Online insurance quotes are quick, and convenient, but there are times when you want to talk to an insurance agent. Agents are able to offer advice about what coverage you need, and how much of each one you should buy. Online quotes can only take the information you put on the form and get a quote, not look at points that are costing you more than they are worth.
Agents and online car insurance quotes will both help you find the discounts that you are eligible for, but an agent can make suggestions that an online quote cannot. For instance, a free online insurance quote will check your zip code to find out what crime in your neighborhood is like, but it cannot talk to you about where you park your car, the type of roads you drive on most frequently, and other aspects of your policy that could be affected by where you live and how you drive.
Insurance agents can work with you to help customize your policy, but filling out an online form can only act on the information you provide. In fact, speaking directly with an agent probably means that the agent is using an online car insurance quote, but the agent is discussing all of the options with you as she fills out the form, and she knows more about what you may or may not need than you might. Being able to talk to a person about your specific insurance needs may be an important way to save money, but it probably is not necessary for everyone.
On the other hand, using an online car insurance quote yourself is convenient. You can shop for insurance in the middle of the night, on holidays or even during your morning break at the office. If your priority is to find insurance that is affordable and convenient, using a quote and comparison service online may be a much better idea than scheduling a portion of your day around speaking directly with an insurance agent or broker.