A few months ago, with a heavy heart, I got rid of my old vehicle. It was very emotional. The tow truck driver came by and hauled it off to a local junkyard and I kept singing the Neil Young song “Long May You Run” in my head (it’s about his car.) The decision was based on cold, hard cash: my newer vehicle was more fuel efficient, and, I assumed, cheaper when it came to insurance because is was newer and nicer. Imagine my surprise when my insurance rates went up. So much for being a responsible, “green”-minded consumer!
Of course, the insurance hike wouldn’t have kept me from buying a new car, but it underscored the bizarre complexity of the auto insurance world. There doesn’t seem to be any logic behind it. And the word “insurance,” after all, is a loaded one: drivers have to worry about collision, liability, comprehensive insurance – the list goes on. And if you weren’t confused enough, all of this stuff varies state-by-state (remember that lecture on “federalism” from civics class?)
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one site that compiled all this information – insurance rates, quotes, legal requirements, and then some – across all 50-states? Well (you probably have a hunch by now) there is. It’s called CarInsuranceCalculator.info. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s our featured start-up on this fine day.
CarInsuranceCalculator.info provides three key services. One, it provides a car insurance calculator to get instant auto insurance quotes online from trusted carriers in your area. Two, it lets drivers learn about car insurance companies and their ratings in the info center and discover how to calculate car insurance rates by reading trough the different factors used to determine premiums. And three, it lets drivers get the latest auto insurance news on CarInsuranceCalculator.info’s blog.
So let’s cut to the chase; namely, how the calculator lets drivers shop around for the best rates possible. On the home page, in the upper-left hand corner, I typed in my zip code and was taken to a page where I could enter my vehicle details: vehicle year, make, model; leased or owned; primary use, daily mileage, and annual mileage. Then I entered the type of coverage wanted, deductible, etc., as well as driver information, including credit rating, occupation, and past history of accidents. Lastly, I enter my contact information. Upon hitting enter, I was taken to a page which provided instant quotes from various insurance companies based in my state. Easy! I was able to shop around, tweak my requirements, and find the best deal available.
Now one thing we like to do here at Slapstart is address the elephant(s) in the room as they apply to any given start-up. So we know what you’re thinking: “Don’t other sites, like, say, Progressive, allow you to ‘shop around’ for auto insurance quotes too?” And our answer is, “Yes, but not all of these sites are the same” for the simple reason of good ol’ fashioned incentives. Call us cynical, but we find it hard to believe that an insurance company would voluntarily and happily send you and your hard earned dollars to a competitor. (Or to look at it another way, when you go to the check-out aisle at Wal-Mart, do they say, “Actually, thanks and everything but you should go to Target instead.”) We’re not saying it doesn’t happen, but wouldn’t it be easier to put your faith in an objective third-party with no direct financial incentive? Like, say, CarInsuranceCalculator.info?
That’s what CarInsuranceCalculator.info provides: objective calculations whereby it acts like your own personal broker. Throw in the fact that you can learn about how to reduce your premiums by studying different types of insurance or by checking out their info center, and we’re talking some serious money saved. (For example, as a fan of astrology, I learned that auto insurance premiums, contrary to what I thought, were not influenced by the the outer extremes of Mercury’s path cross the orbits of both Saturn and Neptune.)
Oh, and did we mention it’s free?
So that’s what CarInsuranceCalculator.info can do. What it can’t do, unfortunately, is help you deal with the emotional trauma of getting rid of your old vehicle. It can’t stop the tormented dreams, the emptiness, and the occasional tears. So that’s our recommendation for version 2.0: some functionality to let you chat with an online therapist. Lord knows I could have used it.