Why You Shouldn’t Buy Car Insurance Online

By: Lisa DoVale-Fonseca, CISR, CRIS, PWCAM

I’m passionate about providing the best possible experience I can for my clients. Lisa has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years.

How easy is it to save hundreds on car insurance?

You may have seen the commercials that ask this question or similar ads offering quick, simple, “no hassle” coverage. And we agree, some of today’s national companies really do make it EASY to buy car insurance online.

But should something as important as financial protection be “easy” to buy? Should you click into a policy without any input from a live expert? And is saving money on your monthly bill really the most important factor in this decision?

If you’re nodding your head yes, you might want to ask someone who actually bought the easy/cheap/online insurance… and then got into a car accident.

It just so happens, our team of local agents talks to people in this situation all the time. Parents call after their adult children have experienced a collision. Folks call to say their friend, neighbor, co-worker, etc. needs help understanding his online insurance coverage, which is looking kinda shoddy. We’re always happy to help, but if you’re asking us for advice after the fact, it might be too late. Here’s an example:

A woman calls our office in a panic. (A friend referred her to us after her recent, at-fault collision). She bought the “surprisingly painless” insurance online. Because she’s not an insurance expert (most people aren’t), she clicked her way through the website’s quote form—eventually arriving at a GREAT monthly rate that seemed too good to be true. She bought it. Indeed, she was saving hundreds! And it only took her five minutes.

Except there was a problem. Several of them, actually. Here’s what went wrong:

  • She only had the state’s minimum limits: $20K/$40K in bodily injury to others. (Here’s a closer look at how much car insurance you need in Massachusetts.)
  • She only had $10K in property damage. (We usually recommend quite a bit more. Because if you total someone’s BMW–or heck, even their Honda–do you think you can replace it with $10K?)
  • She had a $1,000 glass deductible! (This is like having no glass coverage at all, because no glass claim will ever cost more than $1,000.)
  • She had no under-insured motorist coverage.
  • She had no collision waiver. So even if she hadn’t been at fault the company wouldn’t have waived her deductible.
  • She had an $8k personal injury protection deductible. Her health insurance might have helped to mitigate, but if not, she would have been out $8K for personal injuries.

Suffice it to say, “buyer beware” has never been so important. Buying car insurance online is a bad idea. The value of working with a local, independent insurance agent is priceless.

Please share this post with the online consumers in your life. And please don’t hesitate to call us: 508.339.2951 when you’re looking for the best value AND the best coverage in home and auto insurance. Learn more about the many insurance carriers we represent and the highly-qualified agents who comprise our MA insurance team.