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Best Cheap Online-Only Auto Insurance (2022)

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Gone are the days when you had to talk to an agent in person or over the phone to buy auto insurance. Now, you can get online-only auto insurance, meaning insurance that you purchase fully online without any phone or in-person interactions. Explore how to get insurance online, including collecting information, comparing quotes and making your purchase. Most insurance providers now offer the ability to get quotes and buy a policy online. We’ll share those – with a focus on cheap providers.

Our team reviewed every major insurance company to find the best car insurance options available. We share that information with you in our convenient quote box. You can get started by entering your zip code.

How to Get Online-Only Auto Insurance

Most major auto insurance companies offer the ability to buy car insurance online. While that is the case, some may require a phone call or might only be available through an insurance agent.

While major insurance companies tend to offer online-only auto insurance, insurance agencies do not typically have this option.

If you decide to get an online-only policy, then everything is digital. After you buy the policy, you will receive an email with the relevant documents in them. You should receive this email right away, making it possible to cover a car immediately while at an auto dealership. This is especially convenient as a dealership will not let you drive a car off the lot while uninsured.

In addition to that initial email, most companies will have a mobile application that you can use to access your policy documents.

Most companies also offer the option to go paperless. This means that you will not receive anything in the mail. Instead, it will all be done via email, a mobile app or the insurance company’s website.

Step 1: Gather Information

Before you start looking for online-only auto insurance, make sure that you have the relevant information handy. Expect to share the following as you fill out a policy application:

  • Driver’s license
  • Social security number
  • Vehicle registration
  • Information about the vehicle (including make, model, year and security features)
  • Information about estimated annual mileage
  • Declaration page from the current insurance
  • Credit card or bank information
  • Details about anyone else who will be on the policy

Step 2: Compare Discounts

Your next step will be to look at the various car insurance discounts you can get from insurance companies. Each one will offer slightly different discounts or a different discount amount.

For example, you may want to choose a company with a good military discount or a great student discount. Remember that you may not realize a company offers cheap auto insurance until you see how many driver discounts you qualify for. You will have to compare discounts to find the cheapest car insurance.

Step 3: Get and Compare Quotes

Next, you are ready to get quotes and compare them. There are a few ways to go about doing this.

  • You can use a comparison tool to keep things simple. That type of tool will let you easily compare quotes and coverage options across car insurance companies.
  • You can gather individual quotes from each company separately. This will involve filling out separate forms. Expect it to take about 5-10 minutes to get a free car insurance quote, assuming you have all the relevant information on hand.

Once you have the auto insurance quotes, compare them with each other. Be sure to compare the same coverage levels and deductibles across the various providers. You should also look at coverage limits for a fair comparison.

Step 4: Choose a Policy and Purchase

Use the various auto insurance quotes to decide which company you want to get auto insurance coverage from.

Once you make a decision, you can start coverage right away. Alternatively, you can schedule coverage to start on a certain date. Some companies will even give you a discount if you schedule the policy to start ahead of time. This makes it wise to start thinking about your new auto insurance policy early.

You will need to provide payment to buy the policy. Expect to provide your bank information or a debit or credit card. The payment options you have may also vary slightly based on the insurance provider you choose.

Best Cheap Online-Only Auto Insurance

The companies that offer the cheapest online-only auto insurance are:

  • USAA
  • State Farm
  • GEICO
  • Progressive
  • Nationwide
  • Farmers
  • Allstate

It’s important to remember that the cost of your auto insurance will depend on a variety of factors. For example, your driving record, claim history and credit score will all affect your premium. Your age, location and the car you drive will also have an impact. Cars with more safety and security features or newer vehicles tend to lead to lower quotes. Because of this, you should always compare as many car insurance rates as you can to find the best rate, especially if you’re on a budget.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

Based on our expert evaluation, we suggest you consider insurance from GEICO, USAA and Progressive. Each of these providers offers online-only quotes, so you do not have to talk to an agent in person or over the phone to start your policy.

Remember that you can compare car insurance quotes yourself, but the easiest and most accurate way to do so is with a comparison tool, such as our quote box. This is the best way to get cheap car insurance without sacrificing coverage.

GEICO: Best Overall

GEICO earned an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10 in our evaluations. This includes a 9.0 in customer experience, a 9.4 in cost, an 8.5 in coverage and a 9.8 in industry reputation.

Some of the discounts you can get from GEICO include for:

  • Safety equipment
  • Anti-theft system
  • Seat belt use
  • New vehicles
  • Good students
  • Military
  • Multiple policies

USAA: Best Military Provider

USAA earned an overall 9.6 out of 10. This includes a 9.3 in customer experience, a 10.0 in cost, a 9.5 in coverage and a 9.3 in industry reputation.

Some of the stand-out discounts USAA offers include:

  • Multiple vehicles
  • New vehicles
  • Good students
  • Military installations
  • Safe driving
  • Driver training
  • Length of membership

Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers

Like GEICO, Progressive also earned a 9.1 out of 10. The company earned an 8.9 in customer experience, a 9.3 in cost, a 9.0 in coverage and a 9.1 in industry reputation.

If you choose to get an auto insurance policy from Progressive, you may be eligible for the following discounts:

  • Going paperless
  • Teen drivers
  • Multiple cars
  • Good students
  • Online quotes
  • Paying in full
  • Homeowners

FAQ: Online Only Auto Insurance

Can I purchase auto insurance online?

Yes, you can purchase auto insurance online without a problem. Most major auto insurance companies let you complete the entire process online, from getting a quote to paying and receiving confirmation of your coverage.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

For a 35-year-old with a good driving record, our cost estimates show that USAA is the cheapest option. Our team found an estimated average annual cost of $1,013.

What does online insurance mean?

Online insurance simply means that you purchased the policy completely online. You did not have to visit an office in person to get a quote or buy the policy. Nor did you have to talk to an agent over the phone. You provide information, get a quote, choose to accept the quote, pay for insurance, and receive your documents all online.

Is it better to get car insurance online or through an agent?

This somewhat depends on personal preference. Using an agent will save you the time spent comparing auto insurance quotes, but agents tend to only work with a few companies. This can limit your options for car insurance. Getting the insurance online will give you access to more options. This is important as getting more quotes will increase your chance of getting a better rate. There are even online quote comparison tools that make it easy to match up quotes.

Methodology

The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.

We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.