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Online insurance marketplaces

Whether you're ready to buy a policy or simply want to do some comparison shopping, these sites can help.

InsWeb: This publicly traded company provides instant quotes from more than 40 highly rated carriers. Cool feature: You can save your input data for future searches and migrate it to search across insurance types. Quotes available on auto, health, home, home warranties, renters, recreational vehicles, term life and watercraft coverage.

NetQuote: Started in 1989, NetQuote provides a maximum of five quotes from a pool of 5,000 participating agents and 100 insurance companies. Selected carriers then quote you directly via e-mail, fax or phone. Offers quotes on auto, business, health, home and life insurance.

QuickQuote: Founded in 1995 and purchased four years later by Dutch-owned ING, QuickQuote offers comparable instant quotes from highly rated carriers. Cool features: a staff case manager oversees your application through processing and licensed agents are available via a toll-free number between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Offers quotes on auto, dental, health, term life, travel and vision coverage.

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Insurance.com: Acquired in 2003 by auto marketplace ComparisonMarket, Insurance.com provides quotes on 11 insurance categories from a select group of insurance carriers and strategic partners. You can purchase a policy through Insurance.com's toll-free number. Offers quotes on auto, dental, home, home warranty, health, life, long-term care, pet, recreational vehicles, travel and watercraft insurance.

Insure.com: Insure.com Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Quotesmith.com Inc. Founded in 1984, Quotesmith is a publicly traded company that offers instant quotes from more than 300 insurers. Use the company's toll-free number to buy directly. Quotes available on auto, dental, health, home, life, rental and travel coverage.

iLeads: Founded in 1996 and partially owned by First American Financial, iLeads offers insurance quotes to consumers and sells consumer leads to insurance agents. Cool feature: An extensive online library covering the gamut of insurance issues. Offers quotes on auto, disability, health, home and life policies.

IntelliQuote: This online insurance agency offers quotes on its core product, term life. It partners with carriers to quote coverage for auto, disability, health, home and long-term care insurance.

eHealthInsurance: Founded in 1997, eHealthInsurance is the online king of health-related coverage, offering quotes and side-by-side comparison on policies from more than 140 carriers. Cool feature: Licensed help available via toll-free number, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

All Quotes Insurance: All Quotes Insurance plays matchmaker between your criteria and hundreds of prescreened insurers. Quotes are delivered via fax or e-mail within 24 hours. Cool feature: One-stop comparison shopping for hard-to-quote business policies. Offers quotes on auto, business, disability, health, home and life insurance.

Quote Monster: More of a marketplace of marketplaces than an actual quote site, Quote Monster steers you to a short list of quote generators where you can hunt for the best terms and rates. Offers quotes on auto, health, home and life policies.

Jay MacDonald is a contributing editor based in Mississippi.

-- Updated: Oct. 18, 2004

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Handy Tools

Clickable map: Find your state insurance regulator

Understanding insurance lingo
Health insurance terms
 
How much life insurance do I need?
Term vs. permanent
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