Do Insurance Comparison Sites Really Work?

Saving money on insurance has a warm place in many people’s wallet, since it’s a purchase we hope not to use anyway. When you’re looking for auto insurance, for example, apples-and-oranges comparisons are difficult and confusing for most, who deal with the intricacies of insurance policies perhaps once a year, if that. So on the surface, using an insurance comparison website sounds like a great idea. Enter your information and have your needs shopped with companies who, in theory, compete for your business. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, however, particularly in the insurance world. Knowing a few things about the process makes the process a little more transparent.

Referral versus Lead Generation

Websites that offer to give you quotes on insurance, whether for your car, home, or life, come in two basic types, those that refer you to insurers after you choose from a selection of quotes and those that transfer you part way through the process, so you end up bouncing between insurers, getting quotes one at a time. As you can see, the first type may be less work for you. It still depends on how many insurers that referral site works with, but with the right service, it’s the quickest way to see easily comparable quotes over the widest base of insurance companies.

Shopping on Price

The problem with comparing the cost of insurance policies is that the price of a policy doesn’t guarantee coverage aspects. Saving 20% on premiums sounds great until you learn that you have 50% less coverage. This is another advantage that referral-type comparison sites offer. Quotes are typically generated based on either your choices or at the least, comparable packages between insurers. Lead generation sites earn their revenue by delivering you to an insurance company’s site. Sure, you can work through several insurers this way, but the quote that lured you is less likely to be accurate and based on your needs.

Include a Broker

Are there deals to be found on insurance comparison websites? Quite likely there are. If you’ve been with the same company, renewing policies year after year without reviewing terms and premiums, you may be pleasantly surprised at the savings you might find. However, if you ask your broker to re-shop your policy, you may find the same savings, and perhaps even discounts for which you now qualify. The best strategy is probably to add insurance comparison sites to your coverage picture, but don’t abandon your broker or agent. Expert advice from humans, instead of algorithms, may still work to your advantage.

About Paul Gaulkin

Paul Gaulkin is enrolled with the US Treasury to practice before the IRS. Mr. Gaulkin possesses technical knowledge in the process of securing relief for taxpayers in need of tax help. With an accounting degree from Florida International University, he is able to transform complex tax and accounting problems into easy to understand solutions.


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