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Study Looks at Buying Trends for Auto Insurance On-line vs. Using an Agent


Posted on 18 Feb 2009

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In a study by, out of 264 respondents who visited its site while shopping for auto insurance, 94 percent indicated they prefer shopping via e-mail versus other shopping methods including online, in person with a local agent, or over the phone.

As the Internet continues to offer more convenient shopping solutions for consumers, it's not surprising that so few drivers prefer to speak in person with a live local agent.

Similarly, the J.D. Power and Associates “2008 Insurance New Buyer Study” found that last year, 21 percent of new customer insurance sales were processed entirely on the web.

On the other hand, however, only 2 percent of survey respondents preferred shopping strictly online.

"Shopping online without agent interaction may be too impersonal for some auto insurance shoppers, as they are sometimes apprehensive about binding themselves into a policy without consultation," said Mike Pesackis, licensed agent for

Purchasing via e-mail allows customers to utilize the Internet for convenience, yet it also requires that they will be working with a live agent to purchase their insurance policy. E-mail shoppers seem to appreciate the convenience of web-based shopping but also seem to find great value in working with a licensed agent.

"Customers who work with a licensed agent before purchasing their auto insurance policy have a better chance of finding the right coverage and qualifying for all available discounts," said Jana Bell, director of business operations at "State and lender requirements vary per customer and a licensed consultant is there to ensure you get the most appropriate coverage for your needs."