was received from an assigned agent. That person had an office nearby that ask a question, update your policy, or make a payment. They would also provide pointers or auto insurance tips that would help you. These could be in lowering your payments, which cars are rated the safest to drive on the road, or even how to keep costs low for teenage drivers in the household.
An online company has no brick and mortar location. If you lose your internet connection, or the website is down there is no access to the company. You will be forced to try and reach them over the phone. However, many companies have installed fees for phone payments so this raises your costs.
You need to have an email address, computer, and internet connection to get an online quote from an insurance carrier. Most also request that you convert to a paperless payment. They will not send you bills or insurance cards in the mail. You will need to print these to get a physical copy.
There is the chance that identity theft can occur when making payments online if the site is not secure. Websites may get hacked and information can be stolen and sold to others. Many people that purchase their car insurance online are concerned about identity theft. Even if the company notifies you and installs an updated firewall security system, your identity has been compromised.
Although some people like the convenience of buying car insurance online and using online insurance companies, there are others that are resistant to switch. There are too many things that they will miss.