Otto Insurance Review: Is it Legit?

Otto

7.5

Product Rating

7.5/10

Strengths

  • Access to multiple insurance carriers
  • It's free to use
  • You can remove your personal information to avoid solicitation.

Weaknesses

  • Delay in receiving quotes
  • The high number of poor online reviews.
  • Otto is not a direct insurance provider.

Otto Insurance is an online insurance lead generator that uses your personal information to match you with insurance companies that can offer you free quotes. Otto is not a direct insurance provider, nor is it an insurance broker. Therefore, you’ll obtain quotes and policies directly from actual insurance providers.

But Otto is a fairly new company, and there’s not much information about Otto available online, leading many to wonder whether they are legit.

There are also a large number of complaints about Otto appearing online, most of which deal with ongoing solicitations from participating providers.

While this is not unusual for an online insurance marketplace, it’s worth noting. In this Otto review, I’ll explain how the platform works and share the key features, pros and cons, as well as a few Otto alternatives.

Table of Contents
  1. What Is Otto?
  2. How Does Otto Work?
  3. Otto Advantages
  4. Otto Drawbacks
  5. Pros and Cons
    1. Pros:
    2. Cons:
  6. Otto Insurance Alternatives 
    1. SelectQuote
    2. The Zebra
    3. PolicyGenius
  7. FAQs 
  8. Is Otto Legit?

What Is Otto?

Based in Miami Beach, Florida, Otto is an online insurance marketplace that connects users to auto, home, pet, commercial, and life insurance policies

The company claims that you can save more than $500 per year on your car insurance premium. And while Otto doesn’t disclose the number of participating insurance companies, they do indicate policies are provided by Nationwide, Esurance (Allstate), AAA Insurance, Farmers, Mercury Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and American Family.

How Does Otto Work?

Otto claims to have helped over 10 million consumers find the best insurance rates. To obtain a quote, you’ll complete a “free quiz” rather than an application, as is typical of other insurance websites.

Otto will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Zip Code
  • Vehicle age
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Features of your vehicle
  • The name of your current insurance provider
  • Indicate your gender
  • Your marital status
  • Answer: what is your credit score? (Excellent, good, average, poor)
  • Confirm you are a homeowner (or not) – you’ll be offered to bundle a homeowner’s or renter’s policy in either case.
  • Your birthdate
  • Your first and last name
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

You’ll begin receiving quotes when you click the blue “Get Quotes” button. But before proceeding, you might want to read the fine print. Be aware you’ll be providing express written consent to receiving marketing information regarding insurance and related products. This includes automatic telephone dialing systems, artificial and prerecorded calls, SMS/MMS, and emails from both the Otto website and one of its many marketing partners at the phone number and email address you provide.

Otto deals with hundreds of insurance partners. I was also able to identify mortgage providers, financial services companies, web lead services, and many others I was unfamiliar with.

Otto Advantages

Otto is easy to navigate and completely free to use. The information requested in the survey is basic and probably won’t even require you to look up any of your details.

Based on the information provided on the site, you can potentially receive policy quotes from dozens of companies, including some of the largest providers in the country.

One of the major complaints against nearly all online insurance marketplaces – including Otto Insurance – is the sharing of your information with scores of insurance companies, who continue to solicit you months or even years after you buy a policy.

Otto Insurance gives you an opportunity to avoid this outcome. You can email the company at info@ottoinsurance.com and request that your information be erased. That, they indicate, could put an end to emails and phone calls. 

Otto Drawbacks

Otto’s main drawback is the apparent lack of control you have over the number of solicitations you receive, as well as where they come from. As I indicated above, Otto provides a list of hundreds of participating services, many of them not even insurance-related.

And as disclosed in the fine print, you’re essentially giving Otto and its partner firms nearly unlimited ability to solicit you for insurance and other products and services.

The site also makes it abundantly clear that there is no guarantee your efforts on the platform will result in getting coverage from an insurance company. However, this is common with all online insurance marketplaces.

Though Otto also covers life, home, commercial insurance, and pet insurance, it seems to focus mainly on car insurance. The application process for any of the other coverage types is similar to that for car insurance. You’ll complete a survey but provide information very specific to the type of coverage are looking to buy.

If you do choose to purchase auto insurance, the site has emphasized the benefits of bundling coverage with either homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for a discount.

Pros and Cons

The convenience of online insurance marketplaces like Otto is undeniable. They allow you access to multiple insurance providers and receive quotes from a single website, saving you the hassle of having to shop around. But there are drawbacks too. With that in mind, here is my list of Otto pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Access to multiple insurance carriers
  • It’s free to use
  • You can remove your personal information to avoid solicitation.

Cons:

  • Delay in receiving quotes.
  • The high number of poor online reviews.
  • Otto is not a direct insurance provider.

Otto Insurance Alternatives 

If you’re unable to find the right insurance policy through Otto Insurance, there are other platforms where you may find what you’re looking for. 

SelectQuote

SelectQuote is an insurance comparison site that offers quotes for policies from some of the biggest names in the insurance industry. SelectQuote claims you can save 50% on life insurance and hundreds of dollars on auto and home insurance by using their service. You can use SelectQuote to connect with a licensed sales agent who will help you figure out how much life insurance you need. The site also offers renters insurance, small business insurance, and umbrella insurance.

The Zebra

The Zebra is one of the most popular insurance comparison sites in the industry. They offer life, auto, home, renters, pet, and motorcycle coverage, and several policies for commercial and small business insurance. The Zebra’s partners include about a dozen of the largest insurance companies in America.

PolicyGenius

PolicyGenius is one of the most popular online insurance marketplaces online. They work much the same as other platforms, but they also provide guidance from licensed insurance agents, who can help you find the right policy. PolicyGenius offers life, home, auto, and disability insurance policies.

FAQs 

How does Otto Insurance make money?

Like most online insurance marketplaces, Otto Insurance is a lead generation service. When consumers complete an application for an insurance quote, that information is shared with multiple insurance providers. Those providers may pay a fee to the site in exchange for access to the customer base it generates. But if you do purchase an insurance policy through the site, Otto will receive a small fee for the placement.

Who is the CEO of Otto Insurance?

The CEO and owner of Otto Insurance is Joshua Keller. Additional information about Mr. Keller can be found on his LinkedIn profile.

Are online insurance companies legit?

In general, yes. However, it’s important to know that while some of the best online insurance companies are direct providers, others – often the most popular– are online insurance marketplaces. That means they are not insurance companies or even insurance brokers but websites that enable consumers
to shop for policies and connect with companies they want to buy coverage
from.

Learn More About Otto

Is Otto Legit?

Otto Insurance is a legitimate lead-generating website but not an actual insurance company. The site serves as an aggregator, linking applicants with participating insurance companies. You’ll need to check the individual ratings of any company you want to do business with through the site.

At the time of writing, there were no ratings on either Google Play or The App Store for Otto Insurance, and the Better Business Bureau was updating its profile on Otto Insurance. However, it did indicate that Otto Insurance is not rated by the agency. 

Trustpilot gives Otto Insurance a rating of 2.7 out of 5 stars (poor); however, that rating is based on only four reviews. And because Otto isn’t an actual insurance company, there is no listing of Otto Insurance with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

So while Otto is legit, I recommend that you proceed with caution and consider all of your options, including the alternatives listed above, before signing up.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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