Let's do this. It'll take about two minutes. Get your Buzzquote right now. Get it by putting info about your car into our online form. You could quickly find yourself saving $100 or even $400 or $1,000. You can get it on a mobile device or tablet but it will be fastest on a regular old PC or Mac with a keyboard. The details like the make, model, and year of your car are important, so make sure you enter them correctly. Click here to get your free Buzzquote now from our online form.
Or, you can read this essay, right here on this page. Yes: we're suggesting you actually read something long and detailed on the internet. Please note that there will be no games to play; no pictures of furry cats will appear and then disappear on your screen, and you will encounter no celebrities in these pages. We will not be presenting any top-ten lists, infotainment nuggets, or slideshows. This may require some modicum of attention: If you are currently watching American Idol while you're reading this, you may wish to discontinue watching American Idol. We're going to be covering a bit of ground. First, let's set the stage: Wintertime. Anonymous exit off of interstate highway, in the northern Midwest. Parking lot, partially iced over, overlooked by a ten-floor glass and steel structure -- an office building, two-thirds empty, but one-third in utilization by a multi-floor office with actuaries, statisticians, financiers, charts and graphs; serious men and women in grey suits gazing out of wall-sized reflective windows on to the dim, desolate roadways below; crusty coffee machines, filing cabinets, interdepartmental memos, big, heavy handset phones, endless rows of cubicles. Glass and steel. Fluorescent lighting. Out-of-date computers whirring away at ancient, closed-source spreadsheet software. Macros acting up, HR, the faint scent of cigarette smoke brought inadvertently through office air ducts. This is reality. Cave men, lizards, and other stupid stuff -- this is not reality. This is a waste of your time. The big insurance companies want to simplify the complex and politically charged issue of mandatory insurance down to just a few catch phrases and branding elements, so that you'll be confused enough to believe that there is actually a difference between different brands of auto insurance.
Time for the thesis statement: The distinctions, typically made via mass advertising, that big insurance brands attempt to draw between each other, are baldfaced lies. Insurance is a commodity. Other examples of commodities are: grain, gold, oil, silver, electricity, copper, aspirin. Anything where the end product is the same no matter which company you buy it from. Insurance has become commoditized because the marketplace for it is so heavily regulated by state governments, that insurance companies have very, very little leeway in the kinds of services they can actually provide. Each and every detail of the entire auto insurance dance -- from the price of the premiums to the legal responsibilities of drivers who are involved in an accident -- are codified in state law, and if these laws change at all, they do so only at a glacial legislative pace. Even if an insurance company wanted to do something radically different, it would be literally impossible. Again: All auto insurance is the same. Dark, half-filled parking lots. Black ice. The occasional minivan nosing cautiously onto the access road. The handful of companies who have bribed or negotiated their way into position to be able to legally offer you insurance are just trying to maximize revenues while minimizing expenses. Let's translate this: They want to charge you the most that they can for your insurance, while paying out the minimum that they can in the case of an accident. What gets these companies up in the morning is not actually the business of insurance. That business is about as dynamic as a continental shelf. What actually mattters is something called market share: what percentage of the population is using their insurance, as opposed to insurance from another company. And market share is created through the expenditure of billions of dollars, converted from money in the bank (your bank, actually) into billboards, radio spots, tv advertising, sponsorship of the construction of private pools for charming but otherwise untalented residents of Manhattan and Southern California. This money is taken out of your bank account. About $5.9 billion dollars per year, at last count. And so far, you're not doing a damn thing about it. But here's your chance. Fill out the online form to get your Buzzquote, right now. It'll take about two minutes.
Every year, tens of millions of Americans, after years of nonconsensual exposure to endless advertising messages from the biggest insurers, end up doing exactly what they are told to do: In a zombie stupor, lifting their engorged bodies from couches, momentarily taking their eyes off of televisions to pick up the phone or go on the internet, these people go to get only one direct quote from a heavily advertised insurer. Placing themselves carefully into the barrel of capitalism's enormous cannon, in a soft voice, they meekly request for someone to light the fuse. And, not to abuse metaphors, it's a vicious cycle, too, because the more people who are infected with this idiocy -- that a certain brand of insurance is better than another certain brand -- the more direct customers the big companies get, and the more of these customer's money the big companies can turn around to invest in more advertising. It's waste, pure and simple. Sure, a lot of other industries are dependent on advertising to create a market -- nobody, for example, would pay Coca-Cola $2.49 for a liter of sugar water if they hadn't been brainwashed from birth to believe that this was a worthwhile investment. But here is the key difference: Coca-Cola is optional. You don't have to buy it. But auto insurance is not optional, if you want to drive a car. And this is what is so inherently wrong and unfair about the current system: Consumers are being forced to pay not only for auto insurance, but also forced to pay for the marketing and advertising of auto insurance. It can only be compared to communist country, where everyone has their earnings confiscated by the government, and that money is turned directly around in the form of propaganda to be used on and against the populace. It's disgraceful that this is going on here in the United States.
I discovered this situation myself while looking for insurance a few months ago, and it pissed me off to a not inconsiderable degree. And that's what inspired me to put on a bow tie and bring my somewhat pretentious message to the masses. Already the response to my hilarious (or hilariously bad?) videos has been tremendous. My flagship video on YouTube, the one which features pictures of car crashes and other assorted internet stupidity -- has already exceeded six million views, and by the time you read this, it will probably be more. Not everyone likes what we have to say. It's controversial. But this website, and our message, is important. We have both a very boring point to make, that it's simply not fair that auto insurance exists as a broad-based tax across all automobile drivers in the United States, and that such a huge proportion of this tax is taken out either as profit or turned around into more marketing; and also a less boring point: that the politics and aesthetics of insurance advertising are all wrong. The lizards and the cave men and then women in the white rooms are all bullshit. (I think I can say "bullshit", here, right?) We all know what the reality is. The carry-on luggage. The powerpoint presentations, briefcases, the sound of business footwear in day-old slush, the cold but real exigencies of commercial leases. Meetings. Cost vs. Benefit. ROI. We're not radicals. We do believe that some kind of system like auto insurance will be necessary. Driving can be dangerous, and in the case of serious accident, there must be compensation, and few people have the private means to effectively self-insure, such that a person could handle an accident's liability without outside help. But on the other hand, the fact that even the safest drivers -- those who might have been driving for decades without a serious accident -- must pay for the poor driving skills and bad risk assessment of other individuals -- this can't be right.
Our message, which we cover in some detail in our long-form videos, is that technology already offers a solution to this problem. Not everyone will like a smartphone or dashboard computer watching one's driving, and reporting back to an insurer, but on the other hand, if such a system were widely in place, each individual would really hold the key to financial savings directly in his/her own hands. Drive better, follow the law, don't speed, and your premium will go down. Drive worse, and you'll pay the price. This technology, which already exists, clearly offers much more fair way to divide up the costs of automobile liability. In the meantime however, before the technical infrastructure is in place to really properly assign the proper insurance risk to the right drivers, we believe that the best way forward for Americans is to get as many insurance quotes from as many different insurers as possible. As we've described in our video, the big insurance companies want you to waste time -- by watching their meaningless and irrelevant advertising, and by going directly to their websites, so they can lock you into a quote in a noncompetitive context. This can't be the right way to do it. It's obvious that you need to get as many quotes as you can, so the insurance companies can compete for your business. Where to go from here? You can get started with the online form - it'll take about two minutes. Or click here to go to page two.