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Car Insurance: Should you use those comparison quote sites?

Consumer Reports looks at the trade-offs for the time-saving convenience.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Every now and again, it’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance, but it can be tedious and time-consuming. Quote comparison sites might seem like the perfect solution — enter all your info just once and get a bunch of quotes in a matter of minutes. Simple, right? Well, maybe not. 

“Some of these sites, while yes, will save you time, and that’s great -there are some out there that will take your personal information and sell it — so you need to be careful," said Margot Gilman, Consumer Reports Editor,

First, check to see if the quote-comparison site is licensed to even sell insurance in your state and offer you real quotes —to find out, contact your state’s insurance commissioner's office.

To make sure your information doesn’t get sold to a marketing company or data broker, be sure to check the company’s terms of service and privacy policy.

"Reading all the legalese on these pages can make your head spin, so Consumer Reports recommends you do a word search on the page. Look for terms like, 'sell' and 'share'," said Gilman. 

Also, be prepared for lots of emails, calls, and texts from the insurance companies that provide quotes. You can usually opt out, but often the companies don’t make it easy to do so.

And finally - since not all major insurance carriers will show up on quote comparison sites, it’s a good idea to get some direct quotes from them as well.

Consumer Reports car insurance ratings can help identify insurers that have the best customer service, coverage, and the lowest premiums.


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