Sad but true, the majority of auto insurance websites on the World Wide Web are not owned, managed or even associated with a Licensed Insurance Agent.
When I launched InsureDirect.com in 1998; there was no such thing of an unlicensed Auto Insurance Web-Site. In those more honest days, an auto insurance shopper really did not need to concern him or herself with sharing their most private personal information, like their Social Security Number with an unlicensed agency or company. It was just unheard of.
In those early days when you clicked on an auto insurance website; 10 times out of 10, you found yourself completing an online form or calling a local or Toll-Free Number for a Licensed Insurance Agency or Insurance Company actually providing auto insurance products and services in the state you reside.
Unfortunately; this licensed insurance agent feels shopping for auto insurance on the World Wide Web is not as safe as it once was. Today, there are more unlicensed auto insurance web-sites claiming they legitimately sell auto insurance than legally licensed websites which actually do.
So; if these auto insurance web sites are not selling auto insurance, what are they selling? Sad to say, but their selling every morsel of information you provide to them. Selling your personal private information on the World Wide Web to large lead selling companies is a lucrative internet business. The majority of these auto insurance websites are merely unlicensed individual website owners collecting and selling your personal information to a larger lead company. Once your information is sold; you can expect phone calls day and night from up to a dozen different insurance agents. Although it’s not illegal, it’s very shady. These sites go to great lengths to fool you into thinking they are insurance companies, agents or brokers. What angers me the most is the extent to which these website owners go to make their auto insurance website appear legitimate. Almost all these unlicensed auto insurance websites displays real auto insurance company logo’s giving them the appearance they sell insurance for those carriers – but they don’t. If that was not enough, many posts customer testimonials on their web-pages which boast how happy they are with the low prices and service they have provided. Not only are these testimonials fake – the people’s names with photos they are using don’t exist either.
Ok, how can I tell between a licensed auto insurance site and one just collecting my personal information in order to sell it? Although there is only one full proof way– there are a few pretty darn sure tell tale signs. The #1 one most glaring way to tell is if an auto insurance web-site is unlicensed -if there is no way to talk to an agent. If you are a legitimate auto insurance company, agent or broker; why would you not post a telephone number so to speak to someone shopping for insurance? An auto insurance domain void of either a local or toll-free phone number to call for an auto insurance quote is a dead giveaway for an unlicensed website. The 2nd easiest way to identify an unlicensed website is its website or domain address. Most of these sites addresses are just plain foolish looking and sounding. You know the sites I’m referring too; sites like car-auto-insurance-deals.com or instantcarinsurancerates4u.com.
Would an insurance company like Progressive, GEICO, Nationwide, Allstate or Travelers ever choose a domain address such as those mentioned above? How about a legitimate insurance agency or Broker like Combined Insurance Group, Ltd. What address lends itself to more creditability. www.insuredirect.com, www.insureAcar.com or www.SuperbestcheapInsuranceRates.com?
Last but not least, the easiest way to identify an unlicensed auto insurance domain is as follows. Every state in the United States of America has a regulatory body called a Department of Insurance. Each State Department of Insurance enforces the rules, regulations and laws for every insurance product in that state. Any licensed insurance company, agent or broker whom maintains a website will most likely have a page or area which displays their Insurance License or licenses when they maintain a statutory presence in multiple states.
Combined Insurance Group, Ltd. which markets Property & Casualty, Life and Health Insurance Products under the Federal Trademark InsureDirect, maintains insurance licenses nationwide. Michael E. Dortch, has been the agency’s President & Managing Agent since 1992 maintains the same insurance licenses in all 50 states.