The internet is all about information and, more critically, the ability to compare facts, data, and information from several different sources quickly and efficiently.
Arguably, as a direct result of this simple fact, nobody has felt the effects of a potential customer’s ability to find, check, and compare such data more than companies trying to sell services (as opposed to products) online.
Unlike a physical product, a service is not tangible; you cannot pick it up, feel it, or touch it. Thus, a service provider needs to supply the maximum amount of information because the more information the potential customer has, the more confident he is likely to be when making the purchase decision.
What better way to do this than via the worldwide web?
A perfect example of this is the automobile or car insurance marketplace. In the past, if you wanted to get the most competitive quotation for your car insurance, you had to “shop around” by trudging from one insurance broker’s or company’s office to another or getting on the telephone to do the same thing.
The problem with this was that it was often difficult, if not impossible, to know whether you were truly comparing like with like. There were (and, to a large extent, still are) so many potential variations from one company’s policy to another that it was almost impossible to know whether the two policies that you were comparing really did offer identical levels of protection and benefits.
This was not always a bad thing. For example, all car insurance companies tend to “load” the premium (i.e., charge extra) for “young drivers” to be included on a policy, which can be bad news for parents using the family car to teach their son or daughter to drive. However, Company “A” may define a young driver as someone below the age of 18, whereas Company “B” will use a threshold of 21 years of age.
If your child was 19, the chances are that Company “A” will be your best bet in these circumstances.
In other words, in the old days, it was absolutely necessary to “read the small print” to avoid ending up with an automobile insurance policy that really did not meet your requirements, although it appeared at first as if it did.
Coming right back up to the present day, while the small print is still extremely important, the internet has effectively ensured that it is no longer so small! It is now possible to make meaningful and accurate comparisons of exactly what two companies are offering with their car insurance policies at the touch of a button.
You are still “shopping around,” but you are doing it at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home.
In this way, the internet has made finding the best car insurance a far less stressful business than it was in the past and has also guaranteed that the policy you buy is absolutely the most suitable for your own circumstances.
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