by Aidan Kang, CFA
Senior Writer
UPDATED: January 30, 2023

Shopping for auto insurance today may be confusing to you, especially if you have become used to going down to the brick-and-mortar location to pay for your policy. Waiting in line for the next available agent is not an aspect of life that we ever need to deal with again.

 We are in the process of switching to online platforms. We are at the beginning of the technology era, and from here on out we all need to embrace the new way of approaching everything. Let us look over the process that you need to follow now.


You will need to start out by sitting down and deciding what you need. This decision will need to be based on two separate things, and then there is one aspect that you need to avoid. The local laws will need to be taken into account, and the minimum amounts required by the law need to be met. The second thing that you need to consider is what you actually need. If you have an old beater that would cost less to replace than the policy would cost you, get the lowest amounts possible. What you want should be ignored because it does not play into the equation. 


Embrace the internet, and all the technology available because of it. You can use your mobile device if you prefer, which will allow you to download an application that can manage your insurance account. If you do not have a way to get onto the internet, you may consider doing so. If not, go to the local library and use one of theirs, for now anyway. 


Go to an online comparison site so they can do the legwork for you. They will give you a list of car insurance quotes which you will need to go through. Remember that you are not only comparing them for cost, but you need to break down what coverage types and amounts that they are offering you. No point in choosing a cheap policy that does not cover what you need it to cover.


Some companies will need more in-depth documents than other companies will. You should have gathered all your personal information before you even started searching, but if you forgot that step you will need to do it before applying. If they want something out of the ordinary, go get it. Do not put the task on hold for later. 


After you have done all your comparisons it is time to pick the best insurance policy option. If it is to stay with your current carrier then stop reading and get on with your life. If you do have to change, cancel your previous one and pay for your new one. Before doing this, it is important to see if your current policyholder will refund you for the months that you did not use. You also need to see if they charge an early cancellation fee. Some do, some do not. You do not want to cancel your current policy if you are going to lose a decent chunk of change. You may need to wait until your policy is due before you change.

With technology on the rise, the way that we do any type of business transaction will be changing. More and more contracts and communications will rely on online platforms, such as the one you just used to compare and buy a policy. 

It is a movement that the entire world will be a part of, so you may be able to hold on to your old, traditional ways for a little while longer. The thing is, though, that the earlier you embrace the new way of doing things, the better off you will be throughout the process, and beyond.