Get Auto Insurance Quotes With More AccuracyApril 29, 2016
Getting auto insurance quotes online is a breeze. It seems like there’s no shortage of websites that let you shop for car insurance online and for free, but what are you getting exactly? The answer should be, “A quote for car insurance that I can purchase right away, if I like the price”. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. We’ve done some research into the problem, and we have a way for you to get fast, accurate auto insurance quotes online – but first, there’s something we need to explain.
Getting auto insurance quotes online isn’t an exact science
It’s a common misconception that when shopping for car insurance online the prices quoted to shoppers are coming directly from each of the individual insurance companies. Sadly, this is rarely the case. But if these auto insurance quotes aren’t being generated by the advertised insurance companies, where are they coming from? It depends on what website you’re using. Different sites use different methods for providing auto insurance quotes, but here are two of the most prominent methods currently in use.
Auto insurance quotes from screen-scrapers
One common practice of car insurance quote websites is called screen-scraping or web-scraping. This method involves using a computer program to view, or “crawl”, a website. As it does, it extracts all visible data and returns with the information you’ve requested. When shopping for car insurance online, you fill out a form with your personal information. The site then sends your info to a number of car insurance sites and returns with your auto insurance quotes. In this scenario, the screen scraper takes data you enter in one place, then goes out to other insurance websites and inputs that information. In a matter of moments it returns with quotes from those insurers. The problem here is that the info you input into the initial form usually isn’t very specific, which means your quote could be very different from what you end up actually paying.
Doing the math to get your car insurance online
Another popular method for providing auto insurance quotes online involves sifting through the public filings from the insurance providers themselves in an effort to figure out each insurer’s method of producing auto insurance quotes. Some sites are very good at this and can get their margin of error down to 1% (pretty impressive). However, a 3% margin of error is more common. These sites offer you a quote, but then require you to fill out a more comprehensive form with more complete personal info in order for you to make your purchase. This means your final price could increase based on the additional info you provide.
The downside of online auto insurance quotes
With the majority of online car insurance quote sites using one of the above methods, there’s one distinct drawback to shopping for car insurance online: Unless you go to an actual insurance company’s website and purchase one of their policies, you’re going to have to fill out more forms.
For example, let’s say you go to car insurance Company B website to get auto insurance quotes and the quote you like best belongs to Company B. You can’t buy the Company B policy through Company A’s website. You have to go to the Company B website and fill out your information all over again.
Online auto insurance quotes are changing
For a while now, these types of methods were how you got online quotes and compared prices. Compare.com is proud to introduce a new model for shopping for car insurance online. We work directly with car insurance providers, so we ask the same questions they do. You fill out one form, get multiple quotes, and you can compare them side by side. The best part? No surprises when it’s time to purchase. Give it a try now to see how much you could be saving on your auto insurance.
Buying auto insurance can be a confusing and disoriented process. We want to make sure that our users can make informed choices about their car insurance, selecting from as many options as possible. Read our Auto Insurance Buying Guide to educate yourself before you start a quote.