Okay, not really, but I thought of the malevolent computer from the science fiction classic 2001 when I tried renewing the insurance on Ms. Ktnomics' Vespa earlier. It may be quicker mailing in the $23 than resetting my password on the insurance company's site.
It also reminded me we've all been seeing a lot more commercials recently for online auto insurance providers stressing their really low premium costs. Recently about one in five new auto insurance sales has taken place entirely on the Internet, according to JDPower.com, the nation's premier tallier of everything automotive.
Online seller Progressive Direct is the 7th biggest carrier in Kansas and 11th largest in Missouri, though giants State Farm, Allstate, Geico and Farm Bureau have more than half the market in both states. The big companies work the web too, but in coordination with brick and mortar stores that online providers like eSurance and Insurance 21 shun entirely.
Someone is selling enough low cost, no frills auto insurance to help pull premium costs down from levels earlier this year, though we are still paying more than a year ago. How good is it? As always, it depends on the specific company. Asking your friends and checking complaint reports filed with regulators is still a good move.
And while you are driving, watch out for drivers who are trying super hard - and illegally - to save money. Maybe one driver in six currently on the road might be driving without a license, the Insurance Research Council estimates.
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