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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interesting Insurance-Shopping Digression

Every time my insurance policies come up for renewal, it is time for me to make a bunch of phone calls to get quotes from various companies for my insurance needs. It has become a habit for me, but it is a chore because it takes up time, and you have to fend off calls from pushy insurance brokers who won't take no for an answer after I have already made up my mind to go with a competitor.

In recent years, I have shifted more and more of this research online. I have sent emails to brokers asking them to send me quotes by email based on information I provide to them, also by email (I tell them specifically in the email not to call me). I have also used online insurance portals like NetQuote to get quotes from a large number of insurance companies in response to criteria I enter just once.

But every now and then, I still feel the urge to search around for better options. The internet is constantly evolving and yesterday's techniques and tactics don't work today, or so it seems! My latest search for insurance quotes turned up an interesting site that sells insurance online. And by insurance, I mean all types of insurance. They are all offered by this company called Aussie.

Aussie has insurance products that cover all kinds of eventualities. You can get a term life insurance quote for simple life insurance coverage. But you can go beyond that, and also get aussie accident cover or insurance to cover funeral plans, for instance. This is, of course, in addition to other insurance products such as home-owner's and automobile insurance coverage.

All this was quite interesting and well worth considering. So, I thought I had found a new resource in my comparison-shopping quest. Unfortunately, there was one minor hitch (and really, the name should have perhaps clued me on to this right away): Aussie provides financial services, including insurance, only in Australia, to Australians. It took me a bit of research to confirm that I could not use them for my comparison shopping just yet, but who knows, perhaps they will expand into the US market sometime soon too. In the meantime, if you are in Australia, maybe you can use them in your comparison shopping. As for me, it is back to more searching, more emails and more phone calls for me, it looks like!

But it goes to show how the internet has made things more global than anyone could have imagined a mere 15 years back. All you had then was your local yellow pages, and if you found a company in your local yellow pages, they provided services in your area. Now, if you find it on the internet, you have to go through a second step of confirming whether they will actually provide services to you in your geographic location. Maybe it is time for me to unhook from my computer, and go back to my yellow pages again. But wait, does my phone company even send me printed yellow page books anymore? I haven't seen one in such a long time . . .

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