Finding the right auto insurance company carries the same worry as buying a house: you’re sure you’ll see a better option as soon as you make your choice. It’s usually pointed out by your irritating brother-in-law at dinner, days after you finally made a confident decision. We must avoid this scenario at all costs.
Insurance comparison sites are there to help us mitigate the risk of missing out. Even here, it can be worth playing the field — different comparison sites have different insurance partners. Depending on the site, you may even incur broker fees.
Let’s look at two leading comparison companies: Everquote and Policygenius. We’ll review which offers the best car insurance rates, which is most trusted by its customers, and what types of coverage each platform is best for. Let’s go.
Everquote vs. Policygenius at a glance
|Insurance types||Auto, home, renters, life, health, commercial||Life, home, auto, disability, wills & trusts, renters|
|Main offering||Auto insurance||Life insurance|
|Option to contact a licensed advisor||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile app||EverDrive Safe Driving app (Android & iOS)||Wills & Trusts app (Android & iOS)|
What is Everquote?
Everquote has been around since 2011. It’s the brainchild of Seth Birnbaum and Tomas Revesz, a pair of MIT graduates.
This online insurance marketplace recommends car insurance policies (and other policies) to users by taking their information and comparing it with that of other users stored on its database. Past clients’ preferences are analyzed and used to determine which the best company for you would be.
How does Everquote work?
Acquiring a quote on the site begins with clicking on the type of insurance you’re interested in. If you select home, renter’s or car insurance, you’re taken to a screen where it asks you to enter your ZIP code.
Depending which category you pick, you’ll be taken through a series of relevant questions. In this review, we’re looking specifically at auto insurance, so the questions include:
- The vehicle’s year of manufacture.
- The make and model of the car.
- The vehicle’s trim.
- Whether you own or lease the vehicle, or whether it’s financed.
- Its primary use.
- Its annual mileage.
- The level of coverage you require.
There’s also a note at the top of the screen letting you know how much drivers from your area could save (see below, and no, I’m not buzzing around Beverly Hills in a Chevy Camaro, but 90210 is everyone’s default test account zip code, isn’t it?).
It then asks if you’d like to add a second vehicle, offering a 20% saving. This is appreciable if you live with your partner and own separate vehicles, as 20% is quite significant for an annual policy.
There are more questions about your driving record, current insurance company, etc., as you’d expect from any car insurance broker or provider. You’re also asked things like “do you own or rent your home,” and subsequently whether you’d like to receive accompanying home insurance or renter’s insurance.
Finally, you’re directed to submit your personal information such as name, date of birth, home address, and email address. The website sign-up is fairly straightforward — the big drawback is that when you select one company from the options provided, you have to enter your data again on the insurer’s website.
Everquote is free to use — it makes its money by partnering with insurance companies. A downside is that you won’t receive a quote on the comparison site itself. You have to click through to the insurer’s website to view an insurance policy.
Furthermore, its “profile” model means that rather than giving you the best price, it gives you the most popular option among people who match your profile. This can make it difficult to sift through the most affordable options.
So is Everquote a good service for finding car insurance providers? Below are a couple of its key features.
Referrals by relevance
As you answer questions, the site builds a profile of what type of driver you are. This is based on your location, your personal information (e.g., gender, marital status, whether you’re a homeowner), and the type of insurance you’re looking for. Someone searching primarily for collision coverage will be directed to companies that other customers with the same basic coverage preferred.
An issue with this process of buying insurance is that it’s based on Everquote’s limited pool of user data. It assumes that past clients have researched their options thoroughly before they buy insurance.
You’d expect the comparison tool to optimize for the lowest price, but that’s not the case. So, if Liberty Mutual is your cheapest option but other users haven’t insured themselves through Liberty Mutual, it likely won’t recommend it.
Providing leads for the insurance company
The site provides multiple quotes, but makes its money through lead generation for the insurer. Its process involves storing your data and, according to claims from some past clients, remarketing it to other insurers even if you’ve already found your best policy. The screenshot below is an example of these claims about the company from the most recent reviews on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) page.
So that’s not great.
What is Policygenius?
Policygenius was founded in 2012 by Jennifer Fitzgerald, who formerly advised struggling insurance companies in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Policygenius is a comparison platform specializing in helping clients compare life insurance, but also offers car insurance quotes, health insurance, and home insurance, amongst other things.
How does Policygenius work?
The process of finding how much car insurance will cost you is similar to the Everquote process, with the same questions (I used the same details for my sample account).
I found that Policygenius works by offering applicable discounts on bundles, rather than coverage options for separate insurance types. This means that unless you bundle your auto insurance with buying home insurance, you’ll be directed out to other sites to obtain a quote direct from the company.
This makes it more or less the same as Everquote — even if it’s helping you save money, it might not save you time.
You don’t pay to use Policygenius. The company you’re buying insurance from pays Policygenius for referrals.
While Policygenius seems to focus more on getting you the best prices, it works with a limited number of insurance providers. Besides life insurance, its main offering is providing available discounts on combined auto insurance and home insurance policies.
So is Policygenius cost-effective, and should you shop for car coverage here? Below are some key features of the company.
The company isn’t affiliated with any insurers, so you won’t receive paid results when you search for car coverage. You’ll be offered the best coverage for your money drawn from the pool of companies the site works with.
Personal car insurance costs advice for customers
If you’d like to compare car insurance quotes in more detail, customers can call and ask to speak to an adviser to compare premiums.
Numerous insurance options offered
Health, home, and life insurance are all available on the company website alongside car insurance. You can shop for the best price and look for any eligible discounts or bundles.
If you’re interested in buying life coverage through Policygenius, you can also check out our handy life insurance calculator.
Everquote or Policygenius: which is best for car insurance coverage?
Each company offers a fairly similar service. The sign-up process is also somewhat similar, with neither company offering real-time quotes on the website unless it’s sought as part of a bundle.
This means that you may pay less for your home and car insurance combined, but if you only want to insure your car, you’ll be directed to a separate company website.
What does each company offer?
Everquote is primarily an auto insurance company and Policygenius states that life coverage is its main offering.
However, it’s presumably the range of insurers they work alongside in these respective fields that makes them advertise these as their “main services.” For example, Everquote doesn’t appear to offer any special packages for new cars or certain types of clients.
Which is better for auto insurance customers?
The customer experience is also similar — both companies offer calls with licensed insurance advisers, which is good to note.
Which has a better reputation?
Everquote has a B rating on the BBB website, which is below average. It also has an average score of 1.06/5 in terms of customer reviews on this page.
By comparison, Policygenius scores a B+ rating, which is still not ideal. Its reviews are much better, though, with customers scoring it 4.67/5 on average.
Policygenius seems to receive significantly fewer complaints from past clients that the company is re-selling their information to partner companies as leads. Both companies have had reviews suggesting that this happens, but you should note:
- Everquote has a much higher volume. Of reviews on the BBB first page, all were one-star as of May 2022. This is compared with only one one-star review and otherwise all five-star ratings on the Policygenius page as of the same date.
- Policygenius went to the trouble of answering its negative review, which can’t be said for Everquote.
Furthermore, Everquote has a rating of 2.1/5 on Trustpilot, while Policygenius scores 4.8. Policygenius is once again noted as a far more responsive company than Everquote.
In terms of company reputation, Policygenius has a distinctly superior performance. Past clients have repeatedly reported that Everquote stored their account information and remarketed it to insurance companies, sometimes years after the last time they searched for a car insurance quote.
The user experience for both sites is straightforward and approachable. They’re well-designed for shoppers looking for price comparisons across multiple insurance types, as this appears to be where they offer their best discounts and bundles.
Pros & cons
- Straightforward process. Entering information on the Everquote website is simple.
- Good site design. The site has an attractive, easy-to-use layout.
- Wide variety of options. Choose from between many companies.
- Intuitive profile recommendations. Get recommendations based on clients like you.
- Free to use. The site charges no broker fees.
- Qualified help available. You can call a licensed insurance adviser.
- Limited recommendations. You have to trust that clients matching your profile preferred the cheapest options.
- Poor BBB rating. The B rating isn’t the best.
- Poor customer reviews. Customers have complained about the platform remarketing their information.
- Multiple insurance options. Choose between life, home, auto, health insurance, and more.
- Good reviews. Reviews for this site are mostly positive.
- Expert advice. Call a licensed adviser to learn more about partner companies.
- Free to use. The site doesn’t charge any broker fees.
- Well-designed website. It’s easy to navigate through the site.
- Mediocre BBB rating. B+ isn’t a great score.
- Redirects to other sites when purchasing a single policy. You have to re-enter your information on an external site to obtain a quote.
Final thoughts and verdict
These platforms both offer policies from a wide variety of insurance companies. This makes it easier to choose a policy that suits your needs and is affordable.
The main distinction is that Policygenius receives higher consumer ratings and appears more responsive than Everquote. I would consider customer reviews before making a judgment about which platform is best for comparisons.
Featured image: Bordovski Yauheni/Shutterstock.com