Are Insurance Quotes Free?

August 18, 2011 No Comments »


Insurance Q&A: “Are insurance quotes free?”

It’s quite common for insurance related advertisements to end with, “Call today for a free quote!”

That magical offer might lead the average insurance consumer to believe getting quotes from another company would cost them some hard earned money.

[Compare rates from the leading car insurance companies in your area.]

But, is that really the case? It’s questions like this that keep us here at TTAI going.

The Reality

Insurance quotes are free anywhere you go. That’s right, no charge! We aren’t aware of any insurance company or insurance agent out there who is charging for an insurance premium quote. That’d be counterintuitive, don’t you think?

Almost all personal lines insurers in the United States use computer software to provide customers with insurance quotes. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to generate some numbers…and if they’re good numbers, the insurance company stands to make a buck. And another buck at renewal time each year…

“Back in the day,” quoting insurance was a laborious, time consuming event. Charging for quotes back then may have at least been reasonable/justifiable. A lot of time may have been “wasted” by an agent who quoted several policies per day and didn’t sell anything…and time is money. Or more accurately, was money.

Hello Internet!

With the advent of the Internet, multiple insurance quotes can now be obtained in less than 5 minutes by simply providing some basic information one time.

Not only that, but policies can be purchased without ever meeting an agent face-to-face or visiting and insurance company’s office to sign the paperwork! We know, it’s amazing…

But the competition is fierce now. Consumers are no longer limited to purchasing a policy from one of the 3-5 local agents in their area.

In fact, if you live in California, you can buy a policy from an agent in New York (if the NY agent is licensed in CA) if that’s the best deal around!

(Do insurance quotes affect credit score?)

To summarize, any insurer or agent who would charge you for this readily available, free service would likely be asking to go out of business. If someone tries to charge you for an insurance quote, RUN! Or simply hang up the phone and call someone else.

This is likely the agent who will also tack on a broker fee to your policy…in addition to the commission they earn for issuing the policy to begin with.

As always, it is recommended that you shop for insurance both online and offline. This means gathering insurance quotes from websites like ours and elsewhere.

And also speaking to one or two independent insurance agents, who can shop your rate and provide you with multiple insurance quotes all at once, all for free!

Note that a captive insurance agent can only provide you with quotes from the one company they represent, which certainly doesn’t count as shopping around, at least not to us.

Read more: Are online insurance quotes accurate?

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