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There are lots of ways to shop for auto insurance online that can help you not only to get the coverage you need but also to understand what you're getting (and what you're not). While you could go right to the website of one of the big-name brands in car insurance, how will you know if there are better, more affordable options out there?
You won't - unless you opt to use a quote service that compares offers across multiple insurance companies large and small. That's much more efficient than filling out quote forms on a dozen or more insurer websites.
Thursday, March 30th
Insurify uses artificial intelligence "to make insurance shopping simple, affordable, and hassle-free" . Founded in 2013, this virtual-only insurance service has provided over 26 million auto insurance quotes from more than 100 insurers, saving the average customer just under $1,000/year.
Straightforward quote process
Start by entering your zip code. Next, indicate if you currently have insurance and what you're hoping to accomplish by browsing: get a better rate, insure a new car, bundle and save, or just "shopping" . Enter the address where your car is parked overnight, your name and birthdate, and all of the usual information requested when looking for car insurance (homeowner vs. renter, marital status and other discount opportunities).
We love the online quotes
You'll also be asked for details about any claims you've had, so be sure to gather up information about accidents, tickets, and so forth. Finally, once you've entered your phone number and email - Insurify promises they won't be used to send spam - you'll be taken to a page with quotes from companies to address your specific auto insurance needs.
Both big-and-small insurers
For an under-25 male driver in Florida, we were given six quotes ranging in price from $129 to $640 a month. Insurers included Progressive, Mercury, Bristol West, Direct Auto, Dairyland, and The General. There was also a recommendation from Insurify's "virtual agent" below those six quotes: it was from Progressive and seemed to match the quote in the previous list, but the pricing was slightly different and we couldn't figure out why.
You may be able to get insured right away, all online
Whether or not you can buy your auto insurance policy online will depend on the insurer you select. For example, selecting the Progressive policy described earlier was a call-only option, but going with Mercury gave us the option to buy online and get an instant insurance card. We like that Insurify has car insurance policies - and processes - that can meet just about anyone's needs, whether they only want a policy from one of the big-name carriers or they need something they can get right away, no matter what time of day or night.
We were very pleased to see that Insurify had no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of this review, which goes along nicely with the BBB's "A+" rating and accreditation for this service. Better, yet, almost 100 people took the time to write a review of Insurify for the BBB, averaging out to an impressive 4.73/5 stars. Clients said that they got great rates for their insurance policies, knowledgeable and friendly help from Insurify's agents, and had an excellent experience overall. In addition, we found more than 3,100 five-star reviews elsewhere: over 95% of Insurify users recommend the service with a four- or five-star rating. That's what we like to see.
#1 resource for buying auto insurance
If you're looking for one-stop shopping on auto insurance, Insurify should be your top pick. Out of all of the referral platforms in our evaluation, this one offers the easiest all-around quote process, the best rates, the widest options (not just with different insurers but also in the ability to get coverage instantly), and all of that with a fantastic reputation too. We're pleased to give Insurify our #1 ranking among online providers of auto insurance.
Want to get real-time quotes from all of the major auto insurance companies by filling out one form? Turn to The Zebra. In business for more than a decade, this platform has provided nearly 19 million quotes for car and home insurance.
Estimate or policy? You choose.
The Zebra wants to help you find your auto insurance policy, whether you're ready to buy coverage today or you just want an estimate. We like using the latter tool first, just to get an idea of what we might pay. For example, for a currently-insured 24-year-old male in Florida (the most expensive of the 50 states for car insurance), we were given an estimated monthly payment of $242-$296. That tracked just slightly higher than the rates that driver was actually paying at that time.
Not too much information required
Or, if you want to get quotes and buy a policy sooner rather than later, start by entering your zip code. You'll then answer a series of questions about why you're shopping for car insurance (for example, you're buying a car soon vs. looking for a lower rate), and details about the vehicle you want to insure. The Zebra also offers extra info, if you want it, about why they ask certain questions (like why your address matters).
Finally, you'll choose a coverage package level. In theory, you should be able to scroll between "Good" , "Better" , and "Best" options at this stage, but our quote seemed to be stuck on the "Better" tier which was also The Zebra's recommended package. You can always change that later, before you buy your policy, but we would have liked to be able to swap that out first. (Probably just a glitch.)
No extra hoops to jump through
Once you click the "Get My Quotes" button, the system will process your options through all of the major auto insurers. We got quotes from Progressive, Travelers, Mercury Insurance, and Kemper Auto, with three quotes under $175/month and one for $387/month. You have the option of completing your policy purchase over the phone, or click to continue the process online. The Zebra will connect you directly with the insurer: you don't have to jump through any extra hoops, like going to the insurer's website and starting the process all over again. Of course, you'll be asked for the information required to complete the policy, like your driver's license number.
We really appreciate The Zebra's commitment to protecting your contact information. Unlike some of the auto insurance platforms we evaluated, this one won't even ask for your phone number during the quote process. That's a relief, because some of The Zebra's rivals almost gleefully tell you that you're giving them permission to pass along your info to hundreds (or thousands) of third-party companies that aren't even related to car insurance policies.
Customers love getting their car insurance here
That's part of the reason why The Zebra has such a great reputation. Not only has the company been "A" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with just four complaints filed there in the last three years, but it has also received thousands of five-star reviews. Praise offered for The Zebra tends to center around the customer service team: knowledgeable, patient, and absolutely able to get clients the right auto insurance coverage for their needs, often affordably-bundled with a home insurance policy too.
A fantastic way to get coverage
Although The Zebra comes in just shy of our first-place ranking - they were outpaced ever-so-slightly by our #1 service's variety of quotes and buying options - this is still one of our top picks for buying auto insurance online. You won't have any trouble getting the auto insurance policy you need through this service. We highly recommend The Zebra.
Savvy takes a novel approach to buying auto insurance online: if you already have coverage with another insurer, you can log in with your current policy and instantly shop hundreds of alternatives for a better deal. There's no need to try and remember what coverage you have, because Savvy lets you log in securely to your account with your insurer and your details are carried over automatically. How's that for convenience?
Use your current insurance login to compare
How does it work? You'll indicate which company you currently use for your car insurance from a list that includes all of the major insurers - GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Liberty, Allstate, and so on - or search for your company if you don't see it there. You can also click on "my car is not insured" if you just want to start from scratch.
Want help from an agent?
Once you've found your insurance company, Savvy will use the Trellis service to make sure your login is secure and private. There's one spot to pay attention to as you connect your account: Savvy will ask if you want personal assistance shopping for insurance. If you click "OK" , you're giving permission for Savvy agents to look over your details, find the best deals, text their recommendations, and even help you switch insurers. You can always click "No thanks" if you'd rather start out on your own; there's nothing saying you can't reach out for that kind of help later if you decide you want it.
You might not get a direct quote here
Savvy will then pull up your current insurance information, and you'll watch as the system looks for savings from all of the big names in the industry. In the profile we quoted for three vehicles and four drivers insured by Allstate in Florida, we weren't matched with any insurers we recognized. The recommended policy was through a third-party site, and when we clicked the link we were taken to yet another quote referral platform to start the process all over again.
Not always efficient
That illustrates one of a few downsides to using Savvy for your auto insurance quote comparisons. First, as we discovered, you might not see real-time quotes: depending on your current insurer and the ones that match your driver profile, your screen may show "Check Offer" for most of the quotes. That means you could be clicking through to each individual insurance company and answering more questions before you find out what your policy will cost.
No bundling for life, just home/auto
Also, if you typically bundle your car insurance with your homeowner's, renter's, and/or life insurance policies - because that's usually a great way to get discounted rates on all of them - Savvy can only help if you're doing auto and home. You'll see that option at the start of the quote process. At the time of this evaluation, there wasn't a choice to include life insurance - but maybe that'll get added at some point?
Might not reflect recent changes
Finally, if you've experienced any major changes in your lifestyle or driving habits, they may not be reflected in your current policy. So you might not have a good way of reflecting that in Savvy's quote process, since the platform mainly focuses on using the coverage you have now to connect you with new options.
Good reputation so far
However, on the whole, Savvy is off to a decent start reputation-wise. The Better Business Bureau has already given the company an "A+" rating and accreditation, and across a few hundred reviews, we found that 97% gave this auto insurance quote platform a five-star rating. People especially like knowing that the policies being quoted are an apples-to-apples comparison when they use their current coverage as a baseline, and almost everyone leaving a review for Savvy says that they saved money and got excellent support from Savvy's reps when needed.
An auto insurance platform to watch
We think Savvy is an interesting option for getting car insurance online. The quote process is not hard to navigate, the ability to pull in information from current coverage is fantastic, and all signs point to this being an up-and-comer in the industry. We look forward to seeing Savvy establish itself as one of the biggest and best names for auto insurance, but for now there are several other services that make it a little easier to get real-time quotes without being dumped off on a third-party platform. You may want to try those first, and circle back to Savvy if you don't find an auto insurance policy you like.
Gabi is one of two services in our review that can use your current auto insurance login details to eliminate some of the hassle of shopping for a new policy. Backed by Experian (yes, the credit bureau), this platform has been in operation since 2019 and offers quotes from 40+ insurance companies.
Get an education on car insurance
There's a lot of information on the Gabi site that you can use to become a better-informed consumer of auto insurance. Do you know why you should compare quotes? Or what factors will impact your rates? You'll find all of that and more on the main car insurance page on the Gabi site.
Free credit report and FICO score
Otherwise, you can jump right in and click the "Start Saving" button to get quotes to compare. Select your current insurer or the "I Don't Have Insurance" button, then enter your name as it appears on your driver's license. You'll give them your basic details like address and birthdate. Plus, since Gabi is a part of the Experian family, signing up with this service also gives you access to your free credit report and FICO score.
More required information
Be aware that you'll have to provide Gabi with your email and mobile number, so that they can verify your account. And, you'll also be asked to enter your current insurer's login information to import your most recent coverage, though you can click to say you don't have that information and upload a PDF of your policy declaration instead. It feels like you can't continue with your account creation until you've done one or the other, but you can click "I don't have a PDF" and take care of it later.
Some details can be entered manually
From there, if you haven't automatically connected to your insurance policy, you'll be asked to enter the information for your car(s), driver(s), and so on. You'll also have the chance to bundle your home and auto policies at that point.
Quotes may not impress you
Finally, you'll watch Gabi process all of your options. In our case, we were given four quotes from Travelers, Progressive, and National General, ranging in price from an affordable $177/month to a staggering $675/month. Given the no-ticket, no-accident profile of the driver we quoted, we felt like there ought to have been quite a few more options - and definitely nothing above the $300/month range.
All steps required, in order
If you do find a policy you like, you can get your account set up right through the Gabi site. You'll enter the remaining information, including your desired policy start date and preferred payment method. There isn't a way to skip through the fields: in other words, if you want to hold off on entering the drivers and cars until you see the payment schedule, Gabi doesn't let you do that.
We hesitate to give Gabi a rating higher than three stars. Despite having an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, this auto insurance service doesn't quite impress us to that degree. Reading through the negative reviews filed with the BBB and then even sorting through the verified reviews on the Gabi site, we saw some frequently-mentioned issues.
Smaller savings than expected
The biggest one seems to be the bait-and-switch feeling that a lot of insurance shoppers get here. Although Gabi advertises that they save customers an average of $961 - and prospective clients get excited to see even bigger savings at first - many people say that they wind up saving only a few dollars every month by the time they get their actual policy. We also found more than one person who said they entered credit card information during the quote process but never selected a policy, yet they were still charged as if they had - and had a hard time reaching anyone in Gabi's customer service team to get it fixed. We didn't see that reflected in our quote process, but it's not hard to imagine it being possible, either.
Get ready for a lot of texts and emails
And, we can definitely confirm that the contacts are immediate and numerous when you give Gabi your details. Within an hour we had at least two texts and an email. We found the same feedback in other customers' comments.
A "just okay" resource for getting auto insurance
Gabi is neither the best nor the worst with respect to getting auto insurance online. We appreciate services like this that try to streamline the process by letting you connect with your current policy details, and we expect to see most of Gabi's rivals move in that direction in the near future. However, we were frustrated by the process here and not at all impressed with the quotes we got - which were missing most of the major players in the industry. That left us wondering if Gabi was actually giving us every possible policy that would have been in our best interests. Gabi's backing by Experian means there's not likely to be anything shady about this car insurance platform, but many rival services are delivering a more hassle-free experience.
ValuePenguin got its start in 2013 as a tool for comparing health insurance costs. It was acquired by LendingTree in 2019 and has been offering auto insurance quotes ever since.
Good way to learn about auto insurance
If you want a comprehensive overview of all things car insurance, you'll find that as you scroll through the ValuePenguin site. Which big-name insurers charge more if you've got poor credit? How much less will you pay for coverage when you're 25, compared with when you're 18? Which companies will raise your rates the most after an accident? You can find those answers - and more - before you even start the quote process here.
No surprises in the information requested
When you're ready to get a policy, you'll select the policy type (auto or motorcycle, though you can also choose home, life, renters, and other insurance), enter your zip code and age, and indicate if you're currently insured. On the next page, you'll start clicking on boxes to enter your vehicle's year/make/model, your accident/ticket history, and so forth: nothing out of the ordinary here.
Pay attention to the fine print
Finally, you'll enter your birthdate, address, and phone number, then click on "Get My Auto Quotes" . That's where you'll see the fine print that says you're giving ValuePenguin permission to share your information with their marketing and re-marketing network, oh, and yes, with up to eight insurance companies or their affiliates. Click the link to see a very lengthy list of who their partners include: most of them are obviously insurers, but what about "Real-Comp Data and Marketing" or "Buzzery LLC" ?
Here comes the spam
It's an important point to make, because we found lots of feedback from ValuePenguin users who said you can expect to be "spammed forever" once you've filled out a quote request here. One person said she requested a quote and got over 1,000 phone calls and hundreds of emails over the weeks following her inquiry. And - she never did get the coverage she was expecting. Not good.
No quotes offered
We also had no luck getting an actual car insurance quote through ValuePenguin. After we entered all of our information, we were told that the service had found us two rates, but those links just took us to a couple of referral platforms: no quote, no policy, no anything directly available, just another hoop to jump through.
Useful for info, not for insurance
We held back from giving ValuePenguin our rock-bottom rating because of the helpful information on the main auto insurance page. You could find something there that will make you a better-informed consumer before you purchase a policy. But, at the end of the day, you're going to have to look elsewhere to actually get the coverage you need - because ValuePenguin is just going to push you off to another insurer (or a few thousand of them, yikes!).
CARCHEX is well-known for providing extended warranties and vehicle histories when shopping for a pre-owned car, but did you know they can also get you connected with an auto insurance policy? Through their simple online quote process, you can theoretically compare coverage from top insurers like Progressive and Travelers as well as smaller, more local companies. CARCHEX is a trusted partner of KBB, Repair Pal, and Amac.
Auto insurance referral service?
CARCHEX comes right out and tells you what you can expect from the auto insurance quote process. You'll fill out the Quote Request form; the more accurate info you provide, the more accurate your quote will be. You might be contacted by phone, and/or directed to an easy self check-out feature to buy your policy right away. After you've submitted your quote request, CARCHEX may forward your details to up to three brokers or service contract providers for additional quotes.
Get a referral - to another referral platform
Unfortunately, the actual experience is not even remotely that straightforward. When we entered our zip code (along with several others from various places in the US), we were told that our quote was ready - and then taken to a list of five third-party websites we could use to get a quote (several of which we've evaluated separately in our reviews). There was zero way to get a policy from CARCHEX itself, and definitely no quick check-out option to purchase coverage immediately. It's almost like CARCHEX used to offer quotes, discontinued the service, but still wanted to claim that they offer auto insurance shopping.
Company itself is fine
We have no problem with the reputation of CARCHEX in general. The company has been around for the better part of two decades and enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. If you're looking for an extended vehicle warranty or you want to look up the VIN on a car you're thinking of buying, don't hesitate to use this site.
Don't waste your time
But, since CARCHEX no longer has a search engine that can provide car insurance policy quotes, they've dropped almost down to the bottom of our rankings in this category of service. Given that CARCHEX is just going to point you to a third-party partner for getting your auto coverage, you might as well start your search with one of the higher-ranking platforms in our review and not bother with this one.
US Insurance Online is a division of All Web Leads. The company is licensed to sell auto, health, home and life insurance in all 50 states plus Washington DC and has been in business for nearly 20 years.
The auto insurance quote process here is fairly uncomplicated. Enter the year/make/model of the vehicle(s) you want to cover, your name and birthdate, education level, occupation, credit rating, marital status, and so on. You'll also indicate your desired level of coverage, ranging from "state minimum" to "best" .
Your information will be sold
Be aware that the fine print at the bottom of the US Insurance Online quote page says that by providing your number, you're authorizing contact by "up to eight insurance companies or their agents or partner companies" , not just for insurance quotes but also marketing purposes. Your quotes might come from Progressive, Liberty Mutual, or Farmers, but US Insurance Online doesn't tell you anything else about who they partner with upfront. Not a huge fan of that.
We're not sure what this system didn't like about our information, but when we went to the "Get My Quotes" page, we got a rejection message. It said that they weren't able to accept our info at that time. There was nothing to indicate that it was a problem with our profile, our contact details, or anything else - just a big, fat nothing for auto insurance here. You'd be better off calling the toll-free number listed at the top of the site, assuming you don't skip over this service altogether.
Lead generation only
And, don't get too excited when you see that US Insurance Online is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. It's in the BBB listing that it becomes readily apparent that this is an internet marketing service, not an auto insurance expert. Despite that rating, no one seems terribly thrilled with what they get here: not the drivers looking for coverage or the insurance agencies that pay for leads.
Use any other site for auto insurance
In this day and age, it's easy and affordable to get auto insurance online. However, this service almost seems to go out of its way to make it difficult from the get-go. We can't recommend US Insurance Online when there are many rival platforms that are better in every way. Go with one of the higher-ranked auto insurance platforms in our review and avoid this one.
To get the right coverage for you and any other drivers in your household, you'll first need to know what's required in your state. Some kind of coverage is mandatory no matter where you live, but there's a big difference between the Bodily Injury and Property Damage minimums of 15/30/10 in Arizona, and the 50/100/25 minimums that include Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists, and First-Party Medical Expenses for drivers in Maine.
If you're struggling to make sense of that, don't worry. Some online insurance sites can do a good job of explaining exactly what you need to know. But, not all auto insurance platforms are the same.
Some serve strictly as lead generators: your information is passed along, sometimes to unrelated marketing companies, and you may find yourself overwhelmed with calls, texts, and emails long after you've chosen your coverage. It's better to look carefully and choose a website that actually provides quotes from different insurers and can help you get your policy set up, no spam required.
What else should you look for when buying your auto insurance online? Here are a few things to consider:
To help you get the right auto insurance for your needs, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best quote platforms available today. We're sure this will make it fast and easy to get the coverage you're looking for. Time to hit the road!
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