After entering basic information in on a car insurance website, sometimes an amazing, impossible quote comes back. So little per month for a complete coverage package seems almost too good to be true. Sadly, sometimes, these super cheap car insurance policies really are just that: too good to be true. There are a few things to be aware of when generating insurance quotes. These warning signs that may indicate that a policy might not be all it purports to be.

Low Ball Estimates

The most common way cheap auto insurance scams get customers is to offer a policy that is so low, no one else can afford to compete with them. They do this to get customers to commit to a plan that the company will later change. They may charge more in deductibles or refuse coverage completely. Comparison shop to help identify these potential low-ballers. If the major car insurance companies are all quoting a similar amount and one sticks out as incredibly low, then chances are good that the super cheap car insurance company can’t really afford that rate, and will either refuse to pay up in the event of an accident, or will add on fees later.

Low Quote with No Information

Likewise, many online companies will allow individuals to enter in very basic information, such as their state, car model and year, and the driver’s age, and will return a very low and reasonable car insurance quote. This very low number may seem like the perfect deal, but chances are good that it is not the final estimate. Insurers usually need much more information including a complete driving record before they can render an accurate insurance estimate. If the company quotes a very low number at first, they are more likely to add on additional and often unnecessary costs to the quote later.

Unprofessional Websites

Sometimes scam websites with super cheap car insurance can be easy to spot. They have poor spelling and bad grammar or their website has a number of dead end links. These can be immediate red flags for unreliable car insurance sites. However, even scam sites can provide a polished and professional veneer that hides a shady and unreliable company. Using common sense with too-good-to-be-true deals can help individuals avoid a number of opportunistic websites, but that isn’t always enough. Use online rating sites such as Yelp to verify the company is legitimate. Check out car insurance websites and search for reviews; one or two bad experiences may mean nothing, but anything more can indicate an unreliable company.

Lack of Verifiable Contact Information

Sometimes those really cheap auto insurance websites are nothing more than phishing scams. They may ask for a lot of personal information to generate a quote, but after the initial quote they will not follow up. They may take the personal information they gathered and sell it to third parties such as advertisers. To avoid this scam, check for detailed follow up information on the website and verify that information with the Better Business Bureau. Phone numbers and email addresses alone are not enough to prove a legitimate business; anyone can set these up for advertising and information gathering purposes. Unless you are familiar with the company, always verify contact information.

Unfortunately, there are car insurance companies out there more than willing to take advantage of potential customers. The best way to avoid them is to always remain vigilant and confirm the company’s reputation (i.e. visit the Better Business Bureau).