Online auto quote tools are becoming increasingly robust, a new report from Corporate Insight Inc. finds.

The report, “Auto Quote Tools; Showcasing Rates to New Customers,” analyzed 12 carriers and found that 83 percent provided automobile quote tools on their websites. Corporate Insight evaluated the carriers by three main criteria—the overall layout and inputs of the quote tool, additional features and the final quote page. The tools varied widely in ease of use and depth of available information. Only three insurers, Allstate, State Farm and Progressive receiving an “A” rating.

Sites that reduced the amount of data a user needed to input scored well. “We were interested to find that five firms—Allstate, GEICO, The Hartford, Nationwide and Travelers—pull registered vehicle information after users enter their e-mail address,” the report states. “This feature makes it easy for users to select the cars they would like insured under the policy without the need to manually enter this information.”

The report offers other advice for insurers including: integrating a discounts inputs page that shows users which savings they may be eligible to receive, promoting different pricing options to show a range of insurance packages, import information on all vehicles registered at the entered home address for easy tool completion, offering a save feature for users to access their quote at a later time, and following up with potential customers via e-mail or phone calls from local agents.

“People are more likely to buy automobile insurance from firms they feel will give them the best deal,” said Lauren Wistrom, senior analyst for Property & Casualty Monitor at Corporate Insight. “We were most impressed with the insurance firms that highlighted a number of policies across different pricing levels. This practice lets users know that there are multiple coverage options available to them at one provider.”

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