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Getting Auto Rates OnlineIs More Difficult Than Ever

In our latest adventure seeking out auto insurance coverage online, we discovered changes that portend both good news and bad news for consumers.

The good news is that while our last two online surveys showed online auto quotes varying by as much as 300 percent on the same risk, our latest survey found that number had dropped to 188 percent. Where our survey published in March of this year found a $1,700 difference between the lowest and highest online quotes, the current research revealed a difference of “only” $768–still formidable for most auto insurance buyers, but apparently less so than in the past.

The bad news, however, is twofold. First, it seems there are just fewer places to get quotes online, and even the aggregators provided only a minimal number of options. Second, if you go directly to an insurers Web site, chances are you wont get a quote at all. In fact, of the five insurer Web sites we visited, only two would provide quotes.

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