We see ads and plugs for online car insurance estimators all the time! “Get quotes now!” … “Find the lowest rate!” But these claims are rarely put to the test. So, do they work?
The short answer is “yes,” at least for a ballpark figure.
How We Put Them to the Test In this case, we used the author's car: a late-model Honda Fit with several insurance-friendly extras, such as an anti-theft system. What we found was that quotes from online estimators were usually in the proper range, but did sometimes vary heavily depending on certain circumstances.
Comparison Sites vs. Insurance Company Sites The problem with comparison sites is pretty simple: A lot of them don't even do the comparison for you. Many of them, when we went to the site, just spat out a bunch of websites that offered insurance in the specified state and made us go through the quote process for each insurance company. While that can be useful if you're not sure which insurance companies serve your state, it's hard to see where they fit in for legwork that's pretty easy to do yourself.
If you're wondering why they do that: They make money every time somebody is referred from their site to an insurer's, and in fact may make a little more if you buy a policy through that company.
So, on that end, we'd recommend avoiding these sites just because they add more time than they save looking for insurance, and you'll just have to go through the whole quote process on each site anyway. You might as well cut out the middle man!
The insurance sites themselves, on the other hand, tended to be a lot more useful. The quote process was fairly quick. Just as importantly, the quotes themselves were fairly accurate... at least in a ballpark sense.
The Drawbacks Here's where we get to the nub of the matter: Many online insurance quote forms just aren't that detailed. Really, they're designed to get the general information of the customer and quote them a price range. We followed up on each quote with a phone call and quickly learned that prices can vary between the estimator and the actual price quote. Usually, the difference was fairly slight, and predicated on details such as that anti-theft system, so we're willing to say your average insurance company has a website that can offer you a ballpark quote.
The one problem for those who guard their privacy is this: You have to hand over your name and phone number, along with a few other personal details, to get a quote. There's a valid reason for this; they need to check your driving record. Nonetheless, those who don't hand that information out lightly may be slightly less than thrilled.
In the end, we do recommend going to an insurance company's website directly and using their estimator. It will give you a hard number to make your decision on. However, that decision should be which set of companies to call next and get a more specific number. But at least with the website, you'll know what league you're batting in.
Tags: Online Car Insurance, Online Auto Insurance Quote, Free Online Car Insurance Quote, Cheap Car Insurance, Safe Auto Online Car Insurance
This time of year, some people like to decorate their vehicles for Christmas. You see some wreaths and bows on grills, plenty of festive antenna balls, and sometimes a few "antlers and red nose" combinations. It's a bit silly, but if it helps people get into the Christmas spirit, then it's a good thing.
And then there are those few who think that you can't put too much Christmas on a car. (By the way, they're wrong. So very wrong.) Here are 10 of the most egregious holiday offenders.
1. http://www.memoryjournalists.com/images/content/Christmas-car-lights-001.jpg, http://www.memoryjournalists.com/images/content/Christmas-car-lights-003.jpg
Okay, the wreath is fine, and the hood snowflakes are pushing it. But Christmas lights on the front bumper and rear half… and Snoopy and his decorated domicile on top? One thing's for sure -- if this driver accidentally tries to pull forward into that garage, his wife will tell him to go sleep in the doghouse.
2. http://www.carztune.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/santa_car_2.jpg, http://www.carztune.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/santa_car_3.jpg
A glowing reindeer secured by a wreath to the roof of a multicolor-lighted coupe? You'd think that the driver would see nothing but colorful reflections when he or she looks in the rearview mirrors. Although those candy canes could function as curb feelers as well.
Is this a Christmas-themed car or a psychedelic bug? The candy-cane-outlined hubcaps and colored strips along the exterior would be more than enough without slapping that contraption on top of the roof (which is what, exactly)? Plus, the entire vehicle is an overhead power line mishap just waiting to happen. Don’t tell the auto insurance company!
Is this pickup truck covered in Christmas lights? Or did it somehow catch a rare yuletide disease and break out in a serious multicolored rash? (Bet you're starting to itch just thinking about it, huh?)
This trucker probably thinks his big rig décor is festive, but it looks more like the 18-wheeler that emerges from hell in the nightmares of a little boy. Merry Christmas!
I can picture the conversation the owners had about decorating this Beetle: "Let's wrap up our car, like a present!" … "Great? Where's the wrapping paper?" … "Uh… we don't have enough. But we've got tinfoil!" … "That'll do!" It's a good thing they added the Christmas lights and the ribbon; otherwise, it just would have looked stupid.
Oh, how cute - somebody put a small bow and a tiny Santa hat on a matchbox car and… no, wait. That's a Smart Car. Well, the owner obviously spent a lot of time affixing the lights and snowflakes to the exterior to make the car look stylish and chic. (***snicker***)
You wonder if this luxury car owner just woke up one day in December and thought, "You know, that wreath on my bumper isn't quite enough. Perhaps I should just have a dumptruck pour a few pallets of multicolored whiteboard markers over my car after I coat it with crazy glue. Brilliant!"
Judging from the background, this car owner lives in a place which doesn't get much snow. So it's perfectly understandable if he misses the white stuff. But there's no excuse for this. It looks like a giant monster gobbled up a snowy forest and then vomited it all onto this car.
Did this car just crash into a toy factory? It's probably better that we don't know.
Tags: Holiday Car Decorations, Festive Holiday Cars, SafeAuto, Safe Auto, Cheap Auto Insurance
Norm Macdonald has had quite the successful acting career over the years. From anchoring Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live to memorable roles in movies such as Billy Madison, Norm’s humor has been portrayed on the big screen for many to see. Comedy Central even named him one of the top 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time! Being the spokesperson for SafeAuto has given the state minimum auto insurance company a great boost. Norm fans are constantly tweeting about his commercial spots that air throughout the country on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Dave Williams, @bigdave0908 on Twitter said, “Norm Macdonald’s SafeAuto commercials are hysterical. #Fact” While fans have been enjoying the Norm Macdonald SafeAuto commercials for the majority of the 2012 calendar year, the affordable car insurance company is releasing a brand new rotation of television, radio and billboard ads that are slated for release at the beginning of January 2013. Norm Macdonald will once again be featured making humorous observations about driving and car insurance in his trademark style. The release of the commercials couldn’t have come at a better time for SafeAuto. Norm has recently been featured on the ABC sitcom “The Middle” in his recurring role as the dad’s quirky brother. The minimum coverage car insurance company envisioned a spokesperson that would provide maximum exposure, which is exactly what Norm Macdonald has done.
Tags: Norm Macdonald, Norm Macdonald The Middle, Norm Macdonald SafeAuto, Norm Safe Auto Commercials
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