Avoid Scams and Ripoffs when purchasing insurance

Anybody can buy insurance online. But can you buy it safely? The answer is yes although there are a few basic concepts that you must adhere to. There's no reason you can't find the policy you want at an affordable price.

Most importantly, the website must be reputable and preferably based in the state where you reside. So...how do you know if a website is reputable? Complete contact information must be prominently shown on the front page. This should include a live working phone number along with an email address and possibly physical address information. If this information is not provided, you should probably move on to a different website.

Another important factor is "how" you find the website. The most effective method to find the type of information you are looking for is to "search" for the specific term. As an example, if you are looking for an Ohio health insurance quote, searching for that term  in Google or one of the large search engines, will yield many results.

Typically, the top three or four websites (not including the ads at the top of the page) are reputable and will provide useful and current information. Working with a broker that has at least 20 years of experience is highly recommended.

Generally, you should be able to request and receive a hard copy of your quote sent to you in the mail. If you are informed that you cannot receive specific details in writing before the purchase, it may be wise to find another website. Usually, you should also be able to view policy information online either through a link that is provided or somewhere on the website that you are working with.

Paying an insurance bill or premium online is generally very safe. However, you should never be required to pay an upfront premium just to view a quote or to have access to policy information. If this occurs, it is time to work with another broker and/or website. For instance, a health care website should never require you to pay a fee before you commit to buying a policy.

Policy fees should also be monitored. While occasionally there is a small application fee, your broker should never charge you a separate fee. Certain "discount health insurance" plans contain large fees as much as $200. These plans should usually be avoided.

Finally, it may be a good idea to think about and possible further research the information you are provided. Impulse buying can lead to the wrong product being purchased. By checking with your personal physician, you can often verify that the health insurance policy you are purchasing included your provider in the Network. For auto insurance purchases, the State Department Of Insurance in your state can provide information on the company.