In a tough economy auto insurance companies must prove their worth to customers to retain their business. Great customer service, easier claim filing and using technology to make the consumers life easier are selling points many insurance companies use. When technology collides with auto insurance companies, things can be faster, easier and cheaper. Here are a few ways insurance companies are making technology work in their favor.

Smart Phone Applications

Insurance companies have found ways to connect with customers using smart phone applications and technology. Many insurance companies have social media pages where customers can chat, raise concerns and earn prizes and discounts. The social media sites like Facebook and twitter have applications for most smart phones in the United States and in International markets.

Insurance companies are also using technology via smart phones to record driving data to give customers discounts for good safe driving. State Farm has a drive safe and save program, which gives its customers, discounts for installing an application on their smart phones. The application uses GPS technology to record driving data. The data is used to determine auto insurance rates.

Driving Monitors

Some insurance companies are asking customers to volunteer to use a driving monitor in order to lower rates. A driving monitor is a device installed on the driver’s side interior that monitors speed, mileage and how often a vehicle is used. Progressive insurance company is using the monitors for its customers. They allow those not interested to opt out of using the device.

Online Auto Insurance companies

Some cheap car insurance companies are using technology to run the entire company. Online insurance giant Esurance is exclusively online. Customers have to get quotes on the company’s website and can sign up without ever speaking to an agent. Agents are available for online chat and in cases where issues or technical support is needed; customers can dial a phone number.

Another company that promotes buying policies online is Geico. Many people may recognize the company from its marketing campaigns on television. People can buy home and auto insurance exclusively online. Once a policy is purchased, the insurance papers can be emailed to the customer, downloaded and printed with no waiting for the mail. Geico. has limited agents for those who prefer the old fashioned way to sign up.

Text Messages

Some car insurance companies are protecting themselves and customers by sending text messages of important weather alerts to customer cell phones. Customers can voluntarily opt into text messages or opt out. Using technology in this manner can cut back on accidents, spin outs and excessive customer claims. It also keeps drivers safe and give them the opportunity to avoid a potentially hazardous driving situation.

Communicating with dealerships and mechanics

Many insurance companies use electronic sharing systems and invoicing methods for communications with dealerships who repair vehicles. Some companies have special forms and invoice sheets that dealerships can send via email or the company website.

Insurance Agent Software

Many insurance companies make paperwork an easier process for its agents by suing streamlined input and output processes. Among the different software is comparative rating systems. This system allows agents to access competitor pricing and give the client a rate based on other companies. Many times this can help an agent prove to the customer that doing business with their company will save them money. This can help agents make more sales for the auto insurance company they work for.

Auto insurance and technology can have many benefits when used together. It is more commonly used as the world continues to change.