Everything Old is New. Not Really.

I read it on social media so it must be true.  EverQuote is the new tech darling. There it was, highlighted in trending stories on my screen.  Occupying that coveted real estate in the top right column.  As all New York Times readers know, the place your eye naturally goes first. The ad very alluring, and just one click…so much easier than turning the page of the paper beast and trying to tame it.  I clicked through; score DoubleClick.

Apparently, young hot entrepreneurs have broken the insurance industry malaise with the founding of EverQuote.  As a first time car buyer, after leasing for 16 years (who doesn’t love a new car every three years?) I was up to the task, engaging my finely honed analytical skills and googleness.   I researched and read reports.  Multiple test drives on multiple vehicles were involved.  I chose a car.   

Next, find insurance.  I was like Henry Hudson navigating upstream.  I sprung into action.  Armed with one of my favorite lines from the iconic movie Fried Green Tomatoes as our heroine looses her parking spot at Piggly Wiggly and smacks into the car that zipped into her spot:  “I’m older and I have more insurance”.   My 40 year clean driving record would do the talking for me.  And then the fun began.

1.  Call Who You Know

I called my current company who couldn’t manage to get my car registered in a new state.  After three trips to the RMV – I sent my insurer a bill.  The email is still unanswered.  The featured picture is the document highlighted by the RMV worker on the mistakes made by my insurance company.  Sadly, this is the third document with just as many green highlights. 

My refund of $3.32 promptly arrived.  It doesn’t make up for the over $700 dollars a year more I paid because the insurance company couldn’t distinguish between state rules; or correctly fill out a routine RMV form.  Thanks, Travelers, I enjoyed that red umbrella for 23 years.  No more.

2.  Go Local – They Have Office Hours and Keep Them

Living in the boondocks has perks.  You never pay for parking and get a spot right in front every time. My banker, insurance agent, plumber and barista are all truly serviced focused, extremely competent and take care of  any issues on the spot.  Let’s be honest there are always issue but. addressed on the spot, amazing.

In a small town, you will share friends, see each other at the market, post ofifce and town events.  No one wants stress.  We are civil and all agree we want each other to be happy and have a good experience. Thanks Wheeler&Taylor, you now have my business.

3.  Engage in the National American Past-time of  Shoppers Regret.  Enter EverQuote

Sexy and seductive, a cute bot sticking out from the sign up boxes, nicely done.  My head whirling. Why did I find this the week after I bought insurance?  Thinking like a true American, I’ll just get a quick comparison so I can really regret my well-researched decision. 

I start entering my info.  Two screens in I decide it’s too onerous.  I make the emotionally sound decision to be happy with the process I just went through.  After all I did compare quotes from five companies and analyze coverage options.  My process was good, ergo my results should be good.  Besides, I am not giving out my email.  I know where that goes.  I abandon EverQuote and the second favorite American past time.   

4.  Figure out Its the Same Old Same Old.  

On my commute home, I receive a perfectly timed call from a local number.  Unsuspectingly I pick up.  A pleasant woman was calling me from EverQuote to see if she could help me with my automobile insurance needs.  I was driving and just a little curious, so I proceeded.  I congratulated her on working for a “disruptor”.  Disruptor, the word that had spurred me to click through the first time.  She replied “we don’t have that product”.  A red flag?

Had I entered my phone number prior to quitting the EverQuote application ?  I don’t recall doing so.  I rarely give the right number because I know where that goes.  It could have happened in the early stages of the application when I was gunho .  I was eager and they got me.

The same questions I had abandoned on the website were asked.  Too quickly she said, “I have the perfect insurer for you”.  Click, click and I was transferred to the Mutual Insurance Agency.  Barely a few more questions and I was provided with my competitive quote.   Deja vu?  Was Travelers on the line?  I politely declined and matter of fact said:  “I currently pay $700 annually less. Please do not call me again”.  I received several more emails, as well as a few additional phone calls from EverQuote over the next several days.   

What’s Next:

A little disappointment.   I always root for the underdog and had sincerely hoped that EverQuote was a true disrupter, like my favorite car service VIA, that does make my life easier.  But alas, just another call list and email spam I have to block.  Lesson learned.  Curiosity really does kill the cat, or your time at the very least.  

 

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