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Car Insurance Quotes: Should You Choose a Local or Online Agent?

By Ryan Staib Posted : 05/14/2010

Although more and more people are shopping, comparing car insurance quotes, and buying car insurance online, there are still plenty of drivers who are skeptical about using an online agent. But getting car insurance quotes from an online agent is as good - and sometimes even better - than talking to a local agent. Choosing who to use to help you get car insurance quotes is all about determining what you want.

Personal Service
Some drivers like to know exactly who they are working with. They are comfortable with making an appointment to see their agent at his office or talking to him by phone if he is available. They enjoy seeing their insurance agent at the grocery store or gas station.

And while drivers may not get to know their online agent as well as a local agent, it is important to know the online agent is as adept at personal service as the local agent. Maybe even more so. As long as you let the agent know your situation, you'll be in good hands.

For example, a local agent may not be able to help you get car insurance if you move out of town. And if they are an exclusive agent, they won't have access to as many comparison quotes and rates as online agents, like those at insurance.com, have. Some local agents won't be able to help you compare insurance quotes at all, because they work exclusively with one company.

Local knowledge
Another myth many drivers believe is that local agents will have a better grasp of state insurance laws than online insurance agents. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Car insurance agents must be licensed to sell insurance in a state, so any licensed online insurance agent is going to know as much as a local agent. The bonus? Many online insurance agents are licensed in more than one state, so if you're planning to move - or if you're a snowbird - one agent may be able to service all your car insurance needs.

They're also well versed in multiple car insurance companies and can help you select a carrier in a new state - one that may not even operate in your state.

Online insurance agents are friendly, knowledgeable experts that make shopping for insurance easy. They can usually get you the best deals, too. Compare insurance quotes online today and see how much you could save.

Fast Service
Another benefit of using an online agent is that you get fast service. Make one toll-free call and you're talking to a licensed insurance agent in minutes. With many local agents, drivers may have to make an appointment or wait for a call back.

Local agents often work regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. But online agents, like those at insurance.com, are available longer hours and seven days a week.

At insurance.com, when you call 866-533-0227, you can reach an online insurance agent from 8 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, and; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

In one short phone session, you can shop, compare multiple quotes, buy a new car insurance policy - and maybe save hundreds of dollars!

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