Launched in Silicon Valley back in 1999, Esurance is a customizable, do-it-yourself provider of vehicle, homeowners, and renters insurance, as well as life, health, pet, and business insurance, among others. Esurance competes with other digital-age insurance companies such as Geico and Progressive. A subsidiary of Allstate, Esurance sells car insurance directly to consumers online and by phone. Its services are offered in at least 40 U.S. States. The company’s official website welcomes about a million unique visitors each month.

Esurance currently has about 850,000 policies in effect. The company is represented by more than 25,000 employees occupying 16 offices nationwide.

In terms of total revenue, Esurance reported more than a billion dollars for 2012, placing it ninth among American auto insurance companies, as it holds roughly 3 percent of the total market share. In terms of consumer reviews, Esurance came in second on a recent list of the top ten best auto insurance companies in the U.S. based on affordability, value of services, and customer support.

The average annual cost of car insurance paid in the United States was $907.38 in 2014, according to a study commissioned by Quadrant Information Services. Esurance remains highly competitive in its premium rates, as paperless insurance carriers have low overhead costs. This can mean reduced rates for policy holders.

However, Esurance is technically is not a car insurance company, but an insurance provider. They are a group of underwriters who originate car insurance premium packages. Once originated, your auto insurance policy will be sold to an actual car insurance company, such as Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, State Farm, or Travelers. Like any other car insurance company, Esurance agents seem to be looking for the insurance package that best fits your needs, but their intention is, of course, to sell you insurance.

The important thing to keep in mind when buying do-it-yourself insurance is that you have to do it yourself. Scrutinize your policy before signing it, to remain aware of all that is covered and all that is not. For your convenience, Esurance offers 24/7 customer support, and helps customers create their own insurance packages with a number of interactive tools.

For example, CoverageMyWay™ helps vehicle owners make smarter choices regarding the details of coverage needed for particular policyholders. Esurance also makes it easy to compare several insurance quotes side by side. There’s even an Esurance mobile app to help you manage your policy.

Other Esurance benefits include flexible payment options and numerous discount opportunities. Among the available discounts offered by Esurance are multi policy discounts, paid in full discounts, and the Switch & Save discount for switching to Esurance from another insurance company. You can save up to 10 percent on annual premiums by qualifying for any of the above mentioned discounts. You can also save up to 25 percent on a Claim Free discount, for going five full years without an at-fault accident, DUI, or moving violation. Finally, save up to 15 percent on a Pac-12 Discount, available to graduates of any of the following schools:

University of Arizona
Arizona State University
University of California at Berkeley
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Oregon
Oregon State University
Stanford University
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of Southern California (USC)
University of Utah
University of Washington
Washington State University

As with any other insurance company, your best plan of action is to get a lot of free online quotes from various insurance websites, and call the number shown there to speak to an agent. Ask about available discounts, compare offers, and choose whichever company works best for you.