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The good news is that online auto insurance rates overall seem to be lower than in previous years. The bad news is that the percentage of variation between high and low quotations given to online buyers has expanded over the last two years. In what would have to be called an unsettling trend, National Underwriter’s 2008 online auto insurance shopping survey has revealed a widening price gap between low and high quotations that is sure to cause even more vexation to those who try to buy insurance on the Web.

In this year’s online auto insurance shopping excursion, a total of seven quotes for the same coverage on the same vehicle varied by more than $339 for a six-month payment. Although that figure was significantly down from the $450 gap we found last year–with both the low and high quotes being lower in 2008–the percentage of variance was actually higher.

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