Car insurance basics – how online car insurance works
Buying car insurance online broadly falls into three or four categories : using car insurance cost comparison sites, getting quotes from insurance companies that don’t sign up to cost comparison sites, using the internet to find insurance brokers and get quotes direct from them and using the internet to research information that is relevant to peoples own circumstances.
Car insurance cost comparison sites are in one sense one of the real success stories of internet e commerce, but they are not always quite as golden as they might seem. On the plus side it is possible to enter your details and almost instantly get quotes from a number of insurance companies that are relevant to your situation. It can be slightly misleading on two levels. Because a significant numbers of quotes are returned, it gives the impression of totality, that these results are the normality for you and your situation.
In fact there are many insurance companies that don’t sign up to cost comparison sites , presumably because of the size of the commissions charged by these sites. Insurance companies sometimes make a virtue of not belonging to cost comparison sites, but in any event, although it may seem a bit of a hassle, it is well worth contacting these companies directly via their websites to get a quote
The other thing that can work against cos comparison sites is that they are so heavily automated. In one sense they have to be because that is the only way they can function and return so many results so quickly. It does mean however that the insurance companies don’t give actively give any consideration to your personal circumstances that could make a difference to your quote.
Insurance companies are used to giving personalized quotes for all types of insurance, especially car insurance. Automated systems help them because they take a fast and simple approach to a large volume of business. From the consumers point of view, they are much more likely to get abetter deal by approaching an insurance underwriter direct and try to negotiate a better deal.
This can also be done by using an insurance broker, often worth doing especially if your circumstances make you what the insurance industry would consider to be a high risk. An insurance broker should know the market, and should know where it is most likely to get the best deals.
The other thing worth considering about using cost comparison sites is the they do collect a huge amount of personal information about you. Whilst some do have good privacy policies, some do not and it is an area to be concerned about. Also some cost comparison sites offer deals on other financial services like utilities, credit cards etc. They sometimes link these to your car insurance quote, and collect quite substantial additional amounts of information from you. Just something to be aware of.
For people considered high risk categories by insurance companies, researching car insurance online can be a real benefit. It can be quite time consuming but there is a wealth of information online that can lead to reducing risk and reducing rates accordingly. Manufacturers often have special insurance schemes and these can be worth checking. Also there are discussion forums aplenty online and can be a rich source of information, problems and hopefully solutions.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a freelance writer who specializes in insurance having spent many years in the insurance industry, working at Lloyd's of London, in particular he writes about car and auto insurance explaining what car insurance is for and the related area of car insurance.