Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn unveiled a website allowing Delaware consumers to compare auto insurance rates from more than 50 companies on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006.
The site, www.compare.delawareinsurance.gov, gives users the ability to contact companies they are interested in after they view rate comparisons.
Denn said the site is the most comprehensive state insurance department comparison tool in the country, using almost 400 sample customer profiles to illustrate auto insurance rate comparisons.
The site offers sample rates for every part of the state, broken down by zip code, something that is rare among state insurance sites. And the ability to contact companies directly to request a personalized quote is something that is exclusive to Delaware.
"The rate comparisons Delaware consumers will see on this website reinforce the advice we constantly give, which is to shop around when searching for auto insurance,” Commissioner Denn said. “For most of the sample customer profiles shown, the difference in rates among the companies is thousands of dollars a year.”
Consumers choose a sample profile by selecting minimum or a more standard coverage package; the type of driver, including single man or woman or married couple; one of a few sample ages; a sample annual mileage level; one of four sample driving record choices; a sample vehicle from a small list of choices; and their zip code.
After reviewing rate comparisons for the sample profile they have chosen, Delaware consumers can check a box next to one, a few or all of the companies to generate an email to those companies requesting a personalized quote. Each company will determine how it handles the consumer requests.
The new website shows rates for sample customer profiles because insurance companies use dozens of factors specific to each individual to determine auto rates. But unlike other state insurance sites that use 10 or fewer sample profiles, the Commissioner’s website uses 388 combinations of coverage level, driver type, age, mileage, driving record and vehicle to compare rates, allowing consumers to select a profile much closer to their situation.
And unlike insurance company comparison sites that only show rates from 3 or 4 companies, the new Delaware site compares rates from more than 50 companies that offer auto insurance coverage in the state.
Other information available on the comparison website includes:
- A list of auto insurance discounts available from each company;
- The rating of financial strength for each company, as determined by the independent rating agency A.M. Best; and
- A link to the websites of many companies, with a link to find a local agent for others.
The web application is scheduled to include homeowners insurance rates are scheduled to be added next, in spring 2007.
Commissioner Denn said the rate comparison website should be of benefit to both consumers - who will be able to view sample rates from companies they might not have known to check -- and for companies -- which will gain exposure to consumers they might not have otherwise reached.