It’s the magazine journalist again. You guys were really helpful last week. I’ve decided to refocus my story, and I’m just writing now about the experience people have had shopping for car insurance online-- positive, negative, whatever. If anyone has bought your car insurance online, either from Geico, or any of the other guys, and you’d be willing to share your experience with me, let me know. I’d love to hear it.
I’m on the board and also at email@example.com.
I use Progressive, but I only drive old heaps that I only insure to the state minimums. I had to make one minor claim when I dinged a co-worker’s car in the parking lot, and as near as I can tell they treated her pretty well. If I owned any vehicles worth getting comprehensive or collision on, I would probably care more about service and would be more likely to use a local agent. With just liability, it’s the cheaper the better as far as I’m concerned.
I do like the convenience of being able to easily switch cars online, since I have five cars lying around, but only drive and have insurance on two of them at a time. For a while I had an arrangement with a local agent that I could call them up and insure my old pickup for a few days at a time, but I had to get them a few days in advance and I think they really didn’t like doing it. Online is much more convenient for me.
I have used Progressive for 8 years and have had a least a 33% discount vs other providers that have a conventional agent relationship. I like them and have only had one claim with them which they handled well but repair (dented 1/4 panel) does not have a perfect paint match if that exists. I love the web interface for paying bills and the large discount for paying in full (about 10%).
Fortunately my cars have now aged a 3-4 years so I don’t worry as value(mine worth $13k-$15k). If I had vehicles with significant value I would be more concerned with Progressive or a sub tier insurer using cut rate repairs.
Could I interview you on the phone for the story, Andrew? If so, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
I have shopped for insurance online, but other companies can’t compare with the rates I pay. One reason is that it is difficult to find online quotes for motorcycle insurance. Another reason is that many of the online forms don’t account for discounts that my current insurer gives me. I get discounts on my motorcycle policy for being a safe driver, for belonging to a motorcycle club, for taking the Mororcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider’s Course, and for having multiple policies. I get discounts on my car policy for having airbags, having Low Jack, for owning my own home, and for having multiple policies. The last time I checked, Progressive and Geico didn’t account for all of these discounts. The policies for cars and motorcycles are quoted separately. I should be able to add the two vehicles to a single quote. If online insurers would allow me to add a car and a motorcycle to a single quote, it would go a long way to winning my business. Having to get separate quotes keeps them from competing with companies that offer multiple policy discounts. I have gotten many quotes online and in person from many companies and their online forms do a poor job of accounting for the circumstances that allow my current insurer to discount my premiums.
I signed up with Progressive online about 8 years ago, and have been happy enough with their service that in the intervening years I’ve never considered switching to another company. I get multi-car and accident-free discounts, bill-paying is super convenient, and one of the things I like the best is getting to see pretty much instantaneously how any given change to the policy will change its cost.