Buying Insurance Online
Should you buy insurance for your business online? The answer depends on your knowledge of insurance coverages, the complexity of your business and various other factors. This article will discuss some advantages and disadvantages of buying insurance on the Internet. It will also provide a list of websites that furnish business insurance quotes online.
If you are considering buying commercial insurance policies online, you should ask yourself these questions before you proceed.
How long has your company been in business?
When deciding which applicants to insure, underwriters generally choose businesses that have a solid track record. They know that many new companies fail. They don't want to issue a policy to a company that may not exist when the policy expires. If you are shopping for insurance online, you are more likely to be successful if your company is well-established than if it is a start-up.
How much personalized service do you need?
Insurance agents and brokers meet with their clients in person. They provide one-on-one service, analyzing your risks and helping you fill out claim forms. You are not likely to receive the same level of service from an online agent.
How much do you know about commercial insurance?
If you have a good knowledge of insurance coverages, you may have no trouble comparing quotes or reviewing your policies. However, if you are unfamiliar with commercial insurance or are unsure what coverages you need, you may be better off purchasing insurance through a traditional agent or broker.
The main advantage of buying insurance online is convenience. Websites are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can complete an application anytime, although quotes may be provided only during the site's normal business hours.
A second advantage is cost. Policies purchased online may be cheaper than those obtained through an insurance agent or broker.
Purchasing insurance on the Internet has some disadvantages. For one thing, you may have difficulty obtaining insurance online if your business is new, has a poor loss history, has unusual characteristics, or performs risky operations (such as roofing or tree trimming). Another disadvantage was mentioned above, namely the lack of face-to-face interaction. An online agent may provide less individualized service than an agent you meet in person. He or she may overlook complexities of your business or changes that occur over time.
All of the websites listed below offer business insurance quotes online. All provide standard coverages like general liability and commercial property. Some also provide additional coverages like errors and omissions. This list is provided for informational purposes. It is not intended as a recommendation.
esinsurance.com This site describes itself as an online insurance marketplace for the products and services sold by insurance carriers, agencies, and brokers. It offers both personal and commercial coverages.
insureon.com Initially created to provide insurance to technology companies, Insureon now services a variety of small businesses. Customers who complete an online application are assigned an agent. The site states that the agent will identify your risks, contact carriers, and email you quotes "in a matter of minutes". You can compare the quotes yourself or ask your agent to help you.
netquote.com This company is a lead provider of insurance agents. Customers complete an online application and NetQuote matches them with an agent. The site states that customers receive multiple insurance quotes from competing companies "within minutes."
businessinsurancenow.com This site bills itself as a Web-based e-agent. Customers who submit an online application typically receive a detailed quote by the following day. Quotes are provided via email.
Hiscox.com Hiscox is an insurance company based in Bermuda. It is a specialty company that provides insurance to businesses in certain industries. These industries are listed on the insurer's website. Examples are technology, consulting and real estate.