Buying Car Insurance Online? It Can Be a Challenge

car insurance onlineOnline shopping is a huge time saver. It’s the place most of us go to research and price compare purchases from baby strollers to computers to refrigerators. Information is quick, easily accessible, and the research and purchase can be done right from home in your pajamas. So how about buying auto insurance online? Commercials advertise free, online insurance quotes all the time. How difficult can it be to buy car insurance online? As Providence auto accident lawyers, we deal with insurance companies every single day, but we understand for most people wading through the fine details of car insurance, deductibles, and legal jargon can be a frustrating ordeal. The ease of being able to comparison-shop and obtain auto insurance online sounds appealing.  Tapalian Law knows that Rhode Islanders are involved in thousands of traffic accidents each year resulting in serious injuries and fatalities and proper insurance protection is a must. So, whether you live in Newport or work in Providence, quality car insurance is not just a smart decision, it’s also the law in Rhode Island.

Why is it Difficult to Purchase Car Insurance Online?

The percentage of American households who shopped online for car insurance hit a record high last year. However, only a quarter of those drivers actually made the purchase online, according to a J.D. Power survey. Car insurance is an extremely important purchase and not one to be taken lightly, as anyone who has been hurt in a car accident knows well.  Consumers are doing their due diligence and researching the variety of car insurance options online, but why aren’t they making the final acquisition online?  There are a few explanations but the general consensus says shopping for car insurance online can be a frustrating experience.

Although several websites offer the option to price-compare a variety of auto insurance quotes, some of the big insurers like State Farm and Geico will not share their pricing formulas with the comparison-shopping sites. Consumers find it easier to use just one site and enter their information once to generate multiple insurance carrier quotes but by taking these competitive insurance companies out of the online comparison mix, the consumer is not getting an accurate comparison and therefore may opt-out of making a final purchase online. Insurance policy terms and coverage vary from state to state and by company so pricing can get complicated. A common complaint of online car insurance shoppers is inaccurate pricing. Shoppers are finding too often that the original quote they are provided changes upon verification of personal information (i.e. driving record, credit score) and they end up paying a higher price than originally quoted. According to a Clearsurance survey, the quoted price matches the final price about 60% of the time. Other sites generate insurance quotes, but in order to make a final purchase the buyer is directed to call a customer service center which some consumers dislike. In addition, a number of online insurance shopping sites work as “lead-generators”, to attract prospective customers. Shoppers find they are frustrated by the number of sales calls and emails they receive after using one of these lead generating sites.

The Importance of Adequate Auto Insurance Coverage

Buying car insurance online may work well for the consumer who knows exactly what type of coverage they need and want. The problem is most people don’t know what type of coverage is best for them until they get in an accident. Others may find it more helpful to work with an insurance professional who knows the Rhode Island area and its minimum car insurance requirements and can go more in depth to discover the type of coverage that works best for their lifestyle and budget. Whether you buy insurance online or locally, we can’t stress enough the importance of adequate auto insurance as Rhode Island car accident injury lawyers. Proper insurance coverage is important for both the motorist who caused the crash and for the motorist whose vehicle was hit and is potentially injured.  If you cause a vehicle collision and do not have adequate auto insurance protection to cover the expenses incurred by not only you but the others involved in the accident, you may be left to pay the remaining bills that your auto insurance did not cover. As Providence personal injury lawyers, Tapalian Law knows these medical and repair costs can escalate exponentially. If you don’t have the extra cash on hand to take on this risk and want to avoid financial distress and a possible lawsuit, it is prudent to set yourself up with the proper insurance coverage ahead of time to avoid a potentially life-changing situation.  Solid auto insurance protection can have a huge impact on you if you are the injured victim in a crash as well. The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles estimates 15% of vehicles in Rhode Island are uninsured. If you are hit by a driver who does not have car insurance, or is under-insured and doesn’t have enough coverage to cover your medical bills and additional accident related expenses, you may be left with a daunting amount of unpaid bills. If you lost time from work due to the crash and are not earning a paycheck to support yourself and your family this can leave you in a dire financial situation. Perhaps you can sue the driver who hit you for the unpaid bills but it’s likely you will be unsuccessful in receiving compensation – often drivers who lack adequate auto insurance coverage also do not have any assets.  If your car insurance policy has Uninsured Motorist Coverage and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, this can provide extra protection in case you are hit by a uninsured driver or underinsured driver. See our related Rhode Island Accident Lawyer Blog where we discuss the differences between Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) and what to do if you’ve been hurt in a car accident by an uninsured driver.

Rhode Island Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Minimum car insurance requirements vary from state to state. Rhode Island state law requires the following minimum car insurance qualifications.

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
  • $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability
  • $25,000/$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage (may decline purchase)

To protect yourself from financial loss, additional coverage including but not limited to collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage, and rental reimbursement coverage, may also be elected.

Contact a Rhode Island Car Accident Injury Attorney if You Have Been Hurt in a Crash

If you have been injured in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, seek out the guidance of the personal injury attorney’s at Tapalian Law. The aftermath of an auto accident can be tremendously stressful and insurance companies can be difficult to navigate without the guidance of an experienced RI or MA car accident lawyer on your side. Attorney David Tapalian and his professional staff work with a wide variety of insurance companies on behalf of our clients on a daily basis and understand the ins and outs of Rhode Island and Massachusetts car insurance. If you or a loved one have been involved in a Rhode Island auto accident or Massachusetts car crash, contact us today at


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